TEDx Raleigh: a Peek Behind the Curtain

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There’s something extraordinary about TED. This nonprofit foundation has touched millions around the world with inspirational talks, spreading ideas that invite listeners to see the world in a new or different way. Chances are, you’ve been deeply affected by at least one TED talk. Try to imagine what it’s like to actually participate in a TEDx event!

I was recently honored to serve on the Speaker Selection Committee and be a speaker coach for the TEDxRaleigh event in North Carolina. Excited to have the chance to “peek behind the curtain” and explore what goes into producing this prestigious event, I had high expectations and was not disappointed. This experience turned out to be a game- changer- for me.

TEDx: It’s All About Integrity and Commitment

Why did this event make such an impact on me? To a great extent, it was the integrity, commitment and collaboration of everyone involved in producing the event. When you spend a significant amount of time working with people of integrity, it changes who you are. The 11 gifted speakers, the core planning team, each and every volunteer, indeed everyone involved this event believed in the mission of TED and demonstrated that commitment with hard work and accountability.

Kevin Snyder, the TEDxRaleigh curator and visionary, provided leadership that created a palatable excitement: almost 200 speaker applications were received for 10 talks, and the event tickets sold out in minutes.

The entire TEDxRaleigh team was committed to producing an event that would resonate with the hearts and minds of the audience. The members of the speaker selection committee realized that because we had to say “no thank you” to over 170 people who applied to speak, we had to ensure that the ones we chose would step it up. Speaker coaches put professional competition aside to work together and help our speakers rise to the occasion.

For the speakers that were selected, the opportunity to present at TEDxRaleigh motivated them to dig deep and bring their absolute best and boldest self forward. The event wasn’t a competition, it was an opportunity to shine as an individual and at the same time to watch, listen and learn from the other speakers and coaches. That meant hours of training, coaching and rehearsals, crafting and recrafting their message..

Snyder commented, “I have been involved with several TEDx events and I never experienced such a rigorous yet thoughtful and intentional speaker selection and development process. If the TEDxRaleigh talks were to be worthy of “ideas worth spreading” and viewed around the world, the presenters had to both share an incredible idea and curate a message containing a powerful call to action.”

Raleigh TEdx-ster Doug Stewart shared the following advice for future TEDx speakers: “Soak it in. Every second is an opportunity to change your life. And when your life changes, so do the lives around you.”

BRAVO TEDx Raleigh speakers for touching the lives of so many!

TEDx Raleigh: Speaker Preview

You can continue to share in my “behind the curtain” experience of TEDx Raleigh. Watch next month for “TEDx Secrets to Success for Every Speaker”.

Then each month we’ll share a TEDx Raleigh talk. From an 18-year-old high school senior to a research scientist at North Carolina State University, every presentation has an idea worth spreading.

If you are a Professionally Speaking blog subscriber you will receive an e-mail each time a TEDxRaleigh talk is posted. If not, be sure to sign up; you won’t want to miss this line-up of TEDx talks.

Stay tuned, the best is yet to come!