How to Land a Ted Talk

August 20, 2021

How to Land a Ted Talk: Get Public Speaking Engagements like a Pro

Every piece of content you create for online consumption is a part of your digital blueprint; your online portfolio that your audience knows you by. Every blog post, podcast, and video is important in building this constellation because, together they are your Author Brand! It is also how you will gain more public speaking opportunities, as others become more familiar and comfortable with your voice and personality.

Getting to the TED stage is a huge dream of so many authors, so let’s first go over the differences between TEDx Talk and TEDTalk. A TED Talk is typically only given at a TED conference or TEDGlobal conference, whereas a TEDx Talk is an independently organized and sponsored conference (sometimes seen at a collegiate level or venue). TEDx events are put on by anyone who has a license from TED and follows the guidelines of TED. These talks are also unpaid.

While there are pros and cons to each for authors, either stage is highly respected. The TEDx platform will inevitably help an author build their local following, and it gets a foot in the door to the TED community as a whole- who is filled with opportunities to network!

How to Land a TED Talk

Start working on the TEDx stage first, and work on your reputation within the TED community for a while. You will get more “bang for your buck” once you do get to the big stage this way, too.

Become familiar with other TEDx talks, and speakers. Watch performances from other leaders in your niche, network with those that have given talks, and learn about their experiences without any expectation of “getting something” out of the meeting. Better yet, offer something that they might enjoy or get use out of!

Network with as many TEDx-connected individuals as possible, through LinkedIn messages, email, website inquiry…eavesdropping! Just kidding, but get creative with it, and get your name out there- a LOT.

Build your portfolio. This seems obvious, but even if you’re a stellar speaker, you need to be exercising those public speaking muscles. Of course, TED wants regular people, with “Ideas Worth Sharing,” but they also want good speakers. They say “practice makes perfect” and we challenge that. Practice makes it permanent. Make sure you’re practicing the right way, and even better next time! There’s always room for improvement.

Create your talk (and your TED pitch!). You know what else they say? “It’s not luck, it’s when preparation and opportunity meet”. Come up with something exciting- bold. Take advantage of this time, and bounce it off of smart people who will give you real, constructive feedback. The last thing you want to do is land the TED Talk, and the talk not be everything you had imagined it had been. Prepare now.

Pitch your TED Talk to all those people you’ve built connections with via LinkedIn, email, etc. after it’s been thoroughly reviewed. Get it out there in the press that you’re ready for the big red spot carpet.

For extra guidance, whether it’s with press releases, building your brand, or learning about the landscape of social media, contact Jenn or Melanie here at Elite Online Publishing. You can also visit our Services tab, to see how Audiobooks, Graphic Design / marketing materials, and a stunning Author Website can all get you ten steps closer to landing a TED Talk.

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