Speaker Guidelines

To our confirmed speakers,

TEDxVictoriaHarbour is returning to Hong Kong on May 11th at the Sunbeam Theater in North Point. To build a program under the theme: E-motions in Travel and Tourism, we’ve sought out extraordinary voices in our local  (hospitality) community who have a unique story or an unusual perspective — and who can convey it in a dynamic way.  This includes:

  • Local voices few have heard before
  • People who can present hospitality in a new light
  • Perspectives that the global TED community may not have access to
  • Diverse demographics, ethnicities, backgrounds, subject matter

Thank you for accepting our invitation to speak and the challenge to put together your best talk ever. While we want you to interpret the theme as you see fit, there are still some strict guidelines to follow to ensure we all maintain TED integrity.  The following are not just tips and rules, but will help guide you throughout the process as you prepare your Talk and presentation.  We’ll also be working with you over the next few months to provide feedback where necessary.

We’re eagerly waiting to hear your talk, and hope you’ll do your best to move the audience to think, question, act, laugh or even cry.  Until then, happy thinking!

Best, Yvette and Thibault



Our Audience

Our audience is a smart general audience including everyone from industry professionals to students, travelers to academics.  Because of this wide audience, we would like you to avoid any kind of industry jargon the general population will be unfamiliar with.

Please note that your Talk will also be uploaded to the official TEDx Youtube site with viewership in the millions.  This is ALSO your audience!

The TED Commandments

These 10 tips are given to all TED Conference speakers as they prepare their TEDTalks. They will help your TEDx speakers craft talks that will have a profound impact on your audience.

  1. Dream big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given. Reveal something never seen before. Do something the audience will remember forever. Share an idea that could change the world.
  2. Show us the real you. Share your passions, your dreams … and also your fears. Be vulnerable. Speak of failure as well as success.
  3. Make the complex plain. Don’t try to dazzle intellectually. Don’t speak in abstractions. Explain! Give examples. Tell stories. Be specific.
  4. Connect with people’s emotions. Make us laugh! Make us cry!
  5. Don’t flaunt your ego. Don’t boast. It’s the surest way to switch everyone off.
  6. No selling from the stage! Unless we have specifically asked you to, do not talk about your company or organization. And don’t even think about pitching your products or services or asking for funding from stage.
  7. Feel free to comment on other speakers’ talks, to praise or to criticize. Controversy energizes! Enthusiastic endorsement is powerful!
  8. Don’t read your talk. Notes are fine. But if the choice is between reading or rambling, then read!
  9. End your talk on time. Doing otherwise is to steal time from the people that follow you. We won’t allow it.
  10. Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend … for timing, for clarity, for impact.

Your Content

As a TEDx speaker:

  • You  must tell a story or argue for an idea.
  • You should focus on one unique aspect of your story. (Don’t try to cover too much.)
  • Do NOT sell from the stage or make a sales pitch. (Absolutely no corporate plugs.)
  • Even sponsors are prohibited from using the TED stage to sell products, promote themselves or businesses.
  • We can’t stress enough all talks are held to a strict time limit (never longer than 18 minutes); so rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
  • Every talk’s content must be original and give credit where appropriate. Speakers cannot plagiarize or impersonate other persons, living or dead.
  • You must properly license all images, music and video clips that appear in presentations for TED’s use in worldwide video and web distribution. Don’t grab images from the web unless they are clearly licensed under Creative Commons for use.
  • Speakers must be able to confirm the claims presented in every talk — TED and TEDx are exceptional stages for showcasing advances in science, and we can only stay that way if the claims presented in our talks can stand up to scrutiny from the scientific community.
  • TED is also not the right platform for talks with an inflammatory political or religious agenda, nor polarizing “us vs them” language. If talks fail to meet the standards above, TED reserves the right to insist on their removal.
  • All talks on the TEDxTalks channel represent the opinion of the speaker, not of TED or TEDx, but we feel a responsibility not to provide a platform for misleading information.
  • When a talk is flagged, we will inform the respective TEDx license holder, and we will vet the argument with experts in its relevant field. If they agree that the assertions are misleading or false, we will ask for removal of the talk, and provide the TEDx organizer with a template for informing the speaker of the decision.

Your Presentation/Slides/Video:

The design of a speaker’s presentation is key to its success. Please follow the tips here to help the powerful ideas behind their presentations sing.

  • Less is more: A single, strong, graphic image or succinct line of text will tell your story better than a crowded collage or packed paragraph. Remember, people need to process everything you’re saying while simultaneously absorbing your slides. Rather than one complex slide, show several slides, each with one idea. Eliminate “headline and bullet-points” slides; they are tiring to read.
  • Presentation screen: You can’t always be sure what type of presentation screen you’ll be dealing with. (And changes often happen at the last minute!) Build slides that will work in any of the following dimensions:
    • Widescreen HD (16:9 aspect ratio): 1920×1080 (hi res)
    • Widescreen HD (16:9 aspect ratio): 1280×720 (low res)
    • Squarescreen (4:3 aspect ratio): 1024×768 (hi res)
    • Squarescreen (4:3 aspect ratio): 800×600 (low res)
  • Text quantity: You rarely need more than six lines of text on a slide. Often, only a line or two will do. Sans-serif fonts (like Helvetica) are easier to read at a distance than serif fonts (like Times New Roman).
  • Text size: Your text should be large enough to be legible to the person sitting farthest from the stage.
  • Slide background: A simple background keeps your text readable. If you are using a dark or black background, make the text bold.
  • Graphs, graphics and photos: Use visually arresting images, data and large words to serve as a mnemonic device so the audience has higher visual recall. You must properly license all images for TED’s use in worldwide video and web distribution (we may use the images in TEDTalks, which are distributed globally for free). Don’t grab images from the web. Use high-resolution pictures and graphics. Full-quality photos from a digital camera will look better than images pulled off the web.

TED Talks Usage Policy – notes on copywrights, etc.

Dates To Note

By March 30th:

  • Download and sign the speaker waiver to affirm you are the sole author of your presentation.
  • Submit a high-resolution photo of yourself – preferably one that shows your personality.
  • Submit your talk outline and draft title

By April 20th:

  • Submit your presentation draft so we can provide feedback.

On May 10th

  • Join our welcome dinner to meet other speakers.
  • Submit your final presentation.
  • We’ll present the speaking order.

On May 11th

  • In a dry run at the venue you’ll be able to test your presentation, mic, etc.
  • You’ll sit in the audience and enter the stage from the audience.
  • You’re encouraged to stay for the whole event to support other speakers and mingle during breaks.
  • We’ll have a closing party to celebrate you, your talk, our speakers, their ideas and bright futures.

By Mid Summer

By mid summer we’ll aim to have your videos edited and uploaded to the official TEDx Youtube site for you to watch, share & promote.

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