How to convey your ‘idea worth spreading’

Is doing a TEDx Talk on your bucket list, but are you unsure how to articulate your idea? If so, this blog post from Minnie von Mallinckrodt-Grant from our curation team will provide some handy hints and tips to help you bag a coveted place on our stage to showcase your idea to the world.

Think about the purpose of your TED Talk

Convey your one IDEA to the audience so it IMPACTS them to CHANGE their perception and encourages them to think/act DIFFERENTLY. Ultimately you want them to be compelled to TELL OTHERS your idea and SPREAD this new perception.

Focus on one idea

The premise of doing a TEDx Talk is to spread your idea, rather than you being the best speaker. Your ability to speak can be developed, but your unique idea has to come from YOU. We’re looking for original ideas – ones that explore subjects in a new light. In the past we’ve received many applications exploring multiple themes – sticking to one strong idea is best; if you have more than one, then choose that which you believe would have the most impact.

KISS – Keep It Simple Silly

It’s vital that you are true to your idea. From there you can develop a talk which will captivate, excite, entertain, educate and inspire or challenge the audience.

Your idea needs to be unique, or different, or something that hasn’t been discussed or explored, or your perception of that idea. It needs to open up people’s minds and get the cogs going. And hopefully raise debate!

Idea synopsis – titles

I’ve noticed that titles and ideas that are simple, direct, abstract or controversial grab my attention the most. Don’t try and be too clever with your titles. Yes, they need to grab attention, but they also need to be comprehensible. A simple statement using direct words works better than a cryptic or rhetorical statement in most cases.

Take a look at the website for how others have positioned their ideas. Whilst there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules, you’ll get the feel for what types of titles pique the audience’s interest.

Raise some eyebrows, but be mindful not to offend

Your expression of your idea should elicit a reaction that enables your message to be digested and discussed, so that it can become part of the wider social conversation. As a thought leader you can’t dampen your brilliance in order to be liked by everyone. Don’t be afraid to stick to your guns, even if it flies in the face of convention.

Yet, at the same time, be mindful that TED have rules around ideas that might offend a certain group of people or that are too political.

Need more advice? 

There is a fabulous video by the TEDx founder, Chris Anderson, which gives pointers for a great TED Talk. These are not formulaic but express the key success factors that help the speaker engage the audience and take them on a journey from current thinking to new enlightened thinking. Take a look here. 

We look forward to receiving your applications!

Details on how to apply = click here.