TEDx Call For Speakers Tool

**In this post, I’ll show you a custom tool I built to make it absurdly easy to find TEDx speaker applications AND make sure the event is high quality**

If you’ve ever tried to use TED’s event map, you’d know that it’s pretty annoying if you want to find TEDx applications. 

You click on a TEDx event and can’t find a website.

Or you can’t find the speaker application.

Or they already have speakers selected.

Or the theme doesn’t match your message.

What are the RIGHT TEDx events looking for speakers NOW?

The thing is, most TEDx events don’t have a call for speakers right now:

  • Some don’t have speakers at all (they just show pre-recorded talks and have a discussion)
  • Some have already selected speakers
  • Some will be selecting speakers, but not yet
  • Some don’t film talks (so your message cannot spread!)
  • Some film talks, but the stage looks amateur (and it’s best to know this beforehand!)

So, using TED’s event map is annoying and can be a wild goose chase.

It used to take me HOURS to find TEDx applications for my TEDx coaching clients this way.

I no longer have to do all that!

And, in this article, I’ll show you the easiest way to hear about TEDx events looking for speakers in your area (or any area you want to speak in)

Everything You Need to Find TEDx Speaker Applications

I’m a TEDx event founder and coach, but I’ve also got an engineering background. I knew it would be possible to design a tool to automate a lot of this process.

Long story short, I hired a programmer to build me a service that:

  • Finds TEDx events (theme, location, event type, number of past events)
  • Googles the event to find the website
  • Gets Facebook & Twitter profiles (so you can easily follow them for speaker updates)
  • Searches YouTube to find the past videos so you know the event is filmed (not all are!)

Basically, it makes it absurdly easy to find TEDx events with a current call for speakers.

There are two parts to this TEDx application tool:

TEDx Event Spreadsheet

Want to apply to every TEDx speaking opportunity now?

This spreadsheet allows you to see a list of the best TEDx events for you, right now, and all the info you need to apply:

easiest way to apply to be a tedx speaker
The easiest way to apply to be a TEDx speaker
  • Theme
  • Next event date
  • Website (and social media pages)
  • Contact email address
  • Number of past events (so you can see the most established events)
  • Link to see past videos (so you can make sure the production quality is top-notch)

TEDx Event Alerts

These are email alerts that go out when a TEDx event (in a specific search area) announces its next event date.

They include all the event info you’d need to apply (website, date, theme, location), as well as a photo of the stage.

No searching, no research, no missing deadlines

Think of it like a TEDx virtual assistant, working for you around the clock, sending you TEDx speaking opportunities that are custom-tailored to your message, with a great stage, at just the right time.

tedx event speaker application alerts
TEDx event speaker application alert

This tool WAS only for my private TED Talks Coaching clients, but I decided to release it publicly because some people are ready to apply now (and aren’t sure if they need coaching). 

Keep reading to learn more about to use this tool to make it absurdly easy to apply to be a TEDx speaker.

Or, you can sign up now: for just $47/month, or save 75% by paying annually.

You can use this tool yourself to quickly find a list of TEDx events to apply to, or you can have a Virtual Assistant or someone else on your team use it to apply for you.

How To Use This Spreadsheet To Find TEDx Applications

Here are the steps — filter the spreadsheet for:

  • Standard, University, and [optional] TEDxWomen event types (Column F)
  • In places that you’ve lived (Columns D & E)
  • With at least 1 past event (Column N)
  • At least 3+ months from today’s date (Column B)
  • And (for the biggest audiences), target events where the organizer has attended TED (Column G)

If you’re curious, here’s a rundown of each step in more detail. Or, you can sign up now: for just $47/month, or save 75% by paying annually

Step 1: Filter For The Right TEDx Event Types (For Your Message)

There are many TEDx event types, but some just show past videos from TED or TEDx events and discuss them. There are no live speakers.

Some event types have niche audiences, which may not be suitable for you depending on the list of TED Talks topics you had in mind to share.

This spreadsheet can show you EVERY TEDx event in one place, sure, but as a speaker, you don’t want that. The first step of finding TEDx events looking for speakers is eliminating any event that isn’t the right event type.

  • Youth events are mostly attended by teenagers. They’re sometimes held in high schools and sometimes held in conference halls (in the next steps, I’ll show you how to use this tool to take a look at the stage)
  • University events, as the name implies, are organized by university students and held at universities. Much of the general public will go to these events as well
  • TEDxWomen events, as the name implies, are mostly (though not exclusively) attended by women, and you probably shouldn’t bother targeting these events if you’re not a woman or your message isn’t especially pertinent to women.
  • Standard events are for a general adult audience. These are a great fit for ANY speaker!

There are other event types not listed here, but I don’t recommend them if you want to ensure your talk is filmed, and you don’t want to waste time chasing down an event that may never be looking for speakers.

For instance, Salon or Library events tend to have much smaller stages and often don’t have live speakers or film talks (in fact, only 30% of Salon/Library events are filmed).

BUT in the next steps, I’ll show you how to find the Salon/Library events that DO have live speakers (for instance, if the only events in your region that fit your schedule are Salon/Library events, you may want to speak here, but only if the event is filmed).

For most speakers, the best TEDx event types for speakers are Standard, University, and TEDxWomen event types.

So, while there are 1450 future TEDx evens in the list globally, there are only 934 that are the right type. Our list got almost 2x as targeted!

tedx applications - select event type
Standard, University, and TEDxWomen events tend to be best

Step 2: Filter for Locations You’d Like to Speak In

Once you have the right event type(s) for your message, filter for the country/state/regions you want to speak in.

There are two reasons NOT to bother reaching out to locations too far away from you. 

First, you’ll have to finance your own travel/hotel, etc. 

And second, events will ALWAYS prefer local speakers. Your chances are much higher in countries you’ve lived or visit often, and ideally, where you are currently living. Even if you would say yes if an event across the world invited you, your chances of being selected to speak there are next to zero.

As a rule of thumb, target countries you’ve lived in before (and within that, focus on the individual states/regions if you like). When I’m working with a client in the US for example, I’ll apply for events across the country (assuming they are open to paying for travel to get there).

But, you can also filter for specific groups of states. For example, if you wanted to filter for California, Nevada, and New York, you’d do that here:

Apply to TEDx events in your locations

Step 3: (Optional) Filter For The Best Quality Events

For most speakers, I recommend you only pursue events that have occurred at least once before. You may also want more established events than that (for instance, the largest stages will generally be at the events that have happened 5, 6 or even more times before).

Or, you may want to intentionally target events that have only happened once before, because these tend to be the least competitive. 

It’s up to you!

Apply to TEDx events that are established
Apply to TEDx events that are established (have happened 1+ times before)

Step 4: DON’T Try to Apply for The Next TEDx Event (Look a Few Months Out)

Many speakers make the mistake of applying to speak at a TEDx event that is happening too soon. This is somewhat futile, as an event generally selects speakers several months before the event, and adding speakers too soon to the event is a HUGE risk for them.

Even if they don’t have speakers listed on their website, they often have them booked (and just haven’t updated the website yet, because they’re waiting to announce these in conjunction with ticket sales).

My advice — ignore any event happening within the next 3 months. Chances are very VERY high that they no longer have an active call for speakers. Most TEDx events have a staged application process, and this generally starts about 4-6 months before the event date. 

Here’s a screenshot of our list. The top of the list will always be closest to today’s date, so in this case, these TEDx events are far too soon. Chances are, they already have speakers booked. Instead, look a few months out.

tedx call for speakers
You can only apply to TEDx events for events with open speaker applications (usually 4+ months out)

Step 5: Browse TEDx Event Themes, Websites & Stages To See What You Like

The sheet also has the website, theme, and a link to see past YouTube videos. This makes it easy for you to see if any catch your interest (and quickly find the speaker application process on the website)

tedx event application
TEDx event application themes

Step 6: Sit Back, Relax, and Wait for TEDx Event Email Alerts

You’ll also get email alerts when there is a past event that gets renewed. 

This is a little like having a full-time speaker agent combing the internet and sending you only the best TEDx events in the areas you want to speak in, perfectly suited to your message.

In other words, use the spreadsheet if you want a list of TEDx events to apply to NOW, and use the event alerts if you’re busy with life, and only want to apply to a TEDx event if it’s a great location/stage/theme, etc.

Several people just have the event alerts sent to their Virtual Assistants and have them apply too.

apply tedx speaker
Sample TEDx application alert

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Do I Get Email Alerts For TEDx Events Near Me?

After you sign up, you can configure the locations you want to monitor (eg: specific states or countries), and the event types for your message (for instance, some people will want to speak at TEDxWomen events, some people only want Standard/University).

Then, you’ll get an email alert when there is a TEDx event near you that matches your preferences.

Does It Say Which Are Virtual TEDx Events and/or Live Events?

TEDx events will indicate whether it’s a virtual or live event in a variety of inconsistent places (eg: perhaps their website, perhaps social media, perhaps on their email list), so, to keep the cost for this service low, we don’t have full-time staff on hand to research all these places to find that out for you.

This tool CAN be used to see the stage from last year though, and if it was a live event last year, chances are it’ll be a live event this year too.

MOST if not all events now are live.

Does This List Include TED Events Also?

This list only includes TEDx events (TEDxWomen, University, Standard etc). It does not include TEDGlobal, TEDEd, TED, TEDWomen, etc.

Here’s my guide on the difference between TEDx and TED if you’re curious about the differences, and you can read here about how to get a TED Talk.

How Many Email Alerts Will I Get?

That depends on the size of the search region and the event types you’re interested in. You can always adjust your search parameters if you find you’re getting too many or too few alerts. 

How Many TEDx Events Are There?

There are 4500+ TEDx events globally. If you’re curious, here’s the number of TEDx events per state and, the number of TEDx events per country

In the USA, there are almost 1000 events

In the UK, there are about 270

In other words, there are a LOT of events. This tool helps you target events at the right time, that are actually looking for speakers.

How Do I Apply?

Once you found an event you’re interested in, you can either look at their website to find the application form, or, if you don’t see that, use the contact email address field (or their social media pages) to reach out to ask how to send in your info.

I have a separate article that goes over the complete process of how to do a TEDx talk (including what happens throughout the application process, how long things take, etc).

How Do I Use This to Find TEDxWomen Events/Conferences?

You can find TEDxWomen events with this tool in the exact same way you’d use it for any other event type — you can predict when the TEDxWomen events are likely to be in your area (by filtering the “Past” tab for TEDxWomen events).

If you configured TEDxWomen events for the event alerts, you’ll get an email alert the instant there is a TEDxWomen event announced in your area.

This Tool Is Out Of My Budget — How Do I Manually Do This Process?

Here’s my article on how to find the best TEDx events (manually)

What To Do Now:

  1. Start getting TEDx event alerts (and the full TEDx applications list) for just $47/month, or save 75% by paying annually 
  2. If you aren’t ready to apply yet (or you want help with the entire process),  you can hire me as a TED Talks speaker coach. I help with the entire process, and I guarantee you’ll get booked.
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Ryan Hildebrandt
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