The TEDxCoimbatore name tags. Wanting to produce badges that were both eco-friendly and useful, the team at TEDxCoimbatore turned to an interesting material — elephant dung.
Registration begins at TEDxCoimbatore
Laced with plant seeds, the tags (and speaker profiles!) were made in a way that made them perfect for re-use: a paper of bleached elephant dung, that when placed in soil and watered, sprouts flowers.
“Most often, handouts at fairs and name tags are disposed of,” said the designer of the name tags in an interview with The Times of India. “We wanted to show that they can be put to better use.”
No word yet on how they smelled, but we’re guessing the bleach took care of that.
From TEDxNottingham organizer, Iain Botteril: TEDxNottingham was our first event and we were working under a very tight budget, as a result we had to maximise everything that we had.
Whilst we were planning, we thought that we had 100 people in the audience who wanted to be more involved and integrated with the event. So we began to see them not as statues to sit and take on information but rather as an active part of the event’s fabric.
Before the day, we put up 10 boards (one for each speaker) with pins on the side. Then, as part of our audience’s welcome pack, we put in 10 mini red cards and a pen. In between each speaker’s talk, we asked the audience to jot down a few thoughts from the talk on a red card and then stick them up accordingly at the break.
TEDxNottingham by Flickr user, pcmcreative
This helped the audience to remain stimulated during the talks, and also was a great point of discussion and interaction at our breaks and intervals.
It also helped the speakers get a lot of feedback and helped boost the confidence of the other speakers as they saw what was happening with everyone else’s talks and feedback.
Next year, we hope to turn the feedback into gifts for our speakers. We want to purchase a frame for each speaker, and fill it with a selection of photos of their talk, as well as a selection of the red feedback cards. This would give each speaker a really unique and genuine gift for their time. We like the idea of involving the audience and creating genuine gifts.
Dispatches from TEDActive: Veteran TEDx organizers share advice on preparing speakers for the big day
TEDx’ers brainstorm at TEDActive. (Photo by Kris Krug)
This week, hundreds of new and veteran TEDx organizers have assembled at TEDActive for a week of collaboration, insight, and ideas worth spreading.
With all these TEDx’ers in one place, there’s an abundance of advice for new and prospective organizers being thrown around.
In an effort to share these insights with the world outside TEDActive, we’ve asked three experienced organizers one question: “What are the most important steps to preparing TEDx speakers for the stage?”
Below, key points from their advice:
From Mike Lungren of TEDxKC:
- Tell your speakers from the get-go that they can’t give their usual, canned talk.
- Never let them prepare like they’re giving a talk. Instead, make them think about it like they’re at a dinner party and telling the one story of the night that makes the whole table pause.
- Tell them that when they step on stage they should feel comfortable to let a beat or two go by, take a breath, and anchor their feet before beginning.
- Force your speakers to break from linear narratives. Just because their story starts in one place, doesn’t mean their talk should.
From Wardah Jamil of TEDxPhoenix:
- Set key milestones for each speaker.
- Ask for their full stories first, then push them to focus on the one or two most salient points.
- Hold several rehearsals through video conference.
- Get them on stage to rehearse at least once the day before the show.
- Give every speaker a personal liaison dedicated to boosting their ego and calming their nerves.
- Provide a green room with snacks, drinks, and access to their liaison. In other words, make them feel like real rock stars — confident and special.
From Ruth Milligan of TEDxColumbus:
- Set a high standard for yourself. The event is ultimately your product and you should feel proud of the talks that you’re putting out.
- From the beginning, establish that it’s going to be a fluid process — your speakers first draft will not be their last.
- Use polite persistence. Stand for the quality that you expect from your speakers.
- Get tough when you need to. Don’t be afraid of big egos. And be honest when you smell failure. If you feel that you need to cut a speaker, do it.
- Record, transcribe, edit, repeat. Few people write like they speak and speakers that start by scripting will likely end up sounding unnatural on stage.
- Go to where they are. In other words, guide speakers to their own deep insights. Don’t force them in a box of your design. Sometimes you’re a speaker coach and sometimes you’re a personal therapist.
- When a speaker sounds too rehearsed, they’re not done rehearsing. Make them let go of their strict plan and rely on the fact that they understand their idea better than anyone else. And if they still don’t feel confident, make them fake it ‘til they make it.
- Remember that no artist (or artist-type) will ever feel that their talk is done. You can only make them feel comfortable with an unfinished product.