How Do We Choose Speakers and Performers?
After the great success in 2014, we will again hold auditions for TEDxCincinnati events. You can apply to audition, nominate yourself or nominate someone else at http://tedxcincinnati.com/contact/nominate/.
“The heart-and-soul of a TEDx event is the passion, talent, data, perspective and determination that comes through in every talk.” This year at TEDxCincinnati the speakers and performers will offer a delicate balance of primary research, unbelievable life journeys, fascinating analyses and overall, really big ideas that will stretch every mind in the room. Everyone is assured to walk away with their own personal time capsule of experience and knowledge.
So how do we choose who speaks and performs at TEDxCincinnati?
Tis the season to coordinate the curation of another season of TEDxCincinnati event. We thought we’d share the main factors in how we sort, debate and choose the speakers:
1. Chosen speakers generally fall into one of 3 categories:
- Primary researcher or original artist/author
- Primary observer of other people’s data from a unique lens
- Primary experiencer (our word) of a once in a lifetime event
2. Topics and ideas they speak on can be widely varying against our theme, but we aim for:
- Big and mind-bending
- Provocative and emotional
- Story/anecdote rich
3. Nominations not considered are:
- Anything remotely self promotional
- Policy talks – they are usually important but dry and often politically charged.
- Riffs – ie one sided, research-lacking, opinionated rants.
- Leadership and motivational talks
Once we have vetted through if a speaker and topic are a potential fit, we look at the entire list altogether. This allows us to achieve balance in narrative style, native / foreign speakers, topic, gender and ethnic diversity. This is the tough part of the process as we always end up leaving a good speaker or idea behind. But the audience (you), would not appreciate only talks on education, or only talks by people who have overcome a life-threatening, heart-tugging obstacle. The beauty of a live TEDx event is the connectivity one finds between diverse topics.
We don’t have an exact statistic on how long speakers take to prepare, but our rule of thumb is at least one hour per minute of presentation, particularly if it is a new talk (even on an old idea).
But the payoff if significant. Speakers know the audience is seeking new ideas and has a wide-open mind, the shared experience with the other speakers is quite amazing, and last but not least, the value of having a TEDx video online is a fairly huge perk.
We welcome your questions and suggestions as we continue to refine and improve our process. But we ask that you only give feedback if you have attended a live TEDx event. Watching individual talks online is not an adequate judge of the holistic experience we work to achieve for our audience every fall.
Do you have what it takes? Do you know someone who should give a TEDxCincinnati presentation? Tell us!!