How To Speak At TEDx

I have done a lot of speaking engagements all over the world. Probably 200+ by now. And the event I have enjoyed speaking at the most, was TEDx Hoboken.

Mike Michalowicz, TEDx Hoboken

There is something special about TED. And there is something super special about TEDx. Maybe it is the quasi-rogue feel it has. Perhaps it is the eclectic topics that are presented. Or maybe it’s the fact that everyone attending is looking to stretch their mind. Regardless of what it is, I encourage you to speak at TED or TEDx.

There is no application to speak at TED or TEDx. You must be invited or recommended or found or all three.


Get Found

Here is how you get found:

Speak Elsewhere – TED doesn’t necessarily want professional speakers. But they do want people who have interesting, unique content. The only way they are going to find out about you, is if you are speaking about that unique thing elsewhere.

Mike Michalowicz Presenting at TEDx

Have A Blog – This is how I got invited. I have been blogging for over 5 years now, and the Organizer of the TEDx Hoboken event was a fan. She reached out to me and asked me to speak. Make sure you blog about your unique perspective on whatever it is you do

Have Videos – I have these too, and lot’s of them. Once my blog was discovered by the Organizer, her committee needed to vette me out so they checked out my videos. I have many videos from other speaking engagements, so that was ideal for them to get a sense for what I am all about.


Make Yourself Get Found

Another way of speaking at a TEDx event is to simply reach out to a TEDx Organizer and pitch yourself. In other words, be proactive getting yourself found. Here is how you do that:

1. Go to the TED site to list all upcoming TEDx events through out the world.

2. Click on the event(s) that you would want to speak at.

3. On the right side of the event page, you will see the Organizer and their contact information.

4. Reach on out to the Organizer and pitch yourself!

Here are the  instructions on what an Organizer expects from their speakers.

TEDx Hoboken at the close of the event


A Killer Speech

When you do get selected, you need to put on a killer presentation.  I rehearsed a lot for mine (and used a little memory trick), and I read a short little book that is probably the best book on the subject. I can’t speak more highly of it. Pick up a copy of:  How To Deliver A TED Talk by Jeremy Donovan.

Good luck!  I hope to see you speaking at the next TEDx event!

Mike Michalowicz thanking audience at TEDx event


5 thoughts on “How To Speak At TEDx”

  1. There are so many great TED talks. Instead of wasting students time watching movies in class, teachers should fire up a web browser or the TED app and expose the minds of our children with ideas and thoughts that may spark something spectacular.

    I enjoyed any of Bill Gates TED talks, Peter Diamandis and scores of others also make my list. Hey Mike, I guess I have to give your TED talk a listen!

  2. So funny, Mike! I actually picked up Donovan’s book about 6 months ago and quickly got sucked into it. It actually made me rethink how I approach presenting in general. I forget, is there video of this fine TEDx event yet?

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