TED2012

Questions about the TED Talk auditions? Read our FAQ

Last week we announced our first-ever video audition for TED. Make a one-minute application video to get started — video deadline is April 25, 2011, at 11:59pm Eastern. Finalists will be invited to our May 24 audition in New York City. (Get more details, and learn how to enter.) As the entries start coming in, TED’s Content Director, Kelly Stoetzel, answers some questions about the TED2012: Full Spectrum auditions.

Why are you holding this audition — what do you hope to find?
Two reasons, really. First, there are many remarkable ideas, stories and people out there that are pretty much undiscovered. We’re hopeful that this will lead us to some of them. Second, the theme for TED2012 is Full Spectrum. We’re planning to take the art of the spoken word a step further with some unique presentation styles. We’ve brainstormed a list of formats that we think may work well, but we’re also eager to learn about the innovative ways others want to share their ideas so they make the greatest impact on the audience.

What are some talks I could watch to get inspired to make my Full Spectrum audition video?
Larry Lessig does a beautiful job choreographing his spoken words perfectly with his slides. Rives does that too with his poem “Mixed Emoticons.”
Theo Jansen brings one of his gorgeous, lifelike sculptures with him onstage (along with a couple of other props) to show us how they work.
Sarah Kay (poet; watch her video above) and the LXD (dancers) both combine performance with speaking.
Clifford Stoll and Hans Rosling each just have a style that’s all their own.
Frans Lanting uses photographs with music in a unique story-of-life performance.
Ross Lovegrove sets his slideshow to a timer. His words are eloquent captions.

What if I can’t get to New York on May 24?
If you have a great idea, make a video anyway and enter. We’re watching all the videos that are submitted, and if we love your idea but you can’t get to New York, we’ll figure something out. One goal of this contest is to make the world aware of TED’s openness to seeing new speakers and new ideas, whether through the May 24 audition or anytime via our online Suggest-a-Speaker form. You’re always encouraged to dream up new ways to share your ideas with the world. We always review every submission that comes in, and if it looks like a great fit, we certainly won’t let it pass us by.

What are you looking for in an application video?
We are looking for people to explain their presentation ideas clearly and give us a sense of their passion and their speaking ability. All this in one minute or less.

Will you be able to give me feedback if I don’t become a finalist?
We probably won’t be able to give individual feedback, but we’re planning a blog post about what worked and what didn’t in a general sort of way.

Can I share my audition video publicly? How about after the May 9 notification deadline?
If you want to share it publicly at any point, go for it.

Will TED do auditions like this every year?
It’s hard to say just yet, but we’re very excited to see what comes out of this one.

Questions? Write to fullspectrum@ted.com, or post to the Full Spectrum open thread on TED Conversations >>