TEDxMemphis 2021 Speaker Application

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Application Deadline: June 15, 2021 at 11:59pm

Share Your Idea

TEDxMemphis strives to program a conference each year with talks that represent the most innovative ideas coming out of Memphis. We want our next conference to be full of engaging, dynamic, thought-provoking TED talks. Whether a simple idea or a complex issue, great TED talks start conversations. When people describe TED Talks you’ll hear words like “surprising,” “inspirational,” “provocative,” or “illuminating.” Thank you for your interest in being a part!


TED Talks are required to be shorter than 18 minutes, and we hope to have Talks of varying lengths, tones, and topics. Some of the most compelling TED Talks are just a few minutes long while driving interest and engagement from the audience. 

TEDxMemphis Conference Details
WHEN: October 30, 2021
WHERE: Levitt Shell
THEME: Ctrl+Alt+Delete

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged, and today covers almost all topics – from science to business to global issues – in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx

program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)


About TEDxMemphis

TEDxMemphis launched in 2015 to bring local ideas to the global TED stage. For each annual conference, we choose a roster of speakers to share TED talks with a Memphis audience, while professionally filming those talks to distribute locally and throughout the TED network.

2021 Theme: Ctrl+Alt+Delete

TEDxMemphis is pleased to announce that are 2021 theme will be Ctrl+Alt+Delete. It’s a simple computer function most of us are familiar with. One that helps us reset our desktops and start fresh. What if you could take that same concept, but apply it to ideas? The thoughts we have help direct the course of our lives and TEDxMemphis Ctrl+Alt+Delete is here to help you reset the way you think! 

Have Questions? Need Help?

If you need further direction or have questions about TEDxMemphis, contact Nora Murray at nora@newmemphis.org. You can also visit our website to watch TEDxMemphis talks from previous conferences. 
Let's Get Started!

Tell Us About You

Sometimes it's about your credentials, sometimes not! What is it about your background or experience that connects you to this topic and makes you the right person to speak about it?

What often makes TED Talks most engaging is seeing the speaker give you a peak behind the curtain into why they're talking about what they're talking about. 

The Basics

Let's Make a Connection
We want to get to know you a bit better! While not a main part of the criteria to be selected, the links below may help us better understand who you are and why you're the right person for your talk. (If selected, they also help us to better promo you as a speaker prior to the Conference!)

We believe it's important to have speakers representative of many different races, ethnicities, genders, ages, and backgrounds. However, we understand that this information can be sensitive and wished to be kept private. If you prefer not to answer, please select that option from the dropdown menus. 

Tell Us About Your TED Talk

TED Talks are not presentations about your work or organization -- they are idea-driven talks with broad application (beyond a local audience). When telling us about your talk, start with what your exciting idea is, then explain how you will share that idea from the stage. 

An easy way to think about framing your idea is to simply start with "What if?" or "What happens when?" Whatever your idea, make it simple and clear. Avoid technical terms and jargon. Your idea needs to be understood by anyone and should be the driving force behind your talk.

What Are We Looking For?

  1. A new, crystal-clear, and singular idea
  2. An engaging focus that addresses a topic of acute interest
  3. A delivery-style that shifts perspectives for the audience and gives them an "aha!" moment
  4. An idea that has a broader application than just to the speaker's life or situation

The Programming
During each TEDxMemphis event, it's important to get a good mix of ideas, topic areas, tones, and lengths of Talks. Tell us what you envision for your Talk! If you're unsure at this time, don't worry! If selected, adjustments can happen as you draft your Talk and as we work through the editing process.

The Title
Starting with a title is a great way to clarify the core idea within your talk. You don't have to get the title perfect, we just want to see how you would summarize your talk. Feel free to submit a few options! Also, don't worry, if you end up getting selected, this title can absolutely be changed down the road.

The Idea
Tell us a little more about your idea! This will help us in the selection process.

Speaker Expectations

Being a speaker for TEDxMemphis is a commitment. You are required to be responsive and provide talk outlines, slides, and other information needed for the TEDxMemphis production in a timely manner. You're also expected to work with speaker coaches and the TEDxMemphis team to modify your talk to optimize impact according and at the pace you agree to them. You must be present for a 60-minute dress rehearsal, during the full TEDxMemphis Conference, and preferably at the speaker preview event.

If these expectations are not met, the TEDxMemphis team reserves the right to pull your talk from the lineup.

Speaker Commitments

The Fine Print