TEDx Vanderbilt University

Home » Speaking » The Basics

The Basics

What is a TEDx Talk?

A TEDx Talk is a showcase for speakers presenting great, well-formed ideas in under 18 minutes.

Why under 18 minutes?

This short talk model works because it only demands the audience’s attention for a short period of time, decreasing the chance of minds wandering or daydreaming. For TEDxVanderbiltUniversity, talks will be under 10 minutes in length.

What is a great, well-formed idea?

It can be one of two things:

  • Something that’s new and surprising; an idea or invention that your audience has never heard about.
  • A great basic idea (that your audience has maybe already heard) with a compelling new argument behind it that challenges beliefs and perspectives.

In other words, an idea isn’t just a story or a list of facts. A good idea takes certain evidence or observations and draws a larger conclusion. A great talk for TEDxVanderbiltUniversity will present something that is an original idea or original content.

Types of “talks”

  • The big idea that makes one or two strong points and is important
  • The tech demo that displays (but does not sell) a clever new invention that the speaker was part of creating
  • The performance by a group of Vanderbilt community members
  • The artist’s statement explaining the meaning and process behind what they create
  • The “dazzle with wonder” about the amazement of science and discovery
  • The small idea that focuses on an interesting concept.
  • The “issue” talk that exposes the audience to an issue they may not otherwise know much about