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Some thoughts on getting your TEDx talk to the homepage of TED.com
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Some thoughts on getting your TEDx talk to the homepage of TED.com

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A big question for every TEDx host: "How can I get the talks from my TEDx event chosen for the front page of TED.com." Slides contain some suggestions for making great talks, 36 real reasons that TEDx …

A big question for every TEDx host: "How can I get the talks from my TEDx event chosen for the front page of TED.com." Slides contain some suggestions for making great talks, 36 real reasons that TEDx talks haven't been chosen, and a look at the internal TED.com screening and scheduling processes. Given to 90 TEDx hosts during a tour of Long Beach, on Monday, 2/26/13.


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  • I ’ m the editor of TED.com and I love finding TEDx talks to post on the homepage of TED.com.
  • As of March 1, 2013, we posted 1,446 talks on the homepage.
  • Ali Carr-Chelman talks about new research into the way boys learn, and suggests how to better engage them at the elementary level.
  • Dan Phillips makes houses out of recycled stuff.
  • Brene Brown talks about a decade of research into shame and self-worth.
  • Dave Meslin suggests that great activists aren ’ t tapped on the forehead and chosen like Harry Potter. Choose yourself.
  • These 4 speakers and all great ones have 4 things in common. They ’ re confident. They ’ re well-prepared. They ’ re authentic -- presenting their own work and research and thoughts. And they ’ re speaking to an audience.
  • Get a draft or outline of the talk early, and give thoughtful feedback about whether the structure works for you. Rehearse over Skype, give more feedback on delivery, pacing, structure.
  • Never be embarrassed to ask for your speakers ’ time for rehearsal.
  • So with that out of the way -- a little bit of process.
  • Shot with a Nokia N95.
  • Lesley talks about what she learned when she sat down and read the Koran.
  • Rogier talks about designing beautiful light.
  • Dave, from Patients Like Me, tells his own story of gaining access to his medical data.
  • Sean Carroll explains why we have time.
  • A whistleblower you haven ’ t heard ...
  • Imagine a table full of smart people wearing headphones and taking notes all day long.
  • Talks that pass first review get a group look.
  • Editors approve, and the talk is moved forward to our video editing department if needed.
  • What follows are 36 specific reasons why individual TEDx talks were not chosen for stage, after passing first or second review.
  • Look at your event budget. Find money or trade for a quality audio tech. Get rid of a camera if you must.
  • Oh my GOSH viewers hate this. It ’ s like sending texts at the dinner table on a date, but to 600 people all at once. Do not let your speakers do this.
  • Transcript

    • 1. I love postingTEDx talks on TED.com.
    • 2. 1,446 TED Talks on TED.com ...
    • 3. ... 246 TEDx talks on TED.com ...
    • 4. ~1 in 6 talks on TED.com come from a TEDx event.
    • 5. ... from 25,500+ TEDx talks
    • 6. ~1 in 100 TEDx talks are featured onthe TED.com homepage.
    • 7. What am I looking for?
    • 8. An idea I need to hear:
    • 9. Tell me about new research.
    • 10. Tell me a story of creativity.
    • 11. Tell me about myself.
    • 12. Tell me how I can change the world.
    • 13. Confident. Well-prepared. Authentic.Speaking to an audience.
    • 14. “Speaking to an audience”:This is where you, the host and rehearsal partner, come in.
    • 15. Why do people love a great TED Talk? One reason: A speaker who truly caresthat the audience understands.
    • 16. Work with your speakers.
    • 17. They are speaking at TEDx because they want to give the talk of their lives.
    • 18. So as you listen, ask yourself:
    • 19. Is the speaker talking to you (not at you)?Can you follow the information in the order it’s presented?Do you need more context, more backstory (or less)?
    • 20. You are a partner inmaking a great TEDx talk.
    • 21. How does TED.com plan our weekly schedule?
    • 22. Sophisticated technology
    • 23. 5 days, 5 themes.
    • 24. Big idea Monday
    • 25. Tech/design Tuesday
    • 26. Storyteller Wednesday
    • 27. Science Thursday
    • 28. Entertainment Friday
    • 29. How we find talkson the TEDx channel.
    • 30. First review.(Paid interns watch ’em all!)
    • 31. Group review.(At least 2 editors screen.)
    • 32. Final OK from media team.
    • 33. It might seem like a lot of work. But so is throwing a TEDx. We are constantly impressed and awed by what the TEDx movement can do.
    • 34. Why we might not choose a TEDx talk for the front page
    • 35. The talk lacks a structure that would help viewersremember the concepts in detail.Might be too UK-centric.He has a tendency to wander off from his main idea,and add all kinds of details, sub-ideas and facts thatdistract from his point and weaken the talk.
    • 36. Although his stories are compelling, I dont think he had astrong enough central idea to carry a TED Talk.His central idea isnt explored deeply enough. To me, hecomes off as a bit of a hack.Its interesting work, but the talk itself is very dull.
    • 37. The shelf-life is too short (referencing many veryspecific recent events), without being particularlypressing.The ideas -- though expressed well -- are notparticularly new.Its an important issue, but its not presented in a waythat delivers an "aha" moment.
    • 38. Its more of a history lesson with perspective than anidea talk per se.It wasnt really framed as an idea until the end, anddidnt really hold together as an idea talk. It was more ofan informative rundown.I liked this little talk, but have a feeling it will come offas lightweight.I found this talk to be scientifically reckless.
    • 39. This is a personal story, which doesnt stand alone as aTED Talk.He doesnt manage to graft the story on to anotherstrong message or idea.He gets to his point in the last 15 seconds.A good, interesting talk, but doesnt feel as new for us.
    • 40. Not sure the audio is salvageable.The marshmallow test is now in the TED drinking game.Im a bit unconvinced by the evidence presented.His delivery is captivating, but I dont hear anything newor profound. Its a lot of idealistic rhetoric.
    • 41. Unfocussed, but theres a strong nugget of a talk inthere.Feels a bit too much like a sales pitch for hisfoundation.If only the video quality were better. Ends with ablatant pitch.
    • 42. This is all backward. He needed to start w/ theexamples, then go to the point.The beginnings a bit shaky when he reads a bunch ofquotes.I wish he had a stronger conclusion, because he reallyjust says, "get ready" and "lets work together," whichweve heard so many times before.
    • 43. I feel like shes trying to be the next Brené Brown, butthe level of thought and analysis just isnt there.Is he speaking to an audience thats so sheltered andaffluent that they werent aware of this?I think this presenter has a good TED Talk in him.Interesting information but could have been presentedmore thoughtfully.
    • 44. Teach passion blah blah.Decent info, but his effort to follow the “TED format”and be “inspiring” make this really awkward andunnatural.He uses a lot of lecture-speak.
    • 45. ... saying "we should collaborate and build a community and be avillage" with no concrete examples of what to do.I wish hed taken a deep dive on one of the most promisingthings his organization is trying, instead of giving such a surfacelook at so many.Talks for 10 minutes, posits one idea. Could have done the wholething in 2 minutes.
    • 46. on.ted.com/SpeakerGuide
    • 47. 2 silly reasons to have your talk not make it.
    • 48. Unfixable audio.
    • 49. Reads notes off an iPad.
    • 50. TEDx matters.
    • 51. The very first TEDx in my hometown, Toledo, Ohio, happenedon Thursday, September 20, 2012. People walked awaychanged, excited, aware.To put this in context: Forbes calls Toledo one of America’sTop 10 “Most Miserable Cities.”Someone tweeted early in the week: "TEDxToledo? Toledodoesnt seem like a TED Talks kind of town."But it was.
    • 52. Thank you for all you do!