This is what I carry to and from work every day. Most of it rides in my pockets, but the big stuff goes in the bag. I’m thinking about adding a flashlight and some nicer travel-friendly headphones. Any other ideas?
Dispatches from TEDActive: Veteran TEDx organizers share advice on preparing speakers for the big day
TEDx'ers brainstorm at TEDActive. (Photo by Kris Krug)
This week, hundreds of new and veteran TEDx organizers have assembled at TEDActive for a week of collaboration, insight, and ideas worth spreading.
With all these TEDx'ers in one place, there’s an abundance of advice for new and prospective organizers being thrown around.
In an effort to share these insights with the world outside TEDActive, we’ve asked three experienced organizers one question: “What are the most important steps to preparing TEDx speakers for the stage?”
Below, key points from their advice:
From Mike Lungren of TEDxKC:
Tell your speakers from the get-go that they can’t give their usual, canned talk.
Never let them prepare like they’re giving a talk. Instead, make them think about it like they’re at a dinner party and telling the one story of the night that makes the whole table pause.
Tell them that when they step on stage they should feel comfortable to let a beat or two go by, take a breath, and anchor their feet before beginning.
Force your speakers to break from linear narratives. Just because their story starts in one place, doesn’t mean their talk should.
From Wardah Jamil of TEDxPhoenix:
Set key milestones for each speaker.
Ask for their full stories first, then push them to focus on the one or two most salient points.
Hold several rehearsals through video conference.
Get them on stage to rehearse at least once the day before the show.
Give every speaker a personal liaison dedicated to boosting their ego and calming their nerves.
Provide a green room with snacks, drinks, and access to their liaison. In other words, make them feel like real rock stars – confident and special.
From Ruth Milligan of TEDxColumbus:
Set a high standard for yourself. The event is ultimately your product and you should feel proud of the talks that you’re putting out.
From the beginning, establish that it’s going to be a fluid process – your speakers first draft will not be their last.
Use polite persistence. Stand for the quality that you expect from your speakers.
Get tough when you need to. Don’t be afraid of big egos. And be honest when you smell failure. If you feel that you need to cut a speaker, do it.
Record, transcribe, edit, repeat. Few people write like they speak and speakers that start by scripting will likely end up sounding unnatural on stage.
Go to where they are. In other words, guide speakers to their own deep insights. Don’t force them in a box of your design. Sometimes you’re a speaker coach and sometimes you’re a personal therapist.
When a speaker sounds too rehearsed, they’re not done rehearsing. Make them let go of their strict plan and rely on the fact that they understand their idea better than anyone else. And if they still don’t feel confident, make them fake it ‘til they make it.
Remember that no artist (or artist-type) will ever feel that their talk is done. You can only make them feel comfortable with an unfinished product.
Ace co-sponsored the TEDActive 2010 conference in Palm Springs, and this music video – sparked when The John Lennon Bus drove up to the conference and invited attendees to share their ideas about what the world needs. A host of musicians worked together to create the song, and the TEDActive community turned their ideas into illustrations, with help from artist Jansen Yee.
From baby to toddler -- the TEDx community matures, and continues to expand globally
When over 300 people gathered on Sunday, February 24th at the Merv Griffin estate for what is now the 4th TEDx Workshop at TEDActive, not only did TEDx Director Lara Stein take a look back at the program’s amazing 2012 milestones – the TEDxSummit gathering in Doha, over 5,000 TEDx events and over 200 TEDx Talks on TED.com – but forward with a global community that has quickly grown “from baby to toddler.”
Alli Magidsohn is the organizer of TEDxJaffa in Israel. This is her experience from Wednesday, February 29th at TEDActive.
Oh, you know, just another truly wonderful day at TEDActive…
At a party on one of the first nights I asked myself whether or not I should go to sleep, apparently out loud (huh?), because a gentleman nearby inquired, ‘FOMO?’
'FOMO?,’ I asked him.
'Yeah, FOMO – fear of missing out…’
I told that there was no FOMO in this little brain because it seems like every experience that needs to happen finds its own way into creation, everywhere all the time, but most particularly, here at TEDActive.
Time and again, the principle has been proven: spontaneous connections while washing hands in the bathroom, impromptu collective ukulele sing-alongs (complete with Whitney Houston tribute), essential human firepit communion, fully inspired picnic partners – not to mention the dude on the flying carpet…
In short, it’s been a radically good time so far…and today, leap day, was no different. My personal highlights have included:
Meeting someone who communicated that he was the mixture of cerulean blue and naples yellow
Hearing one man’s fascinating career narrative among the world’s leading tech companies.
Zucchini pasta? Zucchini pasta!
Meeting a yoga/energy educator who turned me onto a new poet that I’m very excited about, and giggling + feeling divine awe from two poems Matthew was gracious enough to recite
A dozen, or so, jumps on the trampoline
Enjoying June Cohen’s vibrance and wicked fashion sense
Feeling a swell of emotion from Frank Warren’s talk
The imperative to 'Take an active role in consciously creating memories’
Reggie Watts’ flowing freestyle remix gorgeousness
Drinkin’ some mighty fine whiskey and handing out flasks
A super cool dude’s recommendation of the tofu tacos at the Alibi Room in Culver City, CA
Learning about 'The Ministry of Awesome’ – a project that definitely lives up to its name
Having the opportunity to record a welcome/shout out for TEDxItaewon
Wondering why no one has made a gospel workout video yet
Meeting a gentleman whose social responsibility program has been to give away one tree for every 20 that he sold, and who, after being inspired by one of the sponsors, is rededicating his commitment and will now be giving away one tree for *each* new one sold!
Having the letters Y-E-S put on my forehead – just for a positive reminder, and smiles
Interacting, yet another day, with a bunch of super lovely souls
You know, at my very humble first TEDxJaffa event, one of the most stunning parts of the whole experience was that a number people who had paid to be there wrote me messages after the event, calling it a privilege to have participated. While flattered, honestly, I didn’t really understand what they meant. Afterall, they had paid to be there. But now I get it - experiences like these go beyond the logic of commerce.
So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those who’ve made this experience happen – all of you fellow TEDActivators, of course, but even moreso, the organizers and their extended staff for creating such an exceptional opportunity for us all. It’s been an absolute privilege to take part in the creation of this open, engaging, utopic space of connectedness. May we all carry it back into our daily lives, and force our co-workers, family and friends to ask themselves, even weeks later, 'Yo…what’s up with (insert your name here)’s super shiny eyes?’
On Sunday, February 26th, 250 TEDx event organizers arrived at the Living Desert in Palm Springs for a full day of learning, brainstorming and, of course, fun!
TEDx Director Lara Stein kicked off the day by thanking the amazing global community of Organizers for their work, and addressed TEDx projects of the future including the TEDxSummit, taking place in April in Doha, Qatar.
Hosting the event were TEDActive hosts Kelly and Rives, along with two interns: two university TEDx event organizers who were “shadowing” the pair for the day.
Twelve TEDx Organizers then took to the stage to present on the amazing innovations that they had executed through their events.
TEDxDU’s Carole Kitchell presented a “where are they now” of her speaker Aaron Huey, whose talk made it to TED.com.
Niki Siropoulou of TEDxAcademy in Greece spoke on branding and showed an animated step by step video.
TEDxEdmonton Organizer Ken Bautista presented on stage design.
Sarah Lewis of the Gates Foundation spoke on the goals of TEDxChange 2012.
Ruth Milligan is the organizer of TEDxColumbus and TEDxKids@NBCC, and spoke on her experience organizing an event for 5 – 8 year olds.
Diana Enriquez of TEDxYale addressed how to work with university administration.
Steve Garguilio of TEDxJNJ spoke on how he has structured corporate events globally at Johnson & Johnson.
TEDxRanier’s Phil Klein discussed the issue of structuring volunteer teams.
Ellen Cheng of TEDxFactory798 and XinXing Duan of TEDxNanjing – both in China – spoke on regional collaboration through social media.
At TEDxTokyo 2010, Hiroko Sumikura and her team uploaded videos from the event almost simultaneously, and she spoke to how exactly it was done.
Arthur Zards of TEDxNaperville showed images of amazing TEDx event badges from around the world, and emphasized their importance in fostering interaction between attendees.
After TEDx Organizer presentations, Head of Global Partnerships Ronda Carnegie presented on TED’s unique way of approaching partners, and took questions from the audience, as well as a few from the almost 100 TEDx'ers watching the workshop livestream.
TEDx at TEDActive Experiences #4: First experiences
Abhishek Suryawanshi is the organizer of TEDxPune in India. This is his experience from Tuesday, February 28th at TEDActive.
When two people come together and share ideas, something new generates. And that’s what happened on larger scale at TEDActive 2012: 250 TEDx Organizers from 41 countries, 30+ TEDTranslators and 500+ TEDsters met each other to share ideas and to learn from the ideas of the world’s remarkable speakers.
The first day of TEDActive experience cannot be described in one word, and can’t be expressed in form of essay or blog, it’s a “experience” worth having.
Its my first trip to United States, and outside of India too, and it’s to TEDActive!
As a TEDx Organizer, it was the ultimate opportunity to interact and socialize with other TEDx Organizers. Before the first session, we all gathered in the Club TEDx social space – where organizers from around the world represented their events and countries through posters, event collateral and more.
After Club TEDx, TEDYou started, and attendees from TEDActive 2012 got the chance to represent their ideas on the TEDActive stage.
The whole day was amazing, and filled with remarkable speakers and talks, and I am eager to get inspiration once again for when the talks make it to TED.com.
After presentations by TED staff and fellow Organizers, everyone dispersed to nine stations for brainstorming sessions on speaker training, PR and social media, university events, youth events, storytelling, sponsorships and more.
After two topic sessions, Organizers broke out into regional groups – Latin America, USA, Canada, Europe, Africa/Middle East and Asia/Australia/New Zealand – to connect on how to collaborate to address local issues.