A last-minute Halloween costume: Be a TED speaker

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IMG_9944If you’re trick-or-treating tonight but you haven’t thought about a costume yet — and you have 20 minutes to run to the dollar store — a modest suggestion: be a TED Talks speaker.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pack of fuzzy pipe cleaners
  • 1 pack of pompoms or small foam balls
  • 1 sealed pack of 4×6″ index cards
  • 1 large piece of black paper (or a black paper napkin)
  • 1 pack of craft foam sheets or stickers
  • tape and/or glue
  • Bright-colored outfit (no black, please)
  • For ladies, try a statement necklace. No dangly earrings.

To make the headset mic:

  1. Choose a large pompom or foam ball and affix it to the end of a pipe cleaner. Use glue if you have it, or just poke the pipe cleaner into the center of the pompom/ball. Twist the end, if needed. Note: You can choose a pipecleaner and pompom that match your skin tone so it disappears on film, or use glitter pipe cleaners and pompoms so you get more candy. It is Halloween.
  2. Bend the pipe cleaner so it follows the shape of your face and folds over the top of your ear. Twist the end into a hook, so that it fully envelopes your ear. Pro tip: Onstage, our audio engineers sometimes tape the mic to the side of your head in an unobtrusive place. Watch for baby hairs if you do this.
  3. If you’re overachieving, snake a cord down the back of your neck to an unobstrusive mic pack (not shown).


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To make the clicker:

  1. Wrap the pack of index cards completely in the black paper — the same way you would a small gift — taping it tightly.
  2. From the craft foam, cut one small green triangle and one small red triangle. Affix to the black paper as shown. Feel free to mix up the colors.
  3. Make an antennae. Snip a few inches of black pipe cleaner, fold down one centimeter. Put glue on the section and afix to the top left of the clicker.
  4. Carry, and every so often click the green triangle. When nothing happens, say, “Slide?

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Walk confidently, use expressive gestures, and start strong.

All photos by Sacha Vega/TED.