Faculty, alumni and students at FIU are full of world changing ideas. We see it all the time in their research and community service. Those big ideas are the reason we believe TEDx is such a great fit for our university.

We’re actively recruiting speakers for the November 15 event. TedxFIU talks can be anywhere from 5 to 18 minutes long. The deadline to apply is Sept. 14.

What makes a great TEDxFIU speaker:

1. A big idea: The theme for TEDxFIU is “Beyond the World You Know.” So we are looking for talks that will challenge, inspire or wow the audience with a new idea or a new way of looking at the world. Your idea can be from any discipline or it can be from your own life experience. Because of TEDx rules, talks cannot be promotions for FIU.

2. Clarity: Chris Anderson, the curator for TED Talks, explained this best in an interview: “One of the most common killers is a lack of clarity. A presenter has a lot to say but they fail to put it together in a compelling and understandable narrative. There’s too much jargon, or a bit too much chopping and changing. Some people will try to cram too much in, and the audience doesn’t feel like it’s been brought along on a thrilling journey.”

2. Visual aids: Speakers are not required to have visual aids and some of the best TED talks don’t have any. But done right, talks with photos or props can have a powerful impact. Psychologist Philip Zimbardo’s talk on the nature of evil is so much more harrowing because of the images from Abu Ghraib. Brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor brought a real human brain for her talk on losing her brain function after a stroke.

If you still need inspiration on what makes a great TED talk, sign on to our Facebook page and keep track of the videos we post. Watching just a few of these compelling ideas being delivered will quell any remaining doubt.

How to apply

So, if you have your big idea, here’s where you apply: https://tedx.fiu.edu/be-a-speaker. We are asking all applicants to submit a link to a video that shows you speaking. This can be as simple as a quick recording done with your smart phone. You don’t have to do your proposed TED talk in your video, but we do encourage that.

How speakers will be chosen

We’ve put together a TEDxFIU Advisory Board with representatives from around the university to help recruit great speakers. The board will also review the applications after Sept. 14 and narrow the list of applicants to a list of finalists.

Then, the list of finalists will be sent to the TEDxFIU curators: External Relations Senior Vice President Sandra Gonzalez-Levy, External Relations Vice President Terry Witherell, Vice Provost Elizabeth Bejar and Professor Eduardo Gamarra of the School of International and Public Affairs. They will select the final speakers. The number of speakers will depend on the length of the talks; we are aiming for 6-8.

The speakers will be announced on October 1.

If you are a speaker

Congratulations! The speakers will be working with the organizers of TEDxFIU — that’s me, Deborah O’Neil and Eduardo Merille — to refine their presentations, develop any visual aids and rehearse. We will also have a public speaking coach from the FIU Communication Arts program available for assistance. All speakers will be required to make time for rehearsals in the month of October and November.

On the night of the event, speakers also must attend the post TEDxFIU reception. The idea is mix and mingle with the audience and continue the conversation about your big idea.

So? What’s your big idea?