3106 Ingersoll Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

Speaker FAQ'S


Are you still accepting applications for the 2021 event? 

No. We closed the application process on 11/20/20. You are welcome to submit a speaker inquiry for future events. 

Can I get a longer time slot for my talk?

No, you must condense your idea into a 10- to 12-minute talk, and we strictly enforce the clock for all speakers. A short, carefully prepared talk can have a compelling impact, and it is the format that TEDx is known for.

Can groups apply to speak? 

No, talks should be given by an individual, and individual applicants may only apply.

Can I receive special accommodations if I am chosen to speak?

Yes, if needed, we will allow accommodations necessary to assuring that your message is well delivered. 

Can I submit more than one idea?

Yes, you may, if the idea aligns with the theme; is thought-provoking; and it can be credibly spoken about. In order to submit more than one idea, you must complete an application per each idea. However, multiple applications do not garner you a better standing in being chosen to speak.

Can I update my application once I’ve applied?

Yes, as it may take time to refine your idea, or you may need time to gather supplemental information. However, all components and additions to the application must be received by the application deadline.

Can I speak if I become a sponsor?

No, partnering with our organization has many benefits, but TED guidelines state that allowing a sponsor to speak would “compromise the integrity of the event.” Furthermore, if we do not uphold a “clear division between sponsorship and editorial,” we lose our TEDx license.

If I am chosen, am I required to stay on-site for the entire event?

No, but we think you will want to, and you will receive a complimentary ticket to the entire event. As well, leading up to the event, you will be grouped with other speakers during your preparation, and you will likely see support from one another.

Is there anything I should avoid in my talk? What types of ideas will not be considered?

Yes, for further instruction refer to our content guidelines, but following are a few tips. You are not on stage to promote your business, services nor products. Your idea should be original and the talk should be exclusive to our event. Finally, avoid complex, abstract, and inaccessible ideas, and instead, give concrete examples and use emotion to create connection and relevancy with the audience.

I have an idea but it is not a full talk. Should I still apply?

Yes, in fact, we are looking for ideas. However, the idea needs to be able to be supported with facts and credible sources, and it needs to be an idea that can be expanded to a talk of substance within a short time after being chosen.

What are the expectations of applicants?

Applying is a challenging process which includes several months of auditioning, fact-finding, editing, coaching, and rehearsals. Please be prepared for the time commitment. 

What is your rubric for choosing speakers?

We are looking for anyone and everyone whom can present a compelling topic using quality storytelling. For more detailed information, refer to the speaker criteria. Additional consideration will be how the applicant’s topic aligns with the event’s theme, and how the talks interconnect to make an interesting event. 

Will my talk be featured on TED.com?

Yes, all TEDx talks from 2018 to the present day can be found on TED.com by searching for the speaker’s name or the name of the TEDx event. However, a small number of TEDx talks are prominently featured on TED.com, and talks are chosen by TED’s curators whom look for preparation, engaging content, and high-quality video production.

Do I have to live in Des Moines to speak at TEDxDesMoines? 

This event is for the greater Des Moines region, as defined by this map. If you currently live in this region we welcome you to submit an application. If you are FROM this region, but have moved away, you are also eligible. If you have no ties to this region, but are passionate about communicating with those in the Des Moines region you are welcome to apply, but please understand that significant weight will be given to those who reside in or have a history in the greater Des Moines area.