Gary B. Doherty
Gary B. Doherty is a vastly experienced former TEDx organiser, curator and also a viral TEDx speaker. One of the most frequently asked questions Gary receives is ‘how can I land a TEDx Talk ?’ and ‘ what does it take for a TEDx Talk to be successful?
1. Get to Know What a TEDx Talk is.
If you want to get a TEDx talk, you should first understand what a TEDx talk is and what it is not.
TED talks have a specific format. The better grasp you have on what makes a good TEDx talk, the more successful you will be in securing a spot as a speaker. The organiser you connect with will appreciate this understanding.
What talks do you love and why do you love them? Get educated on the essence of the platform.
Also, you should get to know the TEDx community. Network with the key people who have given talks or who are TEDx organisers and build that relationship.
2. Build Your Confidence
If you know you are an excellent speaker, have a great idea, and you can clearly and concisely explain it, you can go straight to the organiser and put your best foot forward.
But if you do not feel ready to build your confidence and improve your positioning to land that talk, then you should build your confidence by delivering your idea in small group formats (without telling anyone it is your planned TEDx talk)
Yes, TEDx organisers want people with ideas worth sharing. But they also want good speakers. Any good organiser will appreciate this approach as you are someone willing to do what most will not to achieve your goal. To an organiser you are coachable.
TEDx organisers want speakers they can rely on to listen, put the work in and deliver.
3. Know What You Want to Share
TEDx is not a stage for motivational and inspirational speakers. It also is not a stage for circuit speakers. It is about ‘ideas worth spreading ‘to the world. It does not have to be a revolutionary new concept, but it should be a unique perspective. Your unique perspective. Chris Jarvis TEDx Talk titled ‘Surviving Ain’t Thriving – Break Free From The Herd ‘did just that. With insights into how the Giraffe can show us humans a thing or two. This caught the world’s attention and at the time of writing is the most watched TEDx talk on planet earth in 2022! Be crystal clear on your idea and be able to explain it concisely and precisely. Do not waffle.
4. Give Your Audience What They Want Not What You Think They Want
TEDx talks are supposed to be interesting to a wide audience and range of people. If the audience are not following, or if they are not engaged you have failed. The funny thing is this. Despite the importance of getting your message right, adhering to guidelines etc the audience will not actually remember a lot of what you say. However, they will remember how you make them feel! Strike emotion! Show them you care. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care! Amy Doherty’s talk titled ‘ My Boys Don’t Need To Change Society Does ‘is a great example. Amy shares with the audience of the anguish and despair encountered with certain challenges her 2 amazing autistic sons face in society before challenging society to change. Giving the audience a reason to care!
5. Make the minutes count
TEDx rules state that your talk can be up to 18 minutes long! Do not take full advantage of this as it is a disadvantage!
Trends since 2020 have shown that talks under 10 minutes are getting a lot more views than talks over 10 minutes with some exceptions of course.
People are more time precious now and we are living in a faster-paced world. Speed of information is crucial, and it seems attention spans are dwindling.
Aim for 7-10 minutes maximum! Good luck!