7 Ways to Land Your First TEDx Talk & Rock It!

We all think how it would be to give an inspirational speech in front of hundreds of people. Most people cringe at the thought of standing on that stage, all eyes on them. But the truth is, speaking publicly is good for you.

According to National Institute of Mental Health,  74% of people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of dying. Makes you think. What’s so scary about speaking in front of total strangers.

I did my first TEDx talk in 2013 and it was an emotional roller coster. From the initial invite email, to me getting on stage, I was nervous wreck.

TED is a global brand that can have many benefits for your brand. It is an awesome conversation starter and it’s great when people randomly show your talk at events and gathering. My TEDx Talk: How To Find Your Passion and Inner Awesome has over 2 million views on Youtube and drives a lot of traffic to my website.

I also get a lot of consulting opportunities from people who have viewed the talk and want to start their own business or just need life advice.

But how does one land a TEDx gig? I have put together a list of 7 ways to increase your chances of landing a TEDx talk and rocking the stage.

1. Speak at other events.

The organizers who put on TEDx events want their events to be top notch. So they want dynamic speakers with captivating messages. If you have spoken at other events, it’s an added bonus.

I got discovered by someone from TEDx MMU (Multi Media University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) while speaking at another event called Incitement. The TEDx organizer reached out to me after my talk and said “Mr. Hennie I loved your talk, would you like to speak at TEDx”. I immediately said yes. I had no idea what I was going to talk about, but knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

2. Make a list of all the TEDx events in your area and contact them.

Go to Ted.com/tedx and search for TEDx events close to you. Search your city and you will see the all the upcoming, unscheduled, and past event.

Look at the upcoming events. When you click on one you will get that individual TEDx event’s website. Find the coordinator’s contact and shoot them an email. Use this template below if you can’t think of what to write.

Hello [Name or Event Name]

My name is [Name] and I came across your TEDx event. It looks like it is shaping up to be great.

I love the theme (most events have a central theme). I wanted to know, is your line up complete? I would love to speak at the event and deliver an inspirational talk on [The theme].

Here are some examples of my past speeches and presentations [link to the presentation].

I also blog here (if you blog) [blog/website link].

Look forward to talking with you.



3. Organize your talk in a digestible way.

Some people have great content but it doesn’t connect with their audience. One sure fire way to do this is to organize your talk in list format.

When I gave my talk I made it relatable and digestible. I gave the audience 10 commandments they could always refer back to. The result?

People actually took the time out to recap the entire video.

People send me personal messages all the time quoting the “10 awesomeness commandments”.

4. Optimize your title for clicks and search engines.

You can drop the jaws of everyone when you give your talk. But truth is, if this is your first talk people aren’t coming to see you. They are coming to the event. So don’t think you will go “viral” off the talk alone. TED’s platform and 1 million subscriber YouTube channel is going to make you go viral. People will search for motivational talks on Youtube and Google. Optimize for it.

Your title should be interesting and have good keywords. Make people want to click on it. I targeted inner awesomeness, awesomeness, find your passion.

I am on the front page with Zen Habits, Psychology Today, Wikihow, Slide Share, and a popular blog called Paid To Exist.

Not bad at all.

5. Make sure there are NO mistakes. Submit your own edits.

When my talk came out I had them release it to me privately so I could make corrections. There were MANY technical difficulties that really messed up the flow of my presentation. My fiancée made very detailed notes and the TEDx team edited it accordingly.

You can see during my presentation where the projector screen goes blank.

Remember, this is your brand. Once it is up it will be there forever. DO NOT let them release crap. It’s your brand so you must make sure it’s represented in the best light.

6. You have to be your own marketing team.

When the was perfect I let them post it on their youtube channel. Then I went into marketing mode. I made a dedicated page to promote the presentation to my social networks. I targeted it for key words also. I also added a bunch of social elements to it so it could be shared.

Then I shared it on a bunch of social networking & bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, Facebook, and Twitter. This resulting in thousands of views.

Reply to all the comments you can. If you get 700 comments try your best to reply to them all. If they say “Awesome Talk” reply and acknowledge them. Give them a call to action and way to contact you. My general reply would usually be “Thanks a lot! Connect with me @EugeneHennie”.

My Facebook likes, Twitter followers, and website traffic have increased as a result of replying to comments.

7. Do more!

Yep, the ride isn’t over after you do one. If one of your talks get 100s of thousands of views why not do 2 or 3? It does wonders for your brand. Being on TEDx already boosts your name, so having a couple cool ones really puts you in rock star stratosphere. I am looking to do a couple on entrepreneurship or personal growth.

Try other growing platforms too. Ignite, Incitement, etc. All are great ways to get out there. If your talk is good, it will be shared.

So do you have a cool talk? Share it below. I would love to check it out.

5 thoughts on “7 Ways to Land Your First TEDx Talk & Rock It!”

  1. Eugene,
    This is a killer post. Thanks putting it together, I found it very useful!

    I look forward to reading more of your stuff. Keep putting out quality content.

    Kind regards,

    Ludvig Sunström


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