Special contributions by Nick Kindler and Jordan Axani.
At a recent event held at Soho House Toronto, Director of Programming Nick Kindler, and 2015 TEDxToronto speaker Jordan Axani shared their insights on what it takes to become a speaker, and the journey to reaching the TEDxToronto stage.
Here are some highlights from their discussion:
Nick: How did your big idea translate to the TEDxToronto stage?
Jordan: My big idea evolved over time, especially as I worked through the thesis of my talk with my speaker coach. It initially began as a talk about technology, but became more about self worth. As I worked through the coaching process, I began to understand my own message in a way I hadn’t previously.
Nick: What was it like preparing for the stage?
Jordan: My coach and I set a timeline over 4 months to ensure I was hitting the key milestones, and memorization was an important focus. As speakers, we were fortunate to work with our assigned coach, as well as a professional vocal performance coach who led us through a series of workshops.
Nick: What was it like the day of your talk?
Jordan: I had a brief moment where I couldn’t believe I was going to give a live talk in front of 1,100 people, and that it was going to be live-streamed globally. I stayed backstage for the hours prior to my talk to rehearse a few more times; it wasn’t until I was about to step on stage that I truly felt ready.
Nick: What was your key takeaway from this experience?
Jordan: If you really want to connect with people anywhere in life, being human and imperfect is the way to go. My talk allowed me to explore my own discomfort and vocalize how I see the world. Cut through the nonsense and be more vulnerable.
Audience: Does TEDxToronto have a different process for known speakers vs. someone who is unknown?
Nick: TEDxToronto treats every speaker the same way. We have to ensure that the speaker has enough time to be coached – whether you are a first time speaker or a high-profile performer.
Audience: What does it take to become a TEDxToronto speaker?
Nick: We look for someone with a message that is globally relevant, however, it is important for the speaker to have some kind of tie to Toronto. We are looking for people who want to share a big idea that will inspire and spark conversation, without any personal agenda.
For more tips on submitting your speaker nomination, read Nick Kindler’s “5 Tips on Submitting A Strong Nomination”.
To submit a speaker nomination – click here. Speaker nominations are open until May 8, 2016 at 11:59pm.