Speaker Submission

Welcome! Thanks for considering submitting a talk to TEDxSeattle. We’re growing every year and 2017 promises to be our best year yet! TEDxSeattle will be held on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 in gorgeous McCaw Hall in Seattle. We expect to sell out the 2,800 seat hall for our day-long event. In addition to speakers, the event will feature entertainers, TED videos, and interactive exhibits in the lobby. Leading up the big day, speakers will also have a chance to participate in community events and gala parties.

Advice for Getting Accepted

We want you to be successful and have a great experience when submitting to TEDxSeattle. Below you’ll find everything you need to help craft a compelling submission. Please read through all the materials before making your final submission.

TEDx Talks are about ideas worth sharing. To better understand how we think about ideas, please watch Chris Anderson’s video (below) and download our PDF How to Think About an Idea.

Tips for Submitting

  • Tell us your idea in just a sentence or two. Don’t tease us. Give away your idea in a clear and compelling way.
  • Tell us why this idea needs to be heard by this audience, at this moment.
  • Let us know why you’re the best one to deliver this talk. What is it in your background or experience that makes you the ideal choice to share this idea?
  • Remember, you’re an expert on this subject, but we aren’t. Convey your idea clearly and simply to the submission committee and to the TEDx audience.
  • Please don’t mention any company or product names even for non-profits. Pitching is not a part of a TEDx Talk.
  • Keep the audience in mind as you craft your pitch. Our audience is a broad cross-section of the public – everyone from students to world leaders. They all have one thing in common: they want a transformative, relevant experience.
  • Remember that you’re one of many submitting ideas, so we may receive similar ideas from other applicants. The best way to distinguish your submission is to make the idea clear.
  • You don’t have to be a professional speaker to be selected. Our professional coaches will work with you!
  • Watch lots and lots of TED and TEDx videos.

Submission Checklist

Before you fill in the form below and upload your content, please make sure you’ve included the following:

1-2 sentences that communicates your idea worth spreading
A link to a :30 second video (phone is fine) on YouTube explaining your idea. Tell us why our audience needs to hear your idea now and why you’re the best one to share it. (For more help visit our Video submission tips page)
Any links that provide examples of you speaking or documents that provide additional background for you or your idea.

Submission Form

Please click on the button below and fill in the form to submit your speaker proposal. We recommend that you read through the questions before submitting.

Speaker submission form



A TEDx Talk is intended to refresh the perspective of the audience. The best talks will engage, challenge, and transform the thinking of audience members through powerful storytelling. Rather than coming across as a lecture or pitch, a good TEDx Talk will feel more like a conversation.
It is not required that you connect your talk idea to the theme in your initial submission. However, it never hurts to make the extra effort.
Absolutely! In fact, it’s a requirement at TEDxSeattle. You will be matched with a coach to work on your content and will work with an additional presentation speaker coach for three live rehearsals in October, prior to the event.
Prior to accepting a spot in the lineup, we ask that speakers agree to 50+ hours of coaching and content development for their talk. This time is comprised of working through multiple drafts of their talk throughout the year; attending several in person rehearsals in the fall; and attending a few social events prior to the main November conference.
You will be notified by mid July if the team wishes to pursue your proposal. You may be contacted before then to clarify or expand on your idea. Please be patient and wait to be contacted.
Our Speaker Team reviews the submissions received online in addition to developing speakers who we have recruited from the community. Our goal is to create a lineup of 12 speakers that spans a wide range of disciplines to bring relevant topics to our audience. Throughout the consideration process we may ask potential speakers to expand on their initial proposal or submit a rough draft of their talk before making any final decisions.
In 2017 we will have 14 speakers and two entertainment acts.
We prefer that speaker candidates prepare their own submission. It’s fine to help someone with their submission process as long as the speaker candidate has provided the answers and background information. Also, the speaker candidate needs to be aware that the TEDxSeattle coaches and team expect to have direct access and communication with the candidate throughout the entire process. If you simply have a great idea for a speaker, we’d also love to hear about it. Please use the link ideas@tedxseattle.com.
We do not need to see slides with your initial talk submission. If you have slides that you feel will help clarify your idea, you’re welcome to include them.

We have a team of professional designers who can work with a speaker on their presentation materials once the talk is finalized.

Links to videos of prior speaking engagements are always helpful, but not required. We are asking as part of the application process that you submit a short video (under 30 seconds) explaining your idea.
Not at all. A cell phone or laptop video is fine for a submission.
It may help us evaluate your submission, but it isn’t a particular advantage to being accepted.
Unfortunately, no. We love that you have participated in other TEDx events, but to give a talk at TEDxSeattle you must propose a new talk based on a new idea.
First preference is given to speakers from the Seattle area and the Pacific Northwest. On the occasions when we do choose speakers from outside the region, the key is that the speaker is talking about ideas relevant to our local audience.
A teleprompter enables a speaker to read their talk which does not provide the best audience experience. We work closely with our speakers so that they are comfortable delivering the talk without a teleprompter.
Our preferred length is 10-12 minutes, but talks can be as short as five minutes or as long as 15 minutes. Final length will be determined during the coaching process.
Unfortunately, no. TEDx does not allow any speaker to be paid. However, if you do not live in Seattle, we may be able to help cover your travel costs.
The event is held at McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center 321 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109.
Accepted speakers will receive a free ticket for themselves plus one additional ticket for the November event.