TEDxSMU brings together ideas and interesting people from around the world and around the corner


We accept speaker nominations year round please use the below form to submit your idea.

The legacy from the past presenters is huge: these are the folks who inspired us, moved us, challenged us. A huge thank you to each of our past TEDxSMU and TEDxKids@SMU speakers. Be sure to check out their posted TEDxTalks.

Note: Due to our license with TED, we do not offer honorariums to speakers

TEDxSMU General Speaker Submission

Ever wanted to give a talk at TEDxSMU? We're continuously looking for fresh new ideas! We're not just looking for talks, we want your best stories, songs, poems and performances...anything you can deliver with passion on stage.

The TED Commandments: These 10 tips are the heart of a great TEDTalk.

  • 1 Dream big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given. Reveal something never seen before. Do something the audience will remember forever. Share an idea that could change the world.
  • 2 Show us the real you. Share your passions, your dreams … and also your fears. Be vulnerable. Speak of failure as well as success.
  • 3 Make the complex plain. Don’t try to dazzle intellectually. Don’t speak in abstractions. Explain! Give examples. Tell stories. Be specific.
  • 4 Connect with people’s emotions. Make us laugh! Make us cry!
  • 5 Don’t flaunt your ego. Don’t boast. It’s the surest way to switch everyone off.
  • 6 No selling from the stage! Unless we have specifically asked you to, do not talk about your company or organization. And don’t even think about pitching your products or services or asking for funding from stage.
  • 7 Feel free to comment on other speakers, to praise or to criticize. Controversy energizes! Enthusiastic endorsement is powerful!
  • 8 If possible, don’t read your talk. Notes are fine. But if the choice is between reading or rambling, then read!
  • 9 You must end your talk on time. Doing otherwise is to steal time from the people that follow you. We won’t allow it.
  • 10 Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend...for timing, for clarity, for impact.

  • Write a headline that will entice your audience and tell them what to expect from the talk.
  • Write 2-3 short sentences that hint at your idea. Lead with something that will grab the audience and, from there, describe the main point of the talk.
  • Upload your video to YouTube or Viemo and insert the link here. A short 60-90 second video introducing yourself and your topic. Here we are looking for passion, not production value!
  • Listing accomplishments is tempting, but you can do even more. Tell us why the audience should listen to you and what makes you qualified for this talk.
  • Speaking at TEDxSMU - the Fine Print

    Presenting on the TEDxSMU stage is very different from most speeches. The talks range from three to 18 minutes in length, and we stick to the time limits. No joke. Time is the most valuable commodity at TEDx events!

    TEDx Talks should be compelling stories on topics you are incredibly passionate about. The most engaging talks are the ones where we learn not only what you know, but why it’s important to you and why we should care about the issue as well. These aren’t passive terms – passion, engaging, compelling – and TEDx Talks are anything but passive experiences. We want to really connect with you during your time on stage!

    To capture the spirit of a TED conference, we are following the TED program structure that has been developed over 25 years of TED. Basic guidelines include:
    • No keynotes – all speakers are equal.
    • No panel discussions.
    • No Q&A.
    • No podiums.
    Topics and Restrictions TEDx Presenters range from scientists to artists, designers to engineers, and philanthropists to economists. In short, anything is game. We will consider speakers, dancers, singers, musicians, spoken word performers, visual artists or anyone with a compelling story to tell.

    There is only a short list of “no no’s” for the TEDx stage that will automatically disqualify any speaker. We do not allow ANY selling from the stage. Product demos must not yet be available on the market. We will not allow any political or religious endorsements, nor do we allow companies or individuals to “buy” time on stage through partnerships. Other than that, we are open to any and all ideas!

    As with TED, we do not offer honorariums to speakers. We are a nonprofit organization and ask that speakers participate in the spirit of sharing their ideas.

    All TEDx Talks are recorded and speakers must sign a release prior to the event.

    If you have any difficulties uploading your video, email us at TEDxSMU@smu.edu

    Watch talks from other TEDxSMUsalons and conferences here!