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Seigi Karasaki

Organizer @ TEDxTodai, TEDxTodai

TEDCRED 500+

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A well-balanced TEDx speaker line-up consists of..

Hi! First post here. I'm the tentative co-organizer for TEDxUTokyo (Tokyo Uni) for 2013. I say tentative b/c we have not yet renewed our licence. Nice to meet you all.

Our team is currently in the midst of brainstorming a list of speakers for the upcoming event (crossing our fingers for May). The consensus we've reached is that though we would ideally like to have the majority of our speakers be 1) directly affiliated with UTokyo and 2) students/young speakers who have not yet had a chance to voice their ideas, we realize that there is also a lot of value in inviting established, well-known speakers as well.

Before we split off for the winter holidays (90% of the members are current students), it was brought up that it would be helpful to have a guideline to use in individual brain-storming sessions over break. Since TED(x) stresses a balanced line-up of speakers from a variety of different backgrounds, the proposed guideline would provide initial categories (e.g. hard sciences, humanities, social justice, education, etc.) of speakers and topics. Any thoughts? We would greatly appreciate any feedback and/or suggestions you all may have regarding this idea.

This is all very, very exciting. Thanks for taking the time to read this rather lengthy question.

Cheers!

Seigi Karasaki
TEDxUTokyo

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    Dec 18 2012: I think it's important to consider a lot of different things. For starters you have to consider people's attention span. While the idea being presented might seem like a great idea to the speaker doesn't always come out that way everybody else. It's difficult though because you are walking the fine line between education and entertainment. So if the subject is important and informative does it matter that it's boring?

    As far as the flow of your lineup I'm not so sure that should be your goal. I don't think there's any way to make hard sciences flow with education. I also don't think you should limit speakers or inform them that their ideas have somehow conform with the previous person's ideas because that would defeat the purpose of brainstorming.

    I think what you're going for is entertainment value. In order to facilitate an environment where people aren't falling asleep you need to constantly add new outside stimuli. The brain will fall into an idle state if you consistently throw out the same information repeatedly. So the answer is keep it fresh. Allow your speakers to brainstorm about the idea and how they're going to present that idea.

    I think a good way to start would be writing all the topics on a piece of paper. Should then rank these topics by popular vote. What is the most popular subject in the group? Any good event should have a climax at some point. It would probably be beneficial to build up to an event or certain speaker and then wind down from there.

    I also wouldn't be afraid to do some on-the-fly changes. You should have somebody at the event that constantly monitors the output of your speakers. Somebody that can actually manage the crowd and understand the general mood of the audience. You shouldn't be afraid to separate speakers based on ability and place those individuals accordingly.

    Keep it fresh.

    I
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      Dec 30 2012: ''I think a good way to start would be writing all the topics on a piece of paper. Should then rank these topics by popular vote. What is the most popular subject in the group? Any good event should have a climax at some point. It would probably be beneficial to build up to an event or certain speaker and then wind down from there.''

      Fantastic idea. I think this is an interesting approach. Thanks!

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