Speaking at TEDx

TEDx events strive to magnify voices from local communities and celebrate ideas worth spreading. These events are organized independently by passionate volunteers, under a free license granted by TED. The events are not controlled by TED, but volunteers agree to abide by our format and guidelines for curation, production and more.

We recognize and appreciate your enthusiasm for being a part of this global movement. Here's some information for those who wish to share their ideas on stage at an independently organized TEDx event.

Who are Our Speakers

TEDx teams have a dedicated mission: to discover powerful, original ideas in local communities and amplify them on a global scale. Their speakers come from incredibly diverse backgrounds - scientists, writers, students, dancers, community leaders, tradespeople, chefs, doctors. They might not have received international acclaim, but their novel ideas have the power to inspire, challenge, and change the world.

How TEDx Works

Independently Curated: Every TEDx event is independently curated by volunteers who generously invest their time to spotlight valuable ideas from and for their community. That means each speaker is selected by those volunteers without influence from sponsors, government, or any organizations.

Curation over Commercialization: The TEDx stage seeks authenticity. While we understand the dynamism of professional speakers, the priority is to unveil fresh perspectives that haven't been widely heard.

Generosity First: The ethos of TEDx is sharing. No speaker is ever charged to be a part of the platform. It's a community bound by the sheer love of ideas.

Proposing a Speaker for TEDx

Local TEDx teams are encouraged to search for original ideas that will be presented by the individuals responsible for them from the community the event represents. They are found through tireless research, engaging local brain trusts, and interviews, interviews, interviews! The most impactful teams rely on “pitch” forms sparingly, if at all.

Have an idea or know someone who should share theirs? Here are things to keep in mind when you wish to make a suggestion:

Application Forms: If you're suggesting a speaker for a local TEDx event, only contact those who provide a public application form via their official event page on TED.com or other digital channels. If a team has not done so, there is a reason - please respect their time. Unsolicited pitches to volunteers via social media are likely to receive a cold response.

Keep It Genuine: Teams look for those in their community whose original, innovative work is worth amplifying. Work means work - something they are "shoulders deep" in making the idea happen. Be focused - a TEDx speaker is selected solely based on the idea they are putting into the world through their work, not based on a personal story.

Apply Once Per Event: Multiple nominations for the same individual won't positively influence the selection process. One heartfelt suggestion is all it takes!

FAQ: Speaking at TEDx

Can I pay to speak at a TEDx event?
No. TEDx does not allow speakers to pay or be charged in any manner, including production costs, recruiting sponsors, buying ticket blocks, or hiring coaches. Speakers give generously of their time, sharing their ideas to the world for free. That is enough!

Do I have to sign anything in order to speak at a TEDx event?
Yes. Every speaker is required to sign TED’s speaker release, which allows for the exclusive distribution of the particular recorded talk on TED’s digital channels, forever free to the world. Some events may also share their own speaker agreement, outlining rehearsal and preparation obligations. No financial agreements or transactions are ever required.

I am associated with a TEDx event’s sponsor. Can I speak at the event?
No. To ensure the authenticity, integrity and independence of the platform, representatives of TEDx event sponsors cannot be speakers at the event series they support.

I’m a volunteer for a TEDx event. Can I also be a speaker at the event?
No. Volunteers contribute immensely to the event's success, but to ensure a broad representation of ideas, they cannot be speakers for the same event they support. This would be a conflict of interest for an independent event.

Someone has offered to help me “land a TEDx talk” for a fee. Is this legitimate?
No. It’s flattering that such offers are made, and speaks to the power the volunteer community creates! However, any fee-based "TEDx service" is illegitimate, using the community's name without permission. Wherever transactions around presenting on a TEDx stage are discovered, related talks become ineligible for publication. After all, if an event’s stage isn’t independently curated, it isn’t TEDx!

Are there any direct financial benefits for TEDx speakers?
While TEDx does not pay speakers, many offer benefits like covering travel costs where necessary, and access to exclusive networking events. No fee is paid for speakers.

Can I speak at multiple TEDx events?
TEDx events focus on highlighting unheard voices from the community they serve, so speaking multiple times is rare. Duplicate talks will not be published. However, if speakers continue to do exciting new, original work, new ideas might emerge and, if so, they may be welcomed on another TEDx stage. Remember; TEDx is not a platform for professional or circuit speakers, such as motivational speakers and life coaches.

Will my TEDx talk be available online?
All talks uploaded via the TEDx YouTube channel, which adhere to the content and copyright guidelines, will be available on the channel.

If you are concerned that a service may be soliciting fees for speaking at TEDx, please email tedx@ted.com