What is a TEDx Talk?
A TEDx talk is a short talk, given live with no notes and no podium, that has a powerful idea at its core – an ‘idea worth spreading’.
TEDx Talks are given at TEDx events, which are independently organized by local volunteers. They are featured on the TEDx YouTube channel and vetted by TED staff to possibly be featured on TED.com
TEDx Talks are unlike any other talk or presentation or lecture. They require a new approach for preparation. We provide and require coaching for all TEDxDirigo speakers to ensure that our speakers are adequately prepared to give the talk of their life + to ensure our audience has they high quality experience they expect from TEDxDirigo events.
Generally, TEDx talks are 18 minutes or less. At TEDxDirigo most talks are 6-12 minutes, and some (often the best) are only 3 minutes.
We are looking for:
A novel invention, design or vision
A fresh philosophical argument
New historical perspectives
Strange and unusual discoveries
Human creativity expressed through music, dance, spoken word, poetry, and more
Important to note what a TEDx talk is not. They are not:
A sales pitch
A fundraising ask
The same talk you give every other time
Something you show up for and give on a whim
Given through any type of "pay-to-play" schema
Who are TEDx Speakers?
TEDx Speakers are selected by local TEDx event organizers. They may have been nominated, recommended or sought out. At TEDxDirigo, speakers are selected by a curatorial team in response to the theme of that particular year's event.
TEDxDirigo speakers are kids, teachers, entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, scientists, CEO's. They might not have a title. You may know their name very well, and you may have never heard of them before. Most TEDxDirigo speakers live or work in Maine. Very few are invited from outside the state as our focus is on building our local community, and sharing Maine ideas worth spreading with the world.
All TEDxDirigo speakers participate in extensive coaching to discover, refine, and deliver their TEDx talk. In this way they are humble and open.
How does someone become a Speaker?
We look for TEDxDirigo speakers throughout the year. We are always listening - to news stories, informal community "buzz," and to our nomination portal. Each year when we select speakers we generate our own internal list of people, ask people that sit at particular vantage points to help us see people we wouldn't otherwise see, and review the list of every speaker ever nominated via our form below. We review this giant list of potential speakers in light of the year's event theme and narrow the list accordingly. We research potential speakers that we are interested in via web searches, conversations with other subject matter experts, and sometimes people close to the speaker. Then, if we think someone has a talk that would be a fit for the year's event, we reach out letting them know that we are interested, what we are interested in, that we'd like to talk to share more about TEDxDirigo, the preparation process for giving a TEDxDirigo talk, and to listen to what the person might be interested in speaking about. Then if what the potential speaker would like to speak about lines up with our interests, and they are willing and able to commit to the preparation process, we invite them to speak.
You do not become a TEDxDirigo speaker by:
Barraging us with nominations or requests
Letting us know that you have given other TED or TEDx talks
Promoting yourself as a sought after keynote or motivational speaker
What is the preparation process?
Once you are confirmed to be a TEDxDirigo speaker we send you a contract and release form to be returned immediately along with your 250 word bio and a high resolution headshot.
Then leading up to the TEDxDirigo event speakers are part of the following:
Speaker Launch event - meet fellow speakers, learn more about what makes a great TEDx talk, and refine your idea worth spreading
1:1 Coaching - work with a coach for at least four (4) hours to develop and refine both what you are saying and how you are saying it
Speaker Camp - stand and deliver your working full draft - a talk that has a beginning, middle, and end - in front of your peers and coaches.
Dress Rehearsals - experience the stage just as it will be for the live event - sans audience. Rehearse your talk just as it will be at the event - no notes, no podium.
In total speakers spend 60+ hours preparing for their TEDx Talk. They report its hard, rewarding, and totally worth it.