• 04.15.11

TED Goes “American Idol,” Holding First-Ever Open Auditions In NYC

You may not be a CEO, a billionaire philanthropist, a tech whiz kid or a saintly fighter for the rights of humanity, but you–yes, you–have a shot at the TED stage in 2012. The conference which formerly stood for Technology, Entertainment, Design is holding its first-ever open auditions before a live audience in New York City on May 24. But they’re not just looking for the familiar 18 minutes of yuks and inspiration. They want major production values:


“a imaginative soundtrack … accompanied by a custom-animated movie … campfire-style storytelling … a comic routine … improv/audience interaction …”

Improv! Really? I was in the minority who HATED Sarah Kay’s “impassioned” performance-poetry routine at this year’s TED, so I’m not that excited about the prospect of more such gimmickry. Still, you have to give the TED team credit for trying something new–and for opening up the process. To audition, you must submit a one-minute video by April 25.  Want tips on delivering the perfect TED talk? See below.

[Image: Flickr user Suzie Katz]

About the author

She’s the author of Generation Debt (Riverhead, 2006) and DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, (Chelsea Green, 2010). Her next book, The Test, about standardized testing, will be published by Public Affairs in 2015.