TED Talks speakers are famous. They’re eloquent. They have a ton of Twitter followers. They are amazing speakers, writers, coaches, entrepreneurs, story-tellers.
At least that’s what I used to think. If you’re like a lot of my students, you probably agree with this view.
The truth is, there are some amazing TED Talks out there by people like Simon Sinek or Brene Brown. Some that go viral. There are also many by regular people that aren’t famous.
I know what you’re thinking — “but Ryan, it’s obviously better to have more followers than none, right?!”
You’re right…Honestly, fame can be a great proxy for having great ideas (after all, if lots of people follow you, it’s a good indicator that lots find your ideas valuable). It’s not that amassing followers is a bad thing on its own. Often, though, it becomes an excuse to avoid taking action. After all, if you’re always chasing a made-up goal of being more famous before you do anything about landing a TED Talk, how will you know when you’re ready…and, here’s the big one...how do you know you’re not ready right now?
If you want to be an Olympic sprinter, there’s a clear time cutoff. In matters like landing a TED Talk, any rejection can simply be a difference in preference.
Instead of aiming for an arbitrary fame goal (and then hoping that you’ll get noticed), why not try a different strategy? A better way is to proactively pursue TEDx events and tell them about your best ideas. Ideas you know others love (because you’ve tested them), using a strategy.
PS – for TEDxLeamingtonSpa, we had:
- some speakers with books (3, if I remember correctly)
- some that had never used Twitter
- some without a website
- many without previous speaking experience (but all practiced after we accepted them)
…and many of these talks far outperformed other similar events in terms of YouTube views. Why? Their ideas rocked (see: testing ideas)