At TEDxTUM, we believe in the power of ideas worth spreading. Join us and give your idea a voice!
For each event, we assemble our lineup from an ever-growing pool of ideas. You can become part of this idea pool yourself! This does not necessarily mean that you will speak at our next event, but our team might reach out when we think that your idea can find its place in the next lineup.
Please read the information below before you apply—it will help you prepare your application so that our team can consider it.
Things you need to know about TEDx talks
A TEDx talk is a short, intense talk, given live with no notes and no podium, that has a powerful idea at its core—an “idea worth spreading.” It is given at a TEDx event: a local, volunteer-run initiative that brings people together to share a TED-like experience.
After it is delivered to the local community, a TEDx talk is featured on the TEDx YouTube channel, which has over 20 million subscribers. This means that not only is each TEDx talk seen by the local, live audience, but also brought before a global audience. In addition, some of these talks are selected by the TED team to be included in their community newsletters or featured on TED.com.
What makes an idea suitable for the TEDxTUM stage?
Great ideas are not only worth sharing, but have the strength to create a lasting impact. They might alter the audience’s current perspective, or even open them up to a completely new way of thinking. We’ve provided a short list to give you a hint of which ideas are worth spreading and which may not fit our stage.
Good ideas for TEDxTUM
Groundbreaking and novel
Controversial, challenging and backed by empirical evidence
Makes the complex comprehensible to a broader audience
Invites to rethink a common perspective
Speaks of failure as well as success
Presented with authenticity by a genuine speaker who aims to give the talk of their life
Not-so-good ideas for TEDxTUM
Sales pitch of a company or product
Has a person/the speaker at the center instead of an idea
Purely motivational talks
Fundraising or crowdfunding pleas
Ideas that have been covered many times before (especially on other TEDx stages)
Wrapping this idea into a talk
There is no set formula for a great talk—which is also what makes every TEDx talk so unique. If you’re unsure how your idea could be wrapped into a talk, you can jump start your creativity and fuel your inspiration with the types of talks below.
The BIG idea
These talks focus on one or two very strong points, which are central to the core of the message the speaker aims to convey.
At the moment, TEDxTUM is not accepting speaker applications for our upcoming main event, since our lineup has already been fixed. However, we are always looking for interesting ideas from the local community! We are more than happy to add you to our existing idea pool and contact you at a later point.
Send us your application
Please use the contact form to send us an email answering all of the following points:
Introduce yourself (Who are you? What do you do? If we were to introduce you on stage, what would we say?).
Let us know more about you (Provide a link to your LinkedIn profile, blog, website, CV, or anything you would like to share with us).
Your idea – short and sweet (Put the core of your idea in 280 characters or less).
Why does this idea matter to you personally?
What are the potential implications of (people not knowing about) the idea? Why should people learn about it?
What is controversial about the idea? What are common misconceptions? Who would disagree with you and why?
Do you have previous public speaking experience? If yes, briefly tell us about this experience (Include links where possible. You can also include a video of you speaking about the idea if you’d like).
Is there anything else we should know?
Please make sure you answer all points, in order. We recommend to paste the questions into the email so that our team knows which one each answer refers to.
What if I am selected as a speaker? The road to the red circle
Even if you are an experienced speaker, a TEDx talk is a new kind of challenge. But don’t worry, you are not on your own: our curation team will work closely with you and make sure you are ready, just like we do with all speakers in our lineup. A TEDx talk requires extensive preparation, regular coaching, rehearsals and refinements so that when the day comes you are more than ready to deliver a powerful talk. Who knows? There might be a standing ovation at the end of this journey. Below is a small preview of how we will work together.
1. You develop your idea with our help until it takes on its most intense shape. This involves multiple discussions with our curation team and the iterative refinement of talk content and structure.
2. You design your talk and its supporting materials. After the core idea is there, we wrap it into a talk. We start working on supporting material (pictures, props, slides) only once the story is polished to make sure they don’t distract from the idea itself.
3. Practice makes perfect. You will have multiple rehearsals with our curation team so that you are prepared for anything. On the day of the event, you will be ready to give the best, most authentic talk of your life.