Speaker release is only a week away! As our team works diligently to design and market our event, we thought it would be helpful to share our process of selecting speakers. This year’s event, Precipice, features nine speakers and three performers. Read on to learn more about how we select our speakers and what the coaching process looks like up until their talks at the main event.

To select speakers for our main event in March, we first reviewed applicant's responses to our online application. Members of our executive board and content committee then select speakers to invite to a workshop based on their ideas. If an application has a well-developed and innovative idea, they will be contacted to sign up for a workshop. Workshops are a space where we are able to meet applicants, hear more about their idea, and ask them questions about their experiences, research, and thought process. Following workshops, the content committee and executive board deliberate to select the speaker line up. The speakers then work for months with their individual coaches to prepare for the main event. There are around 6-8 in-person or phone coaching sessions throughout the period before the event, however, the coach is available to correspond anytime the Speaker has a question. The first coaching session usually involves trying to create a rough outline of the talk and find a starting point. In the next sessions, the main work is to fill in the blanks and formulate what the Speaker wishes to say in their allotted time. The job of the coach is to give suggestions if needed but mostly guide the Speaker in creating the talk centered around their idea by sticking to TED guidelines and giving feedback to the Speaker. An additional task is to create a slideshow that corresponds with the talk. Often this is an in-depth process as the pictures and slides must correlate well with the talk but also be aesthetically pleasing, powerful, and informative. A lot of the time the slideshow will change as the talk evolves. Most of all, the coach is a liaison between the Speaker and the organization so he or she is in charge of relaying information to the Speaker and keeping them aware of dates and deadlines. By the end of the process, the coaches have the opportunity to create a lasting bond with some amazing Ohio State affiliates and see their Speaker go from an outline to giving a TEDx talk on the main event stage.

In the meantime, join us for our next satellite event: Sustainable Revision, from 5-7pm in 220 Sullivant Hall on February 3rd. See the event page here.