Speaker Application



We HIGHLY suggest reading this page in its entirety before applying. Doing so may answer any questions you have and will also increase your chances of having a successful application. If you have an idea worth spreading, we’d love to hear from you! Updates about the application process are announced via social media accounts, as well as this website and through email.


This year’s theme is CHAOS. 


The deadline for submitting speaker applications is 11:59pm Eastern Time on Monday, July 22, 2019. 


We highly suggest submitting your application well before the deadline in case there are any issues, such as the application won’t upload. Once you click the SUBMIT APPLICATION button at the bottom of the application, you will receive an immediate on-screen confirmation that your application was received. If you do not receive the on-screen confirmation, please re-submit the application.




Do you have an idea worth spreading? If so, we’d like to hear from you.  TEDxHarrisburg 2019 takes place Sunday, October 13th. We welcome you to submit a speaker application, which will be reviewed for subject appropriateness, fit into our theme and presentation mix, and adherence to TED guidelines.


If you’d like to apply to speak at TEDxHarrisburg, fill out and submit the application at the bottom of this page by the deadline. As per TED rules, speakers are prohibited from promoting a company, product, organization, agenda, or themselves. Our Curation Committee will process all applications and select the ones that move on to Round 2.


If your application is selected to move on to Round 2, it does NOT mean you have been selected to speak. If you are selected to move on to Round 2, you are required to submit a 5-minute video of you giving a condensed version of your talk. This video is due within a week or so of your selection to Round 2. That is not a lot of time, so please keep this video in mind in case you are selected.


The purpose of the video is for our committee to get an understanding of your idea worth spreading. Don’t hold back! SPEAKERS ARE SELECTED FROM THE ROUND 2 VIDEOS & INTERVIEWS. The video will be judged on content and will NOT be judged on the video’s quality. You will be allowed to read from notes when doing the video. If you’re are chosen from the Round 2 videos, you’ll then have a brief interview with the TEDxHarrisburg Team from which you will be notified if you will be speaking at TEDxHarrisburg 2019!


A time commitment is involved for speakers. Speakers will need to be available in the weeks leading up to the event for occasional mentoring, script edits, and speaker coaching. SPEAKERS ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND A DRESS REHEARSAL at the venue the week before the event. On the day of the event, Sunday, October 13, 2019, speakers will need to be present at the venue before start time (Time to be decided and announced shortly). Please keep this in mind when deciding to apply.


Speakers will present on-stage to a live audience. There will be no podium.  Speakers cannot use notes. The talk must be completely memorized, as per TED rules. However, visual aides to enhance the talk can be used which will be projected onto a large screen behind the speaker. The presentation will be videotaped and uploaded to the TEDx YouTube site. Talks can be no longer than 18 minutes, and must follow established TED rules and guidelines.


The subject of a talk should integrate with the event theme, reflect well on innovative thinking, and have global appeal. Presentations, whether serious or light, factual or emotional, should communicate interesting ideas in a way that engages the audience and stimulates further discussion. Telling personal stories to set up an idea, and the use of humor, are oftentimes helpful.


Due to time constraints, TEDxHarrisburg can only select about 6-9 speakers. We look for our speaker lineup to have a wide variety of categories (technology, science, art, education, etc.). This means that we can only select 1 or 2 speakers in a particular category. It can be a case where someone can apply, be a dynamic speaker with a great idea, but they don’t get chosen to speak. Why? It can be that another speaker is chosen instead because their topic applies more to the theme or whose idea resonates to a broader audience. Just because an applicant isn’t chosen for TEDxHarrisburg doesn’t mean their idea isn’t TEDx worthy. Keep in mind that your topic may resonate with other TEDx events. We would encourage you to apply to other TEDx events if you are not chosen to speak at TEDxHarrisburg.


NOTE:  If you are from outside the area and get selected to speak, you are responsible for your own travel expenses. Speakers do NOT get paid.


Each TEDx event has different speaker selection criteria, depending on their curation strategy. At TEDxHarrisburg, there are many factors that go into selecting a speaker. At the heart of every great TED or TEDx talk is an “idea worth spreading”, which is TED’s slogan. Therefore, the main factor that we look for is a dynamic idea worth spreading that is unique and has mass appeal. To help you in the application process, please review the following information.


Successful applications have the following:

  1. A message that has an “idea worth spreading”
  2. An idea that is universal and can apply to all audience members
  3. An idea that is unique
  4. A message that will prompt people into action that will change their mindset, themselves, their community, or their world


Unsuccessful applications have the following:

  1. A personal story that, although is interesting, won’t prompt an action or foster an idea
  2. A message that is promoting a person, business, or cause. As per TED rules, speakers are prohibited from promoting a company, product, organization, agenda, or themselves.
  3. An idea that isn’t unique
  4. A message that does not contain an idea worth spreading
  5. A message that is too broad and doesn’t focus on one idea



If you have any questions, please email us at TEDxHarrisburg@gmail.com

  • Provide information related to past speaking engagements if possible or attach a copy of the speaker's resume/CV in the field below.
  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, docx, txt, pptx.
  • Presentation Topic

    Please provide information related to the Presentation Topic
  • Cut/Paste your Presentation Abstract here OR attach a supporting document in the field below.
  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, docx, txt, pptx.
  • If you have a video example/slide share/youtube channel related to this presentation or other presentations you've given enter the URL here.
  • Feel free to ask questions - we'll follow up with you ASAP.

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