Do you think you are ready to give a TEDx talk? Do you have a big idea that you want to share with the world? Have you been applying to speak at TEDx talks but always get the denial email months after you apply?
I get asked to speak at various events and conferences all the time. People always ask me how I do it, and are looking for tips and tricks to speak as an expert on your niche.
I talked with two people who do a lot of public speaking, and have recently landed TEDx talks.
Ryan Foland is a communication trainer who is Managing Partner of InfluenceTree, and recently spoke atTEDxUNLV in Nevada during their 2016 event.
Daniel Midson-Short is an inspirational speaker, writer and cofounder ofLiveClinic, who will be delivering an upcoming talk with TEDxTemecula for their 2016 event.
Joining forces, Ryan and Daniel recently applied for a pre-TEDxLA city experiment called the City of Speakers at theTEDxLA December 2016 event. They got the project accepted.
Getting accepted to speak at a TEDx event is no easy task. I know first hand just how hard it is because after my original idea for impostor syndrome was approved, I was eliminated in the second round interviews for TEDxUCLA due to being sick and sounding unprepared.
All three of us can agree that these are the 6 steps you need to take before you even apply to any TEDx talk:
1. Make Sure you Have a Professional Headshot
Your first step should be getting a professional headshot. And make sure to smile! It's amazing how few aspiring speakers have professional headshots. The cost is minimal, usually between $150 - $500 and will give you an edge over other speaker applicants who are using selfies or shots taken by a friend. Update all of your social sites with this new picture because people will judge you off of first impressions, especially online.
2. Join a Speaking Group to Test your Talks
Working on your presentation skills is a good investment of your time before you even think of applying for aTEDx talk. If you don't know where to start, organizations like Toastmasters provide a friendly environment to help you to hone your speechcraft and speechwriting skills.
3. Build a Speaker One Pager
One trick that Ryan and Daniel use to landing more speaking engagements is having a one page flyer that demonstrates who they are. I have one too but I don't have the time to send it off to speaking engagements, so I'm in the process of looking for someone to help me book events. The one pager should include things such as your background, your area of expertise, previous speaking engagements, achievements and popular presentations.
4. Make a Google Alert for Call for Speakers
You can easily set yourself a Google Alert for "call for speakers." Google will send you an update every day to your email inbox letting you know of any new call for speakers notifications on the web. Typically when new speaking opportunities are open, they are announced online and Google will find them for you. This may shortcut the amount of time you have to spend searching directly for events.
5. Create a Profile on SpeakerHub
One of the hard things when you are a new speaker, is learning where to find the speaking opportunities near you. Ryan and Daniel both have profiles onSpeakerHub, and they use the call for speakers search to find speaking opportunities, including TEDx call for speakers. Think of it like a Linkedin for Speakers. It is not an agency, but a free platform where speakers can have a rich profile page and event organizers can find and invite you without paying any fee or commission.
6. Watch TED Talks to Stay Fresh
In business when you know your market, you are more likely to give them what they need. This is true for TED talks as well, so take some time each week and watch a few TED and TEDx talks. Get to know the speaking styles, the topics that have already been covered and what is most popular. The more you know the current talks, the more you can stand shoulder to shoulder with those you want to be like.
Landing a TEDx talk is much more than putting in an application. Don't even think about applying for a TEDx talk until you are ready. You need to be prepared, informed and you need to get out there and gain experience by speaking first.
Do you have any other suggestions on things speakers should do prior to applying for a TEDx talk. I would love to hear them. Comment below.