Within the past few weeks, you may have received an email from us saying that you have been nominated by one of your buckeye admirers—someone who values YOUR idea as one worth spreading. After a second of thought, you decided to give it a try. What comes next? What should you include in the application? Are you really qualified to be a speaker on the stage of TEDxOhioStateUniversity? How do you even articulate your idea into a ten minute talk?!

Relax, you’re not alone.

Many potential applicants, like you, have a number of questions when it comes to our speaker application and coaching process. Some of you may have come to our speaker information session last Friday to learn more. No worries if you didn’t make it, this article will reveal some of the secrets that will guide you through the journey of becoming a speaker for TEDxOhioStateUniversity!

Keep in mind that we care about your ideas more than anything else. Don’t worry if your idea is not fully developed yet, that’s where the TEDxOhioStateUniversity content committee will come in. If you are selected, you will be assigned a personal coach to work with who will work with you to give a well-presented talk. Your idea might be very closely related to our theme “Hide or Seek,” or it might only touch on how that theme manifests itself within you. Remember that a direct translation of this theme may undermine the creative nature of your ideas, so be cautious about it! Make sure you clearly state your idea in the application—it can be either new in nature or offering fresh perspectives. Try to challenge the audience with your ideas and experiences, initiating discussions or leading to actions. If your idea is genuine, innovative, and engaging, you are well on your way to being selected as one of our speakers!

So you were selected as a speaker… what’s next? After being notified of your acceptance, you will be exposed to new and different perspectives from your fellow speakers and our undergraduate coaches. Our training curriculum is developed specifically for coaching TEDxOhioStateUniversity speakers, an “organic process” according to content committee co-director Jessie Mongilio. This process evolves from speaker-coach relationships. By the time February rolls around, you will be well prepared through individual and joint coaching sessions to give a mind-blowing talk in front of the audience! Wondering what this speaker-coach relationships look like? Here is what our coaches have to say about some of their past experiences:

“My big coaching moment was when I met Dr. Rustin Moore's two dogs, Travis Lincoln and Teddy Luther. I had spent so much time talking about the positive influences that a pet can have while developing Dr. Moore's talk and seeing his inspiration was really exciting!” – Sarah Beadle

“When I coached Paul Sutter, he took me to a dance studio to watch the Seven Dance Company practice their pieces for the performance, Song of the Stars that Paul narrated. I was able to see firsthand the dances he spoke of in his TEDx talk. It enhanced my understanding of his idea and opened my eyes as to how people can learn about science through many different mediums.” – Sierra Nave

If you would like to learn more about the process, we will be hosting a final speaker and performer information session on October 10th in Mendenhall Lab, Room 115 from 5:30-6:30pm. We hope to see you there!

If you’re ready to apply, even better! Be sure to shoot us your application by October 27th and share your idea worth spreading with our TEDxOhioStateUniversity community!

-Yifan Xu