September 2023
The Leading Edge
Becoming a TEDx Speaker


Becoming a TEDx Speaker

You’ve probably seen a TED talk or two, but what about TEDx? The difference is TED Talks are where speakers and audiences attend TED global conferences, while TEDx events are regionally based with topics more attuned to the community in which they take place. If you want to become a TED speaker, a good place to start is at the local level. However, that’s not easy, there are a lot of hoops you need to navigate along the way to getting the credibility being a TED or TEDx speaker will bring you.

Becoming a TEDx speaker can be a rewarding experience and will allow you to share your ideas and insights with a broader audience. It is important to note that it can take many months from your initial approach to a TEDx group to appearing on stage, so this is a long-term strategy not an overnight self-promotion strategy.

Here is a brief overview of how to approach becoming a TEDx speaker:

  1. Develop a compelling idea: TEDx events are centered around "ideas worth spreading." Think about the unique perspective or expertise you have and how it can inspire or inform others. Refine your idea and ensure it aligns with the TEDx theme or topic of the event you are targeting.
  2. Research TEDx events: Explore the TEDx website or search for local TEDx events in your area. Look for events that match your topic or interest. Review their past speakers and themes to understand their focus and audience.
  3. Attend TEDx events: Gain an understanding of the format, style, and atmosphere by being an audience member. This will help you become familiar with the TEDx culture and learn from other speakers.
  4. Create a compelling speaker profile: Highlight your expertise, achievements, and the value you will bring to the TEDx stage. Make sure to emphasize why your idea is unique and compelling.
  5. Network with TEDx organizers: Reach out either through email or social media. Introduce yourself, express your interest in speaking at their event, and briefly outline your idea. Building relationships with organizers can increase your chances of being considered for a speaking opportunity.
  6. Prepare a captivating pitch: TEDx events often require potential speakers to submit a pitch. Write a persuasive and concise pitch that clearly communicates your idea, its significance, and how it relates to the event's theme. Focus on the impact your talk will have on the audience.
  7. Showcase your speaking skills: If you have previous speaking experience, compile a portfolio that demonstrates your ability to engage and captivate an audience. Include videos of your presentations or talks, testimonials, or any relevant media coverage.
  8. Practice your talk: Once you are selected as a speaker, devote ample time to practice your talk. TEDx talks are typically limited to 18 minutes or less, so ensure your content is concise, well-structured, and memorable. Rehearse in front of friends or colleagues to receive feedback and refine your delivery.
  9. Collaborate with TEDx organizers: Work closely with them to align your talk with their expectations. Be open to their guidance and suggestions while maintaining the authenticity of your idea.
  10. Make an impact on stage: On the day of the event, give an engaging and passionate presentation. Connect with the audience, maintain eye contact, and use storytelling techniques to convey your idea effectively. Remember to enjoy the experience and embrace the opportunity to share your insights.

The TEDx speaker selection process varies by region, so it's essential to research and follow the specific guidelines provided by each organizer. Stay persistent, and even if you're not selected initially, keep refining your idea and seek future opportunities to share your message. Good luck!

Becoming a TEDx Speaker


Should You Follow Your Passion?

How often have you heard someone say follow your passion, as if it offers a guaranteed path to success? Sure, it sounds good and may even be sound advice, but, there are certain circumstances where it may not be the best approach for everyone.

Passion alone doesn’t guarantee success. Just because you have a strong interest or passion for something doesn't mean you'll automatically excel in that field or find financial stability. Pursuing one’s passion needs to be balanced by a realistic assessment of market demand, competition, and the skills and resources necessary to succeed.

Some passions may not be viable in terms of business or career growth. For instance, if your passion is a niche or obscure hobby, it may be challenging to find sustainable career options, or business opportunities in that field. In such cases, it might be more practical to pursue your passion as a hobby rather than a full-time career or business.

Passions and interests evolve over time. What you may be passionate about today might not necessarily be the same in a few years. Relying solely on passion may hamper or constrain you adaptability if your interests shift, leaving your feeling stuck or unfulfilled in your chosen path.

It's important to consider financial stability when choosing a career or pursuing a business opportunity. Some passion-driven fields may not offer high-paying opportunities, and it can be challenging to support yourself or your family solely based on passion. Balancing an ability to make money with personal fulfillment is crucial.

Pursuing a passion often requires developing specific skills and expertise. If you are not naturally talented in your chosen area of passion, it may require significant time, effort, and resources to develop the necessary skills to succeed. This can be discouraging and may lead to frustration if you are not prepared for challenges and setbacks along the way.

While following one’s passion can lead to fulfillment and success for some individuals, it's important to approach a passion project with a balanced perspective. Ask yourself, is there a market for the product or service I would like to deliver? Can I make a profit? Is it sustainable in the long-term? It's crucial to find a balance between passion and practicality if you are going to increase your chances of long-term satisfaction and success.

Becoming a TEDx Speaker


Coach's Corner - How Changing Yourself May Change Others

It is said that the only person you can truly change is yourself. While this may seem discouraging when you want to make a difference in someone else's life, it is actually a powerful notion that can lead to positive transformations in your relationships and interactions with others.

When you focus on changing yourself, you shift your attention away from trying to control or manipulate others. Instead, you take responsibility for your own actions, behaviors, and attitudes. This self-reflection allows you to identify areas for personal growth and development, which can ultimately influence the way you relate to, and impact, others.

One way to adapt your thinking is to practice empathy and understanding. By putting yourself in someone else's shoes, you gain a deeper understanding of their perspectives, experiences, and emotions. This enables you to approach them with compassion and patience, which can foster better communication and stronger connections. When you change yourself to become more empathetic, you create an environment that encourages others to do the same.

Becoming a role model is another way to influence change. By embodying the qualities and values you want to see in others, you inspire and motivate them to do the same. For example, if you want to promote kindness, you can start by being kind to others. This not only changes your own behavior but also encourages others to adopt a similar mindset.

It is important to develop effective communication skills. Clear and respectful communication is crucial in any relationship; it allows you to express your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly. When you improve your communication skills, you create an environment where others feel comfortable doing the same. This can lead to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

Furthermore, changing yourself to change others requires you to let go of control and embrace acceptance. You cannot force someone to change or behave in a certain way. By accepting others for who they are and respecting their individuality, you create a space where they feel safe to grow and change at their own pace. This acceptance can be transformative, both for yourself and for those around you.

 “If I change myself, your relationship with me must be affected, for now you are in a relationship with a different person.”  Mel Schwartz, Psychotherapist and marriage counsellor

By focusing on personal growth, practicing empathy and understanding, being a role model, improving communication skills, and embracing acceptance, you can create a positive ripple effect in your relationships and interactions. While you may not have direct control over others, you do have the power to influence them through your actions and behaviors. So start with yourself and be the change you wish to see in others.

Paul Abra, Motivated Coaching


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