Nomination Final Round


You have made it to the final round of TEDxGreenville!

Out of over 250 nominations, you have been selected to be part of the final round in the selection process to potentially present at TEDxGreenville 2019: UNKNWXN.

Please remember that, if chosen as a speaker or performer, you’ve agreed to attend both March 28, 2019, for rehearsal and March 29, 2019, for the day-long conference event. We hope you're as excited as we are!

As part of the final round, we would like for you to make a 3-minute video about your Idea Worth Spreading. Don’t worry too much about the production quality and technical details, and it is fine if you record it on your phone. Just make sure it’s no longer than 3 minutes, and upload it to Vimeo, Youtube, or any other online video site that lets you share a private link to the video. Or if your phone will allow, you can email it to me. If you need help with any of the technological aspects of that, just let me know.

Please take a few minutes to complete the idea outline as well.

You can find even more instructions and directions for making and uploading the video on the presenters site, click here.

Keep in mind that the video pitch tells us more about your idea and you, so please be as clear as possible. Show us your enthusiasm, just like you are talking to a real audience. Focus on your idea, not on why you would like to speak.

Please submit your video by December 12. Videos submitted after then will not be considered for the 2019 conference. If you think you’ll have a problem doing it by then, please let me know as soon as possible.

We will let you know of our decision by the end of December.

Good luck!

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  • What is TEDx?

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  • Welcome to TEDxGreenville

    We want you to know up front that, in order to be in compliance with our license from TED, TEDxGreenville must make some requirements of all presenters. Don't worry, though, because there are vast benefits as well! Please review the points below and let your handler know if you have any questions or concerns. More comprehensive information will be provided a few months before the event if you are chosen to be a presenter.

    As a TEDxGreenville presenter, you will receive…

    • Free consultations with a speaker coach.
    • Support with slides and other technical aspects of your presentation.
    • The TEDxGreenville platform through which to engage an audience around your "idea worth spreading."
    • Opportunities to meet and have intimate conversations with the audience, sponsors, and other VIPs.
    • High profile PR through area media, social media channels, and video of your talk posted on the TEDx and TEDxGreenville YouTube channels.
    • Esteemed guest-of-honor status at a VIP evening reception on April 6.

    Per TED rules, presenters must…

    • NOT receive compensation for their talk or performance.
    • NOT sell any product or service from the stage. This applies to non-profits as well.
    • NOT self promote in any way.
    • Present within the time on stage allotted to you by the program team (typically 5-10 minutes, but never longer than 18). Your actual time will be determined by TEDxGreenville.
    • Relate only original content and give credit where appropriate.
    • Refrain from sharing political or religious agendas.
    • Sign a speaker waiver. (This is just FYI for now... it will be sent later to selected presenters.)
    • Be available to attendees during a conversation break following their talk.

    What's TED?

    TED is a nonprofit organization founded in 1984 as a one-time event to unite innovators from three worlds — technology, entertainment, and design. Since then, its scope has become ever broader to incorporate “ideas worth spreading.” Two annual TED conferences bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives… in 18 minutes or less. Innovative performances are scattered among the intellectually engaging talks to flex a different part of attendees' brains.

    TED organizers believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.

    On, the award-winning TED Talks video site, the best talks and performances from TED and partners are made available to the world for free. More than 1500 TED Talks are available, and more are added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license so they can be shared and reposted.

    For a deeper understanding, please explore About TED on and browse the library of TED Talks. Warning — you may remain fascinated for hours!

    What's TEDx and TEDxGreenville?

    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, in 2009 TED created TEDx, a program that gives communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. These events are independently planned and coordinated on a community-by-community basis.

    TEDxGreenville — the first TEDx event in South Carolina — began when a diverse, passionate group of TED enthusiasts came together to bring an educational and inspirational experience to Upstate residents. The first annual conference launched to a sold-out crowd on March 5, 2010. The result was a brain-teasing, inspiration-filled, day-long event unlike anything Greenville had ever experienced. Subsequent annual events have been just as popular and engaging. To get a feel for our past events, please browse TEDxTalks on YouTube where all the TEDxGreenville talks and performances are archived.

    2019 will be the TENTH year for the TEDxGreenville annual conference. The program is comprised of speakers, performers, and TED Talk videos, with the goal of sparking deep discussion and connection among attendees. There are typically 18 to 20 live presenters, most with connections to the Upstate, representing a vast range and breadth of experiences.

    TEDxGreenville truly has evolved into a movement, igniting passions and building bridges while highlighting the people and organizations that make the Upstate such an incredible place to live.

    What makes a TEDx talk different from those you hear at other conferences?

    Your 2019 TEDxGreenville talk will be ALL about an idea, fresh and unique to you, and its potential to catalyze positive change in individuals, teams, communities... and even the world. It's not about your business, who you are, or any organization you represent. It's not about conveying really cool concepts you've heard from others. We want to give you a forum to share your own personal story, the idea it illustrates, and how it can help make Greenville an even better place.

    TED Curator Chris Anderson emphasized to TEDx organizers during a workshop in June, 2013: "We're not interested in inspiring talks. We're interested in minds being shifted." He wasn't saying that he doesn't want TEDx speakers to inspire the audience. He was making the point that inspiration in and of itself (as is the goal of typical motivational speakers) isn't appropriate for a TEDx stage. A jolt to conventional thinking must also be present.

    We share his illuminating talk with you in Round One!

    How do performances fit in?

    One of the reasons for TED's global success has been the sprinkling of entertainment throughout each day. TEDxGreenville speakers will hit attendees pretty rapidly with stimulating ideas, concepts, and information. The performers' role is to allow attendees to sit back, not work so hard, and simply enjoy. Brains will shift, relax, and open.

    Our philosophy at TEDxGreenville is to look for performers who, like their speaker counterparts, bring something fresh and unique to the stage.

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    Do I need to spin my presentation specifically for the theme?

    Nope. All you have to do is blow our minds! You may use the theme as inspiration if you like.

    General Goals

    In Round One, your handler will chat with you via email about your idea, and may help you "TEDify" your message. You'll ultimately be asked to provide a summarizing phrase or sentence along with a brief outline which will be shared with the program team. Performer nominees will be asked to provide links to performance videos or channels; info surrounding their techniques, uniqueness, and artistic expression; and dates and venues of upcoming performances. Sample Round One Outline.

    Advancement to Round Two will depend upon how well your proposed talk or performance fits within the ideals and goals of TED, TEDx, and TEDxGreenville: Imprint. This will be a group decision made by the program team.


    • Please simply type your outline in the body of your email or send as an attached Word doc or text file. PDFs are not accepted.
    • Your initial outline shouldn't be your entire talk in bullet point form -- keep your outline very brief and focused, and preface it with a single summarizing statement.
    • Don’t try to cover too much. Focus on a single concept and support it with stories, examples, and data.
    • Show us the real you. Share your passions, your dreams, your fears. Be vulnerable. Talk about failure as well as success.
    • While mulling your idea, dream big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given. Reveal something never seen and heard before. Do something the audience will remember forever. Challenge them to think in a new way. Share an idea that could change the world.
    • If it’s a local or very specific idea, consider making it more globally appropriate. Sometimes it’s just a sentence that connects the specific with a broader audience.
    • Please know that the program team will assign a time limit to you if you're chosen to present. While all TEDx presentations have a maximum time limit of 18 minutes, not everyone will be allowed this much time. Typical time limits include 5, 7, 10, 12, and 15 minutes. TEDxGreenville audiences seem to prefer mostly 10- to 12-minute talks and 5- to 10-minute performances.
    • Discuss complex issues in plain talk for a general audience. Don’t try to dazzle people with your intellect or speak in abstractions. Explain everything. Give examples. Tell stories. Be specific.
    • Don't advance notions or concepts that cannot be defended with well-founded evidence.


    Click here for examples of a Round One outline.

    How to Sound Smart in Your TED Talk, Will Stephen at TEDxNewYork 2015.

    What Makes a Great Talk Great, Chris Anderson at TEDGlobal 2013

    What Makes a Great TED Talk, June Cohen at TEDGlobal 2010

    The Secret Structure of Great Talks, Nancy Duarte at TEDxEast 2011


    General Goals

    If the program team advances you to Round Two, we've seen great potential in what you can bring to the TEDxGreenville stage! Your handler will chat with you either by phone, Skype, or in person to get to know you better while finalizing your "idea worth spreading" and, if necessary, further tweaking your message and outline. Your refinements will be shared with the program team. Performer nominees skip Round Two.

    Advancement to Round Three will depend upon how compelling, relevant, and potentially mind-shifting your proposed talk or performance may be to a SC audience. Balance will also enter into team discussions at this point, as the team begins to ensure that a wide variety of topics, viewpoints, and talents are represented. Advancement to the next round will be a group decision made by the program team. Typically, only around 30 speaker and performer nominees make it to Round Three.


    • Again, please type your outline in the body of your email or send as an attached Word doc or text file. No PDFs.
    • Refine and expand your initial outline, and ensure that your summarizing statement is a good TEDx idea worth spreading. You may add a little or a lot of detail, but please do not exceed 800 words.
    • Be patient with your handler's suggestions. As your advocate and cheerleader with the program team, s/he will help you spin your outline and idea to give you the best chance of advancing to the next round.


    General Goals

    Round Three will be fun! At this stage, the most promising nominees will be asked to shoot a quick, informal video pitch. I's not a big deal — most people just use their smartphones. Your video will be shared with the program team. Performer nominees will also be asked to shoot a new video if those provided previously do not address the uniqueness of a TEDx event.

    Advancement to Round Four will depend upon the team's combined excitement surrounding your potential talk or performance. All previous evaluation criteria will be considered. At this point, each nominee still in the process will have exceptional validity and relevance for a TEDx audience, so team discussions will center around overall balance of the presenter lineup.


    • The best video pitches are less than 3 minutes in length.
    • Don't try to give your actual talk in this pitch video -- just sell us on why we should choose YOUR idea. Assume that the people watching your video haven't seen your outline or talked to you. Run through the main points in your Round 2 outline. Let us see your personality!
    • Don't worry about production quality -- just use whatever video tool is easiest for you. As long as we can hear you and see you, no consideration will be given to video quality during our decision making process.
    • Share your video with your handler via your favorite online site that allows sharing via a private link. We recommend Vimeo (instructions here) or YouTube (instructions here).


    Click the names below for examples of great pitch videos.


    Guess what you have to do in Round Four — nothing!

    Your handler — by now, your best friend — will let you know if the program team advances you to Round Four. Slated for December, this is the stage at which the program team mulls and collaborates to recommend a final lineup for the March event. All you have to do is hang tight. We will be in touch by the end of December.