TED Blog | A chance to audition your own TED Talk!

On May 24, we’re holding the first-ever audition for TED Talks. It will take place in New York in front of a live audience made up of TED staff and members of the TED community. The audition will be recorded, and the best talks could either be posted on TED.com or win an invitation for a full-on mainstage presentation at TED2012 in California early next year. Make a one-minute video to qualify for this audition. Video deadline is April 25, 2011.

We’re holding this audition to give a chance to the undiscovered talent we know is out there — and especially talent that can help us continue to reinvent the ancient art of the spoken word. At TED2012, our whole theme will be devoted to this. We’re calling it “Full Spectrum” — the rich use of technologies, formats and styles to make an impact on an audience. And that’s what we’ll be looking for in this audition.

– a ‘slide-blizzard,’ a presentation containing more images than words
– a talk accompanied by an imaginative soundtrack
– a talk given in front of a custom-animated movie
– clever ‘choreography’ between a speaker’s words and what we see on-screen
– improv / audience interaction
– intense campfire-style storytelling
– a brilliant performance (music, spoken-word, dance … surprise us!)
– a rant delivered at blitzkrieg pace, an intelligent comic routine, a mystery
– a remarkable new invention
– or… just an amazingly good classic TED talk with an ingenious ‘idea worth spreading’

We’d like to test some of these presentation formats and get exposed to any other innovations that may be lurking out there in how to impact an audience.

(Please note, if you submit a standard pitch for a company, concept or cause, you have zero chance of being picked.)

If you’d like to try your hand, here’s what you need to do:

1. Create a one-minute video to indicate your idea for a Full Spectrum presentation, using any of the above techniques or something brand-new. Tell us what you’ll talk about, and then show us how you’ll do it in Full Spectrum style. We’re looking for powerful presentation ideas — the video itself doesn’t need to be polished, it’s only for our internal review. It just needs to give us a sense of you and demonstrate that your presentation could have impact.

2. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo.

3. Then fill out this online entry form and give us your details, including a link to the video. IMPORTANT: Forms are due April 25, 2011, at 11:59pm Eastern time.

A judging panel will select the most compelling presentation ideas from your video submissions. We’ll invite those finalists to audition their Full Spectrum talks live at in New York on May 24, in front of the TED curation team and an invited audience. The actual audition itself will range from 3 to 6 minutes, so you’ll need to pick a subject that can be managed in that time frame.

We’re excited to see what you have to offer!

Important dates:
Deadline for submitting your one-minute video and online entry form: Monday, April 25, 2011, at 11:59pm Eastern time.
Finalists will be contacted by Monday, May 9, 2011.
Finalists are responsible for their own travel to New York and accomodation.
Finalist presentations in New York: Tuesday, May 24, 2011, in the evening. More details TBD.
TED2012: Full Spectrum happens February 27-March 2, 2012, in California.

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

– The TED team

via blog.ted.com


Japan’s 8.9 Earthquake and CitizenTube’s Response

So I’ve spent the better part of my morning investigating the Japanese earthquake and sending notes to friends and blood brothers to make sure that people are OK. Luckily, so far everybody in my circle of friends seems to be fine, but the devastation is amazingly widespread and shocking. The current major concern seems to be centering around the stabilization of the country’s nuclear power reactors, most specifically in Fukushima. According to MSNBC news coolant is being flown in for the reactor, but it’s still an insuperably touchy situation. See this post over at HuffPo for the basics.

Twitter is turning out to be a useful resource right now, as is Youtube’s excellent Citizentube service. Please see the Japanese Earthquake playlist at this address. These are some truly jaw-dropping videos. Waves from the quake-triggered tsunami are even forcing some of California’s beaches to close.

For those of you who use Ustream, you can watch live news from the NHK here.

Sometimes I get sick of digital media, but I will say that today I’m actually quite happy to have it in my life. I hope you and yours are well. -Ev.

Never Before-Seen Tech Companies Get Their Start at LAUNCH!

Three years ago, two tech media heavyweights, Michael Arrington and Jason Calacanis started a conference called TechCrunh 50, a then annual startup conference. This year, they parted ways in case of two too many chefs in the kitchen, and as frienemies do – they each started their own version of that startup conference (and Arrington refused to allow his reporters to cover the event). Today we will focus only on Jason Calacanis and his new venture to showcase upcoming startups, LAUNCH!

Why? Because Calacanis was kind enough to invite and provide entrance tickets to our USC class to LAUNCH, and – better yet, in the competition are grad students from last year’s APOC program demoing their final project MingleBird. MingleBird is a geo-location iPhone app that makes event networking less awkward, and meeting people in person a fun game.

The stakes were high. Contestants would pitch for five minutes and then take questions and feedback from the judges. The judging and grand jury panel consisted of successful entrepreneurs who know a thing or two about startups, based on their own success in the field. There were two general competitions, a 1.0 competition between startups that had never received press and were completely unknown; and a 2.0 competition between startups that had previously launched but had made added new features or improvements. Outside was a demo pit of featured contestants and some companies that just wanted to get their feet wet in the space but didn’t make the final cut.

There were different rounds of judges and an audience loaded with tech press, angel investors, entrepreneurs, internet superstars, APOC students, and developers. To the contestants, which round of judges could really make or break their experience. Some of the judges could offer to fund them on the spot. And at times, they were so impressed they did.

Most of the time, however, they picked apart the technology, presentation and offered advice on improvement. Some of it relevant, and some of it, personal opinion – like, speak louder, stand up straighter, present better. Or your app that is meant for small to mid-size companies will not solve my 10mil+ traffic hits per day website testing issues. Judges were sometimes kind, and sometimes stern. Kevin Pollack was picked as the Paula of the panel and Dave McClure the Simon Cowell.

There were several standout winners that walked away with money in the bank like Room 77 and Stack Overflow. All in all, LAUNCH has been lauded as an overwhelming success by attendees and press alike, the best kind of revenge there is.

Here is the complete list of winners posted by TechCocktail.


By Desdemona Bandini