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Rawan Al-Wazzan

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What guidelines would you give someone preparing a TEDx talk?

TED Community, I’ve attended a number of independently organized TEDx events and seen plenty on YouTube and was disappointed to find out that some talks presented weren’t TED material. They lacked the ‘idea worth spreading’ element. What would you suggest to a speaker who’s preparing to deliver a TEDx talk in order for them to make sure their talk is up to standards?


Closing Statement from Rawan Al-Wazzan

Don't you just love the TED Community?!

Some great feedback. Thank you Fritzie Reisner, Deborah Zotian, Kashaf Mamoon, Edward Long, Shariq Hashme, Tofig Ahmed, Abhinandan Chatterjee, Johnson Tam-Lit, Philip Kanoutos, Jenoye Cole, Lucas Avelleda, Asha de Vos, JenniferAnne McCool, Carlos Miranda Levy, Bharath Kumar Kunjibettu, Lesley Rickard, Edmond Hui, and Tosca Killoran. :)

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    Apr 17 2012: Rawan Al-Wazzan Thanks for the thread - I feel this is an important topic as TEDx should be no less than a TED event. The ideas should be worth it, the speakers should be fun and up to the task. Conviction is the key and it should count.

    I like Tofig's point about getting doers and not talkers. Or at least someone genuinely passionate about what they are trying to say.

    I gave a tedxtalk last year and that was a huge learning experience for me.( http://bit.ly/HQj525 ) I have listed down some key points that I would keep in mind before selecting a speaker.

    Balance speakers across the event - Have people who are known and people who are great at what they do at the same event. It is hard to get both these qualities in everyone. This will stop the TEDx events from becoming boring.

    Community creates comfort - Its easier to connect for the speakers if they are from similar/ or linked communities as the audience. As a listener, i need speakers I can relate to.

    Everybody likes a good show - While people have fantastic ideas, but not all are good speakers. They need to understand that TED is doing them a favor by inviting them and the not other way round. So they must practice. Hardwork is must and the organizers must make this a point.

    For Organizers - Before selling the idea to a speaker, Sell the Idea of TED. If they seem to believe in the opportunity, only then take it forward. Ego hurts ones ability to learn and share and the event should not be a tussle between the speakers. (Saw this happening in a TEDx event I went to.

    Lastly, TED is not an advertising opportunity and should never be treated like one. The rules for TEDx; if followed diligently will tackle a of these things. The challenge is that in lot of communities,these rules are disregarded leading to the bad state of some talks.

    Hope it helps, having said that it also important to gather a meaningful audience which seems to be a thing that a lot of organizers end up ignoring. That drives the speakers
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      Apr 18 2012: Thank you Abhinandan. I definitely agree with you on all the points you have mentioned. The guidelines you've provided are mostly dedicated to the organizers themselves. I think we can both agree that the organizer has A LOT on their plate when it comes to choosing the speakers, theme and audience. As you said, they all have to be in harmony in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

      Thank you for providing your talk. An interesting topic! A topic that makes you think.
      "Learning is not compulsory, neither is change, nor is survival."
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        Apr 18 2012: Thank You, I am glad you found it interesting and hopefully stimulating:)

        While it is true that the organizers have a lot on their plates , I also feel that when you handle some else's baby, you do it their way and if you want to do it your way - get your own baby. ..

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