Sneak Peek: First TEDx Speaker Run-Through


Ever wonder what it's like to participate in TEDxPiscataquaRiver as a speaker? One of our many forms of preparation is an in-person group run-through 6-8 weeks before the event.

Voluteer Carrie Anne Harmon attended this first TEDx speaker run-through a few weeks ago at 3S Artspace. Here she shares a sneak peek of what's to come in May:

The TEDxPiscataquaRiver run-through event is a sort of dress rehearsal that serves several purposes. First, it gives the speakers an opportunity to share what they’ve been working on and get some feedback as they finalize their talk. Second, they get to come to the actual performance space where TEDx is happening and get a real feel for the stage. Third, it gives our speaker development team a first look at their talk and an opportunity to talk through what works best and what should be cut. And fourth, it gives the speakers a chance to interact with their fellow speakers and not only swap tips on nerves, prepapration, memorization, etc., but to build some team commeraderie before the big day.

Each speaker present (about half of our lineup was present for this one) gives a run-through of their talk, followed with discussion. We review the speech, comment on content, share advice and questions.

The group as a whole gets to really explore the creativity of the piece and improve on it in any way possible. There was incredible feedback provided on each piece from our past speakers and speaker coach team. We heard things like:

  • “People make decisions based on anecdotes.”
  • “How can we give the listeners action they can take to help with this issue?”
  • “The questions you ask throughout your speech keep the audience engaged and thinking.”
  • “Use photos to create an image for the listener and set the scene for your topic.”
  • “The humor in your talk really connects the audience to your topic.”

By the end of the session everyone was buzzing with inspiration. Each speech was unique, but all were stimulating and thoughtful.

The presentations from our speaker lineup this year are full of funny stories, passionate thinking, creative imagery, and motivating concepts. Many speakers are still working on the accompanyig slide decks and/or visuals for their pieces, and we’re excited to see what they have in store for us in a few short weeks.

Preparing and supporting all of our speakers is such an important part of organizing our TEDx event. The talks are one of the biggest reasons people come to a TEDx event (although others have written about additional reasons why you should attend a TEDx).

We’re very excited to share this incredible event with you on May 6th! Don’t forget that if you weren’t able to get tickets you can stream the event live, attend a live watch party, and check out any of the speeches on YouTube afterward!