Apply to speak at TEDxTUM

At TEDxTUM, we believe in the power of sharing impressive ideas and therefore provide the fertile ground for our community to grow new ones. So join us and give your ideas a voice! Please read the information below before you apply—it will help you prepare your application so that our team can consider it.

We review applications on a rolling basis—the earlier we get yours, the better. Application period ends in 0 seconds !

Take me to the application form

Application period for this year has passed. If we do accept applications again, we will reach out via the newsletter. Please sign up to be informed!

What is a TEDx talk?

A TEDx talk is a short, intense talk, given live with no notes and no podium, that has a powerful idea at its core—an “idea worth spreading.” It is given at a TEDx event: a local, volunteer-run initiative that brings people together to share a TED-like experience.

After it is delivered to the local community, a TEDx talk is featured on the TEDx YouTube channel, which has over 17 million subscribers. This means that not only is each TEDx talk seen by the local, live audience, but also brought before a global audience. In addition, some of these talks are selected by the TED team to be included in their community newsletters or featured on

What makes an idea suitable for the TEDx stage?

Great ideas are not only worth sharing, but have the strength to create a lasting impact. They might alter the audience’s current perspective, or even open them up to a completely new way of thinking. We’ve provided a short list to give you a hint of which ideas are worth spreading and which may not fit our stage.

A good idea for TEDxTUM

  • Groundbreaking and novel
  • Controversial, challenging and backed by empirical evidence
  • Makes the complex comprehensible to a broader audience
  • Invites to rethink a common perspective
  • Speaks of failure as well as success
  • Presented with authenticity by a genuine speaker who aims to give the talk of their life

A not-so-good idea for TEDxTUM

  • Sales pitch of a company or product
  • Has a person/the speaker at the center instead of an idea
  • Purely motivational talks
  • Fundraising or crowdfunding pleas
  • Ideas that have been covered many times before (especially on other TEDx stages)

Wrapping this idea into a talk

There is no set formula for a great talk—which is also what makes every TEDx talk so unique. If you’re unsure how your idea could be wrapped into a talk, you can jump start your creativity and fuel your inspiration with the types of talks below.

The BIG idea
These talks focus on one or two very strong points, which are central to the core of the message the speaker aims to convey.
Examples: Bryan Stevenson, Onora O'Neill, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The artist’s statement
In this style of talk, artists showcase their art and explain the meaning and process behind what they create.
Examples: Raghava KK, Liu Bolin, Aparna Rao

The small idea
These talks do not introduce a big, world-changing idea, but instead center around a very engaging take on an interesting topic.
Examples: Mary Roach, Joe Smith, Charlie Todd

The "dazzle with wonder"
These talks are mainly about the amazement of science and discovery in a way that’s engaging at every education level. Examples: Yoav Medan, Marcus Byrne, Janna Levin

The tech demo
Differing from the norm, these talks are an onstage look at a clever new invention that the speaker was a part of creating.
Examples: Tan Le, Markus Fischer, Raffaello D'Andrea

The "issue" talk
This type of talk takes a more compelling turn, as the speaker works to expose the audience to an issue that they may not otherwise know much about.
Examples: Rodrigo Canales, Lawrence Lessig, Rose George

How to apply and what happens afterwards

  1. Complete the application form before 18:00 on 28 April.
  2. Our team will review the applications and we might invite you for an audition. We will want to get to know you better and we will want to see a shortened, first-draft version of your talk. Auditions take place 13-16 May (after 18:00, you will be able to pick a slot) at the TUM city center campus and you will have at least a week to prepare.
  3. We let you know if we want to develop the idea for the TEDxTUM 2019 stage by the end of May.
  4. You go on the road to the red circle (see below) and if all goes well, give your talk at TEDxTUM at the end of November 2019.

What if I am selected as a speaker? The road to the red circle

Even if you are an experienced speaker, a TEDx talk is a new kind of challenge. But don’t worry, you are not on your own: our curation team will work closely with you and make sure you are ready, just like we do with all speakers in our lineup. A TEDx talk requires extensive preparation, regular coaching, rehearsals and refinements so that when the day comes you are more than ready to deliver a powerful talk. Who knows? There might be a standing ovation at the end of this journey. Below is a small preview of how we will work together.