Forget Your Bucket List: 3 reasons why you should stop waiting and give your TEDx talk.

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by: Marie Incontrera

Have you always wanted to give a TED talk?

A TED-style talk is a short talk about an idea. Most people want to give one - and with good reason. According to the New York Times, in the last three decades, TED talks have become cultural phenomenon and an increasingly important credential for those in business and entertainment.

Given the inherent social proof that becoming a TED-style speaker holds, giving one of these talks can be the highlight of your career. What’s more, is that if you have an idea, giving a TED-style talk is one of the best ways to get it out there into the world. You could write books, blog posts, and get endless media coverage about your idea, but all it takes is 18-minutes-or-less of you on that illustrious red circle to bring your idea to the next level. Because of the prestige that comes with it, most people I speak to tell me that giving their TED-style talk is a bucket list item - something that they reserve wistfully for one day.

Whether you're an artist, entrepreneur, CEO, or author (or all of the above, or none of the above) - if you work with ideas for a living, a TED-style talk is the best thing you can do for yourself. And the sooner, the better.

What makes a great idea?

According to the TED website

It can actually be one of two things:

  • Something that’s new and surprising; an idea or invention that your audience has never heard about. 

  • A great basic idea (that your audience has maybe already heard) with a compelling new argument behind it that challenges beliefs and perspectives.

In other words, an idea isn’t just a story or a list of facts. A good idea takes certain evidence or observations and draws a larger conclusion.

But how?!

I hear this one a lot. When we think of a TED talk, many of us have a viral talk given by a famous person in mind. I first heard of TED talks by listening to Simon Sinek's Start With WhyI was inspired, but it didn't seem like anything that might be possible for me. 

TED talks are for famous people, I thought. 

And if you're reading this, you're probably thinking that, too.

TEDx talks

The beauty of the TED-style talk is that anyone can have an idea with global impact. You don't have to be famous. You just have to be you, and you have to have a great idea.

TEDx talks are independently organized, TED-style conferences. Anyone can organize one - they follow the TED guidelines, and you get a beautifully produced video of your talk that goes up on the TEDx webpage - and it has the chance to get picked up by the TED webpage.

What's more, is that TEDx carries the same level of social gravitas as a TED talk. Being a TEDx speaker is the best thing that you can do for your idea. And, landing one is an accessible, doable endeavor, provided that you have a great idea. 

Here's why you should give a TEDx talk:

  • It positions you as an expertDoes a potential collaborator or client want to know more about what you do? Send them your talk. Even better: include it in your email signature and feature it on your LinkedIn profile. This way, when someone reaches out to you to work with you, they already see you as an expert and understand your idea.

  • It can double as your speaker reel. Doing a TEDx talk is an investment in your future. You won't get paid for it, but you will get a highly-produced, professional video of your talk. That alone is worth your investment.

  • The social proof alone can bring you more business. This one is my own experience: the same month that I did my TEDx talks, I saw a big increase in business. While I can't guarantee the same for you, it's been a big asset to my business. A big part of my business model involves TEDx, so it was vital that I do at least one. Everyone's experience is different, and everyone finds different value in having spoken at a TEDx. But the result that I hear most often is that having done a TEDx talk is one of the most valuable assets that a professional can have.

There's nothing special about me. I'm a 30-something entrepreneur living in New York. My higher education degrees are in music, and I enjoy exercise, reading, and gaming in my free time. If my ideas can make it to the TEDx stage, so can yours.

The world needs to hear your idea, so take giving a TED-style talk off your bucket list. The red circle awaits you.