TED is an organization dedicated to sharing the best thinkers and presenters of our time. Their speakers demonstrate excellent speaking skills and thought provoking information.
TED’s format may be different than what many speakers are accustomed to. (Long talks, podiums and readings are discouraged by TED.) To get the best out of your speakers, prepare them for what to expect. These are excellent tips for you to use when organizing a conference. As a speaker, you can gleen many good ideas on how you should prepare each talk you deliver.
How to prepare your speakers:
- Talk to every speaker (by phone or in person) weeks, if not months, before the event. Make sure they understand the format, and know who their audience is.
- From the earliest conversation, reinforce key points: Their talk should be directed at a smart general audience. (Avoid industry jargon.) It should focus on one unique aspect of their story. (Don’t try to cover too much.) It should not be a sales pitch. (Absolutely no corporate plugs.)
- Have your speakers send you their presentation two weeks before the event so you can review it and make suggestions.
- Regroup with all of your speakers on the day of the event to refresh them. If possible, offer them rehearsal time before the actual event begins.
- Repeatedly reinforce the fact that they will be held to a strict time limit; encourage rehearsal.
- Make sure they sign the speaker release form. Each speaker must affirm that they are the sole author of their presentation, that they own all rights to the content in their presentation, that they will inform you about any third-party material in their presentation, and that use of their presentation won’t violate the rights of any third party.
What speakers need to know
- At the event: They will sit in the audience and enter the stage from the audience. They are encouraged to stay for the whole event, and to mingle during breaks.
- During the talk: The talk must not go over the allotted time. Let them know how you’ll cue them when their time has run out.
- After the talk: They are expected to remain at the event throughout the day; at minimum, they’re expected to stay through the conversation break following their talk, so attendees can approach them and ask questions.
This original document can be found at http://www.ted.com/pages/view/id/360
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