OURMISSION.BE PART OF SOMETHING MEANINGFUL
We believe passionately in the power of
ideas to change attitudes, lives and
ultimately, the world. So we're building
here a clearinghouse that offers free
knowledge and inspiration from the
germany's most inspired thinkers, and
also a local community of curious souls to
engage with ideas and each other.
Today, TED is best thought of as a global
community. It's a community welcoming
people from every discipline and culture
who seek a deeper understanding of the
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED
has created a program called TEDx -
local, self-organized events that bring
people together to share a TED-like
At a TEDx RheinMain event, TEDTalks
video and live speakers combine to spark
deep discussion and connection in a small
These local, self-organized events are
branded TEDx, where x=independently
organized TED event. The TED
Conference provides general guidance for
the TEDx program, but individual TEDx
events are self-organized.
TED began in 1984 as a gathering place
for innovators and leaders in the ﬁelds of
Technology, Entertainment and Design.
29 years later, TED has become a nexus
for a global community of individuals who
believe in the power of Ideas Worth
TED.com currently has a library of over
1.500 amazing talks of such high quality
that the site has become the platinum
standard for innovation in digital
COMMANDMENTS.THE HEART OF EVERY TEDTALK
1. Dream big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given.
2. Show us the real you. Share your passions, your dreams... and
also your fears. Be vulnerable. Speak or failure as well as
3. Make the complex plain. Don’t try to dazzle intellectually. Don’t
speak in abstractions. Explain! Give examples. Tell stories.
4. Connect with people’s emotions. Make us laugh! Make us cry!
5. No selling from the stage! Unless we have speciﬁcally asked
you to, do not talk about your company or organization. And
don’t even think about pitching your products or services or
asking for funding from stage.
6. Feel free to comment on other speakers, to praise or to
criticize. Controversy energizes! Enthusiastic endorsement is
7. Don’t ﬂaunt your ego. Don’t boast.
It’s the surest way to switch everyone off.
8. If possible, don’t read your talk. Notes are ﬁne. But if the
choice is between reading or rambling, then read!
9. You must end your talk on time. Doing otherwise is to steal
time from the people that follow you. We won’t allow it.
10.Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend...
for timing, for clarity, for impact.
Your TEDxTalk should be focused and
sharp. It should go deep rather than
broad. It should include visuals that
develop your ideas, rather than distract
from your purpose. It can include unique
aspects of your personal experience or
projects, but these examples should be
powerful, illuminating and succinct.
There is absolutely no toleration for
corporate, political, or religious plugs from
stage. That is an abuse of the TEDx
Let’s set one thing straight: TED
presenters might make their TEDTalks
look effortless, but there are hours of
thinking, preparing, practicing, slide
revision, and memorization involved
behind each spectacular Talk.
We expect the same level of commitment
TEDTalks don’t run longer than 18
minutes. At TEDxRheinMain however,
some talks will be even shorter.
Everybody’s case will be a bit different,
but presenters should expect to ﬁt their
presentation into 8, 12, or 18 minutes. We
will be very strict on presentation times.
A single, strong, graphic image or succinct
line of text will tell your story better than a
crowded collage or packed paragraph.
Remember, people need to process
everything you’re saying while
simultaneously absorbing your slides.
Rather than one complex slide, show
several slides, each with one idea, image
or data point.
Please eliminate slides that are
essentially Headline + Bullet-Points.
These can get very tiring. We will be
looking over your slides with you too, and
making sure they’re in line with our Tech
We hate to murder a cliché, but practice
really does make perfect. The ideal
presenter will speak slowly and clearly,
will deliver his or her speech mostly by
memory, will be passionate and engaging,
and yet will be ﬂexible to possible
technical glitches or memory lapses.
Of course, we can be ﬂexible due to other
time commitments you probably have, but
we do expect you to rehearse, and
rehearse, and rehearse.
You should refer frequently to the TED
Commandments – 10 tips for speakers on
our next few pages.
If at any point you have a question
(regardless of how trivial you think it may
be), please do not be afraid to ask us. We
are here to help you make the best talk
possible and we are more than willing to
help you out.
If you feel you need professional help,
please let us know and we will put you in
contact with our professional design
TEDx Talks are a showcase for speakers
presenting well-formed ideas in under 18
minutes. If you haven’t seen a TEDx Talk,
go to TED.com and watch at least one.
How to defend Earth from asteroids
WHAT IS A TED TALK?
No -- it wouldn't be a TEDx Talk. The time
limit is part of what makes TEDx Talks
work. And remember: Shorter talks are
not lesser talks. It may only take 5
minutes to make your point unforgettably.
How to use a paper towel
CAN I GO OVER 18 MINUTES?
DO I NEED TO BE AN EXPERT?
You do not need to be the world’s
foremost expert on the topic, but you do
have to be an expert. Please remember
that the audience relies on you to give
accurate information, so whatever you say
in your talk, please fact-check —
especially facts you may take for granted:
statistics, historical anecdotes, scientiﬁc
If you're drawing an example from a
discipline that is not your main area of
knowledge, use research from widely
accepted and peer-reviewed sources,
and, if at all possible, consult with experts
Like a good magazine article, your idea
can be new or surprising, or challenge a
belief your audience already has. Or it can
be a great basic idea with a compelling
new argument behind it.
An idea isn’t just a story or a list of facts.
A good idea takes evidence or
observations and draws a larger
WHAT MAKES A GOOD IDEA?
Write your idea down in one or two
sentences. Ask yourself three questions:
Is my idea new?
Is it interesting?
Is it factual and realistic?
If you answered “no” to any of these
questions, reﬁne your idea. Ask someone
you respect who doesn’t work in your
ﬁeld, and if they answer “no” to any of
these questions, reﬁne your idea.
If your TEDx event organizing team
answers “no” to any of these questions,
reﬁne your idea.
IS MY IDEA READY?
There are many theories on the best
structure for a great presentation. There’s
no single trick to it, but here is at least one
structure that we’ve found to work
1. Start by making your audience care, using
a relatable example or an intriguing idea.
2. Explain your idea clearly and with
3. Describe your evidence and how and why
your idea could be implemented.
4. End by addressing how your idea could
affect your audience if they
were to accept it.
JUNE COHEN.WHAT MAKES A GREAT TED TALK
Assess your own skill level. You can make
great simple slides if you stick to
photographic images, running edge-to-
edge. If your slide ideas are more
complex and involve type, consider
working with a designer.
• Images and photos: To help the audience
remember a person, place or thing you
mention, you might use images or photos.
• Graphs and infographics
• No slide should support more than one
• Use as little text as possible -- if your
audience is reading, they are not listening.
Slides can be helpful for the audience, but
they are by no means necessary or
relevant to every talk.
Ask yourself: Would my slides help and
clarify information for the audience, or
would they distract and confuse them?
Some great examples of slides can be
found in the talks by Dan Phillips, Jarrett
Krosoczka and Rick Guidotti on TED.com.
The most important rule for slides: Keep it
SHOULD I USE SLIDES?
• Time yourself. Practice with the clock
winding down in front of you. Do it until you
get the timing right every time.
• Practice standing still, planted ﬁrmly in one
spot on stage. Have a friend watch you and
stop you from pacing back and forth or
shifting your weight from leg to leg.
We can’t stress this enough. Rehearse
until you’re completely comfortable in front
of other people: different groups of
people, people you love, people you fear,
small groups, large groups, peers, people
who aren’t experts in your ﬁeld.
Listen to the criticisms and rehearse,
rehearse, rehearse. If someone says you
sound “over-rehearsed,” this actually
means you sound stilted and unnatural.
Keep rehearsing, and focus on talking like
you’re speaking to just one person in a
spontaneous one-way conversation.
REHEARSE, REHEARSE! REHEARSE, REHEARSE!
You can't inspire people if you are
going to be uninspiring.