What does it take to become a speaker or performer at TEDxToronto? 5 Tips on submitting a strong nomination


At TEDxToronto, we open our talent search to the entire Toronto community, in the hopes of giving a voice to the inspiring change-makers throughout our city. We welcome nominations for speakers and performers of any age, professional background, or personal interest mission – people with ideas worth spreading.

The TEDxToronto community nominations are open until May 8th (click here to submit), and we expect a list of 1,000 submissions – eventually culled down to 12 chosen speakers and 3-4 performers. Never given a talk before? We’ve got it covered. Selected speakers or performers at TEDxToronto are each assigned a professional coach, who will work closely with them to prepare and develop their talk or performance. All the speakers, performers and coaches volunteer their time over the span of five months to ensure a memorable and impactful experience on conference day.So, how do we begin choosing individuals for the TEDxToronto stage? Here are the top 5 tips for a strong speaker or performer nomination:1. What is the big idea?At TEDxToronto, like its parent TED, speakers are selected for their “Ideas Worth Spreading”. If you think your idea is new, make sure it hasn’t already been shared – especially at another TED or TEDx conference. Most importantly, make sure the nominee’s message is one that will make the audience wonder, one that will inspire, and one that will make them continue the conversation.2. Connect the T-Dot.At TEDxToronto, our mandate is to shine a light on our great city; therefore, we look for speakers or performers with some kind of Toronto-connection. This doesn't mean every speaker has to call Toronto their home, but there should be some point of contact or intersection with our city. Make sure you bring that connection to life in your nomination.3. Think Local, Act Global.Yes, we want the speaker to connect to Toronto, but the ideas should have global significance. Although the idea may have been generated locally, the idea should be applicable to the broader global community.4. The right fitIs your nominee the right person to share this big idea? Think about why you or the person you are nominating should take the stage to convey their message, and whether they are the best ambassador for that topic or idea. 5. Sell your idea, not your product.We often receive nominations from talented individuals looking to promote or sell their book, business or service. The TEDxToronto stage is not an opportunity for self promotion, but a platform for exceptional ideas and a catalyst for profound change.There you have it: 5 Tips to help you make the most of your nomination! We sincerely appreciate the time, effort and thought that goes into each submission – and we look forward to revealing our lineup of speakers later on this summer!Stay updated on all our announcements by following us on Twitter (@TEDxToronto), Facebook (TEDxToronto), and Instagram (@TEDxToronto) – or sign up here to receive e-mails from us directly.Nick Kindler was the Director of Programming for the 2016 TEDxToronto conference, and is one of Canada's most sought-after speaker coaches. Nick is currently the co-founder of Talk Boutique, specializing in speaker representation and coaching.

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