Speaker Requirements

Please note: The speaker application period for 2022 is now closed. 

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

The theme for TEDxQuincyStudio is Building Blocks

Please note, TEDxQuincy hopes to assemble a diverse and interesting line-up of speakers. We have had many letters of interest from folks wanting to speak on self-improvement or personal storytelling topics, often from people looking to promote their consulting or speaking businesses. Per TEDx Guidelines: Speakers should not promote their own products, books, or businesses or those of a company which employs them.

While we will accept applications on any topic, please do take time to reflect on the purpose of TEDx events and our theme of Building Blocks and make a connection to that theme in your application.

Topic Ideas!

Some topics that our committee listed as interesting in our brainstorming session are below. This is not a definitive list of topics, rather we imagined it would be helpful for potential speakers to see the committee’s early thinking! All ideas are welcome! 

  • Agriculture/Ag Science
  • Education
  • Environment/Watershed Management/Working with the Mississippi
  • Earth Science of the Mississippi Valley Region (earthquake/flood management, for example)
  • Medical Technology/Rare Diseases/Emerging Threats
  • Diversity and/or Equality
  • Psychology or Sociology
  • Global Issues/Business and Work
  • Culture and Community Development
  • Arts + Economies
  • Interesting Take on a Common Issue

Speaker Guidelines from TEDx

  • Selection: TEDx Organizers are responsible for procuring and handling their own speakers. TED staff do not help identify or secure speakers.
  • Event organizers: Organizers cannot be speakers at events to which they contribute.
  • Payment: TEDx events may never pay speakers. No one can pay to be included in the program. Speakers at your event cannot sponsor any part of your event, in-kind or otherwise.
  • Sponsors: Sponsors of your event cannot be speakers and can never present from the stage. See Sponsorship rules.
  • Duration: No talk can exceed 18 minutes in length. TEDxQuincy requires lengths to fall between 5 minutes and 18 minutes and suggests 10-12 minutes as a nice length.
  • Presentations: Every talk’s content must be in compliance with copyright law. Speakers must inform you beforehand of any third-party material that will be used in their presentations and seek written permissions to copyrighted materials when applicable. TED cannot assist with this process or act as a consultant on individual cases.
  • Speaker waiver: All of your speakers, performers and other stage presenters must sign this permission release form, giving TED and others the right to edit and distribute video of their presentation. Please keep for your records, and send to TED only upon request.
  • Filming: Every talk must be filmed and uploaded to the TEDxTalks YouTube channel (see Video rules). If the talk falls outside the content guidelines, organizers may withhold the talk. If an organizer chooses to withhold a talk, they are fully responsible for informing TED staff and then for communicating the reasoning of their actions to the speakers.
  • Content: If talks break the Content Guidelines, we reserve the right to insist on their removal from TEDx branded distribution outlets, and license renewal is unlikely.
  • No commercial agenda. Speakers should not promote their own products, books, or businesses or those of a company which employs them. The only exception is where they have specifically been invited to give a powerful product demo, or to describe the ideas in their book, and here the focus should still be on the technology and/or the ideas.
  • Avoid pseudoscience. TED and TEDx are platforms for showcasing and explaining genuine advances in science, and it’s important we retain the respect of the scientific community. Speakers should avoid the misuse of scientific language to make unsubstantiated claims.
  • No talks with an inflammatory political or religious agenda, nor for polarizing “us vs them” language. We seek to build consensus and provide outside-the-box thinking, not to revisit familiar, unresolvable disputes on these topics.
  • Speaker products: Speakers’ books can be part of the selection at a TEDx event bookstore, but they cannot sell books or other items individually.
  • Book signings: Speakers at TEDx events can sign their books, but only as part of a larger book sale, and bookstore presence.
  • Format: Modeled after the TED format, TEDx events are a suite of short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations and performances on a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration and wonder — and to provoke conversations that matter. The typical presentation should be an up to 18-minute talk by a single presenter, and you may not pay your speakers to present. No panels or Q&As with audience are permitted as part of mainstage programming. Breakouts and workshops are permitted at TEDx events, but must be held during the breaks and on an opt-in basis (i.e. not required).
  • Multi topical and multidisciplinary: TEDx event themes should be multidisciplinary and broad. TEDx events must feature a diversity of speakers from across several disciplines that address a variety of topics. These topics should not fall under a single subject.
  • Recording content: TEDxQuincy must record all original stage content (live talks, performances, etc.) on video. After the event, we will make this video accessible to TED and the public via the TEDx YouTube channel by uploading to the TED Media Uploader. Talks from Internal TEDx events should not be uploaded to the TEDx YouTube channel or be distributed publicly.
  • Editorial control: Sponsors have no editorial control or veto power over your program.
  • The stage: Sponsors may not present from the stage. No one can pay to be included in the program. Sponsor logos cannot be displayed on a TEDx stage.