3 TEDx Success Lessons from a 1 Million View TEDx Speaker

Almost two years into my TEDx journey (my talk went live on YouTube in June 2016), I can assure you it completely changed my business and my life. So much so that I wish this kind of growth and success for others, which is why I started Red Dot Stage, a speaker coaching service to help people succeed on the TEDx stage and beyond.

I’m asked all the time, “What is it that made your talk stand out to, first, be selected among thousands of applicants, and second, be shared so virally and enthusiastically?” Looking back on my journey, I believe there is no secret or magic formula, but rather some straight answers I’m happy to share. Here are the three main lessons I learned from giving a successful TEDx talk:

Lesson 1: Care

Do you want to know why I got chosen to do a TEDx talk? The answer is simple: I pitched an idea rather than pitching myself. When I asked the curator why he had picked me out of the pile, he said it was because I focused on my idea and why it was worth spreading, rather than on what having a TEDx talk could do for me.

I believe that to really make an impact with your talk, you have to truly, madly, deeply care about your mission and the people you want to reach with your message—much more than about what’s in it for you. If you do your TEDx talk for the right reasons, your audience will feel it. The bottom line is this: if your passion burns brightly and your tribe truly matters to you, your success on stage is almost guaranteed.

Lesson 2: Dare

As TED phenomenon and author Brené Brown teaches, we need to “dare greatly” if we really want to leave a legacy with our talk. I knew that getting on that stage and sharing my vision with a world audience would be a somewhat vulnerable experience. But I believe we are not here to play it small and to hide our gifts from the world.

We have to show up as our most humble human selves and connect with others from the heart. We need to drop the act of perfection. We need to get rid of our own expert label. We need to speak our truth from a place of deep authenticity. If we dare to bare our souls in this way, others will be inspired to rally around our cause and as a result our mission actually comes to life!

Lesson 3: Share

Oftentimes people ask me what I did to make my TEDx talk go viral (a million views in less than a year). While I recommend various different business strategies to help achieve the “viral” effect, it all starts with how share-worthy your talk actually is. Does your viewer see your talk as a gift? Does your talk uplift, surprise, amuse, or empower people? If the answer is yes, then your viewers will want to share your gift with others, too!

The simple act of sharing is a behavior that’s at the core of human nature. Whether we find a secret hotspot for fancy drinks, an amazing vitamin supplement, or a wonderful yoga teacher, we want people we care about to also benefit from our discovery. So, when you’re in the process of crafting your talk, keep the gift to your audience at the front of your mind.

As someone who has been there and done it, I can assure you that if you have an “idea worth spreading” and remember these three lessons, you will create a stellar talk and there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a viral success!

10 Reasons Why You Want to Do a TEDx Talk

Do you want to be a TEDx speaker, yet you find yourself postponing the decision or doubting your success? If so, you’re not alone. Most people believe landing a TEDx talk is difficult and time-consuming at best. They worry about how to craft the perfect speech. They want to know what makes a TEDx talk go viral. 

It’s through in a TEDx talk, you have just 18 precious minutes to hold your audience spellbound by appealing to their heads, hearts and souls. Whether you do this by telling stories, or delivering data with image-rich slides, both can captivate, entertain and inspire, as long as you understand the art and science of persuasion.

At Red Dot Stage, we teach people like you exactly how to do this! Here are 10 reason that will motivate you to start your own “Journey to TEDx”:

  1. Having a winning TEDx talk instantly positions you as an authority and expert in your field.

  2. A TEDx talk gives you a chance to inspire a global audience with a brilliant idea that changes their world view or persuades them to take action.

  3. A well scripted talk combined with the powerful medium of online video allows you not only to share your message but also to transmit your energy, often making a lasting impact on viewer.

  4. Providing high visibility and instant credibility, a successful TEDx talk is the new PR that can help you get massive exposure and a loyal following for a minimal investment of time and resources.

  5. Just imagine, for 5 to 18 magical minutes you get to fan your feathers like a peacock and seduce the world with your brilliant idea!

  6. TEDx talks are irresistible. People watch them on their lunch breaks or before bed when they want an inspiring idea to mull over or to go to sleep with.

  7. Being TEDx speaker allows you to connect with people's deep-rooted needs for love and belonging, personal growth, accelerated change, and hope in the future.

  8. TEDx talks have a noble purpose: they help to raise global consciousness by presenting ideas that otherwise might have stayed in the dark.

  9. Everyone loves the spirit of TED, which is “to bring together different kinds of knowledge into a gigantic web, so we can achieve understanding.”

  10. In a world of ever more specialized knowledge, we all need to spend more time learning from each other so we can co-create a better future.

Some of the benefits you can expect from creating a successful TEDx talk may include a growing community of followers, re-engaging your existing community, establishing a unique personal brand, building or expanding your email/mobile list, creating traffic for your sales pages or funnels, and so on.

At Red Dot Stage, we can help you sell yourself and your ideas more persuasively than you’ve ever imagined. We believe great communicators start movements. Let us help you start your movement!

10 Quick Marketing Tips to Make Your TEDx Talk Go Viral

Congratulations, you did it! You applied and landed a TEDx talk, you gave a stellar stage performance, and your talk is now live on YouTube. What’s next? What can you do to make your message spread like wildfire?

By the way, the time to start planning and planting seeds for this outcome starts way before your talk goes public. You want to be clear on your business objectives and have a solid marketing strategy in place so that when the time comes, everything is orchestrated and all you have to do is focus on the execution. The first 24 to 48 hours after your talk is released on YouTube are by far the most critical.

To help you devise a sound marketing strategy that delivers results, I have compiled a quick checklist for you with my ten best tips so your TEDx talk has the highest chance to go viral!

  1. Use Facebook Ads to get some initial eyeballs to your video to get the initial push you need to create a viral effect.

  2. Post your TEDx talk video in Facebook Groups related to your topic so you can start interacting with people who respond to your video and build more momentum.

  3. Email your family, friends, and extended community (including your email list) and ask them to share your talk on social media. Provide a graphic and/or short email script they can share (make it real easy for them!)

  4. Write to relevant Facebook Page owners and ask them to share your talk on their page!

  5. Create a one- to three-minute teaser video of your TEDx talk and run ads to it with a link to an opt-in page that features your full talk and a way to collect email addresses in exchange for a free digital gift.

  6. Post a blog post on your website and/or high visibility sites such as Medium about your TEDx experience and include a link to your TEDx talk. Share on social media and run ads to increase visibility.

  7. Connect with key Influencers in your industry or niche, and ask them to share your TEDx talk with their audience/followers.

  8. Write a Press Release and disseminate it to the relevant media and PR agencies.

  9. Spread the word by going on podcasts, guest blogging, or speaking at virtual tele-summits. Podcasters and event organizers are always looking for quality content and great presenters to interview!

  10. Create an online contest with amazing prizes for people who share your talk. Everyone has a competitive streak so let them rival for who has the most influence!

These tips are just a starting point. The possibilities are endless so stay tuned as we share more insights, tips, and strategies to help your TEDx talk go viral.

Wishing you and your talk a world of success!