to speak at TEDxNorwichED 2020

Following the phenomenal success of TEDxNorwichED: Thinking Differently, TEDxNorwichED: Inspiring Generations, TEDxNorwichED: Dream Big and TEDxNorwichED: Look Again, we are pleased to announce that TEDxNorwichED is back on the 25th April 2020, for our 5th anniversary with TEDxNorwichED: Make The Difference – the only TEDxED event in Europe in 2020!

APPLICATIONS OPEN ON 1st November and close on 22nd November at 11:59pm.  

Don’t miss your opportunity to apply!

Please make sure you take a read through all the information below before applying – you’ll find the link to the application form at the bottom of this page.­   

However, if you’ve read this before, click on the button to the left to apply now, or access a saved application.

Do you have an idea worth sharing, a provocation or a story to tell?

Applications are open to anyone – from the unknown to the famous – you do not need to have done any public speaking before to apply – but obviously, we do ask that you are confident that you can present a TED-style talk!  However, coaching is available to help you develop your speaking style and skills. 

We want to hear your ideas worth sharing which match our theme of Make The Difference.

For information about our theme, make sure you check out our homepage – there you will find a summary of what we are looking for at the event.

Our ‘Make The Difference’ theme is purposefully broad – anything that can be linked back to the theme goes – it’s up to you.

Application system kindly provided by YouNoodle.

Join us for an application on 6th November.

Join us at 19:00 on 6th November on our Facebook Page for a free and interactive application masterclass through Facebook Live.  You’ll find out all you need to know about applying, hear past TEDxNorwichED speakers talk about their experience, plus get top tips and insiders information on how to make an amazing application!

Can I Apply?

Applications to speak are open to ANYONE! Yes, that includes you….

All we ask is that you have an idea or message worth sharing, or you make us think or question.

If you’ve read through all of the information on this page, and want to have a go, we do strongly encourage you to apply. Some of our best speakers have been those who were on the cusp of not applying but who are now so glad they have!

You don’t have to be a professional speaker, or had much (or indeed any) public speaking experience. We can help you build the skills you need. Of course, you are also welcome to apply if you have had tons of public speaking experience – each year we have a broad mix of speaking experience apply.

If your idea or talk needs it, you can also apply as a group to speak – but there must be justification for the talk being delivered by more than one person.

If you want to do this, ask the lead person of your group to fill in the form and make it clear that there will be more than one of you on stage! An example of where this has worked well before is when a young person and adult(s) have shared the stage to give a truly multi-generational take and view.

What about the education theme?

You don’t need to work in education, nor does your talk have to be ‘about’ education. About half of our speakers (and 40% of our attendees) each year would not class themselves as ‘educationalists’, but they had relevant ideas to share that fitted with our themes.

What we do ask is that you are interested in, and passionate about, education in its broadest sense.  This could include education in schools, careers, health and wellbeing,  workplace education, leadership development,  self-development for our attendees and many many more.  

We are also especially looking for young people themselves to apply to speak – so if you know a young person who has an idea to tell or story to share, please encourage them to apply. We’ve had speakers as young as 9 before!

What aren't we looking for?

Whilst our applications are open to anyone, there are some things we don’t want to see – whether that be because of TED’s rules or our own event philosophy.

So we aren’t looking for people who:-

  • Are going to sell or blatantly self-promote from the stage– no sales pitches allowed.
  • Are going to deliver a talk they have delivered publicly elsewhere – each TEDx talk must be unique and the first time that that specific talk is heard in public- but of course, you can speak on themes you have spoken about before.
  • Are not going to do at least one of the following:– inspire, motivate, innovate, pose a question, share or encourage a discovery or present a new idea.
  • Have shoe-horned a talk into our (purposefully broad) theme.
  • Aren’t  prepared to deliver their talk without notes – all TEDx talks are noteless, but we will help you achieve this!
  • Have a purely political agenda– Politics and policy are key parts of the conversation. But the TEDx stage is not the place for partisan politics, nor for extremist or inflammatory positions. You should not advocate for parties, party platforms and political leaders in your talks — nor should you insult or belittle political adversaries.
  • Are going to present ‘bad’ science– TED are very clear that no pseudoscience is allowed.
  • Expect to be paid for their talk– by TED rules we can’t pay for talks, nor offer expenses, but we do commit to giving you an amazing platform, all the support we can, a fabulous and popular event and a great quality TEDx video.

Why speak at TEDxNorwichED 2020?

We appreciate that you have a choice of where to apply to speak! Here are some of the things that we, and our previous speakers, feel makes TEDxNorwichED a fantastic and unique place to do a TEDx talk:

  • TEDxNorwichED is unique– it’s one of the only TEDxED events to take place each year across the world- in 2020 we are the only TEDxED event currently planned for the entire of Europe! We are currently the only full-scale TEDxED event that has been licensed in the UK for the past few years.
  • We have a massive online audience– in 2020, over 39,000 unique people watched our live stream on the day. We also trended on Twitter in the top 5 in the UK for 7 hours on the event day, with tweets about the event reaching over two million accounts!
  • We are well respected- we’ve already had many enquiries about speaking- and that’s even before we announced there was a 2020 event!
  • We plan the event to give the best possible video– after all, we know that more people will see your talk after the event than ‘live’ on the day. We invest over a quarter of our whole budget on video filming and production and have a 7 camera broadcast quality shoot.
  • We provide a unparalleled ‘in person’ attendee experience- which is frequently stated by attendees as one of the best they have experienced.
  • We ensure the event is accessible for all– despite being able to (and even encouraged by some), we don’t charge high ticket prices.  We also support those who can’t afford our ticket price as we want this to be an inclusive event. 
  • We give you our utmost commitment and support- by supporting you in creating a great talk and having an amazing speaker experience.
  • We are not-for-profit and volunteer organised– there is no corporate agenda here.

What will your talk be like?

It goes without saying, but it must be ‘TED’ style. If you’ve never seen a TED video, we advise you to go watch some! Or even better, check out some of our videos from last year.

It must tie in with our theme, in some way; yes, we’ve said this before, but this is key. However, our theme of Make The Difference is  purposefully broad.

You must be able to ‘own the stage’ – you will have the stage to yourself for the length of your talk- and it goes without saying that you will need to engage and hold your audience’s attention. We can help you feel confident with speaking though – so don’t let it put you off!

Your talk must be practiced and practiced- we appreciate taking on a TEDx talk is a big commitment, and thank you in advance for the time you will put into rehearsing, perfecting and polishing your talk – but know that all the effort will be worth it when you present on the day and are part of of the conversation around our Make The Difference theme.

It must fit within the time allocated. Speakers will be given a time slot of between 5 and 18 minutes for their talk. This fits with the TED style and rule-book. Some of the most popular TED talks are short talks, and very few TEDxNorwichED talks are allocated the full 18 minutes. We will ask you as part of your application how long you would like but reserve the right to offer you a different length of talk.

It must be unique – not something that people could have heard you give elsewhere. The ideas may, of course, not be brand new, but the talk must be.

It mustn’t rely on a traditional Powerpoint- you can use our screen in anyway you like during your talk, and you don’t need to use it (about half our talks don’t use the screen) but aim for powerful images, key words, videos, quotes etc, rather than death by Powerpoint

Our top tips for your application.

Here are our top tips for making an amazing application:-

  • Take your time.
  • Register on our application system now, so you can see the questions and what we would like from you.
  • Express yourself- our judging team will be reading a lot of applications- will yours stand out?
  • Make sure you link, in some way, to our theme.
  • Make sure your application demonstrates how well your talk will come across – why should we have you on the stage?
  • Last year, we had instances where 5 people have pitched very similar talk ideas, so why should YOU give the talk you have proposed? Our questions are designed to help us get to know you, as much as your talk.
  • Ensure your idea, or the purpose of your talk (whether it to be inspire, prompt discussion, make people question things, share an idea etc) is clear.
  • If you can, produce something for us – you have the option to upload a file, or link to a website, can you create a quick video? Maybe you want to create an infographic for us? Or something else? Be creative! About 50% of our speakers last year created something which helped us find out more about them . However, this is not a hard requirement, and we will accept applications without them.
  • Remember, things are able to change once you’ve been accepted including your talk title but not the overall theme of your talk.
  • Join us for a special Facebook live at 7pm on 6th November  when Tim, the the rest of the team  behind TEDxNorwichED and some of our previous speakers, will be sharing top tips and answering questions. Make sure you follow us on Facebook to find out more.
  • Ask for help or guidance- drop us an email to at any point during the application window, and one of the team will get back to you!

What we ask you to agree to when you apply (including some important dates)

When you submit your application you’ll be asked to agree to the following:-

  • By submitting your application form, you are stating that you understand that the process of creating a TEDx talk takes time, commitment and energy, which starts way before 25th  April 2020  – however, we will be there to guide you along the way.  
  • As a heads up, you will be expected to have the first draft of your talk complete by 20th  February.  You will need to have a final bio and photo to us by the 18th December,  titles confirmed by the 13th January, a final synopsis by 24th January and your final talk by the 1st April.  
  • We will also want to have a couple of Skype meetings with you to help you along the way- we are here to support you!  
  • You must attend a virtual meeting on either 12th December (7:30pm) or 16th December (8:30pm), plus ideally 9th January (8pm) and on 16th January (7.30pm).
  • If you are accepted, you will need to agree to meeting these deadlines when confirming your place.  
  • You also understand that you need to be in Norwich, UK on 25th  April 2020, and that you will be required to attend for the full day, with attendance in the evening on the 24th April being strongly encouraged  but not mandatory.  
  • In addition, you understand that by TED rules, your TEDx talk cannot be used to sell or promote any product or company, and that, if successful, you must keep your involvement in TEDxNorwichED a closely guarded secret until we announce our speaker programme.  
  • You are also stating you understand that according to TED rules, we can’t pay you for speaking, nor can we pay expenses, but that in return you will get all the support, encouragement etc you need and our commitment to giving you a great event to be part of, and a fab TEDx video afterwards, along with some surprises  and of course you attend the event for free.

How to apply.

So, you’ve made it to the bottom of the page!

Thank you for reading everything above – it will help you craft an amazing application!

We really hope you want to submit an application to speak.

Here is how the process works..

– We are using an online application system, kindly provided by YouNoodle. Click on the link below to be taken to the system.

– You will then need to register. Once registered, click on TEDxNorwichED 2020 to start your application.

– You will then be taken to the main application form – you can see the questions with some answers having word limits, and the compulsory questions marked with an asterisk *.

– You can save and return to your application at any time.

– Once you are happy with it, press next, and next again to be taken to the overview page, where you can check it out one more time- it is from this page you can submit your application.

– A wide-ranging panel will review the submissions and provide their comments.

– We will then take these comments into a selection meeting, chaired by our lead organiser and with a range of people on it- in this (often long) meeting we make the very difficult decisions about our programme and who fits where!

– We will then notify you of the outcome by 7th December 2020. If you are accepted, we ask you to keep this a ‘secret’ for now!

Applications close at 23:59 on FRIDAY 22nd November.



All applicants will hear the outcome of their applications by 7th December 2020.

Our application system is kindly provided through our partnership with YouNoodle.

YouNoodle is the global leader in startup engagement with over 1,000 innovation engagement programs and startup competitions from around the world.  Backed by a powerful technology platform and a growing network of 200,000+ startups, YouNoodle is top brands’ trusted partner to execute startup and innovation programs at scale.