Applying to Audition for TED2013

TED began in 1984 as a conference to bring together people from the fields of technology, education, and design.  It has since become one of the most prestigious conferences of its kind.  It’s probably most notable for its “TED Talks:” 18-minute talks on some subject by an expert with an idea worth sharing.  It doesn’t matter who you are, from Mike Rowe to Sir Ken Robinson to Bill Gates to Sergey Brin and Larry Page – you stand up, make as much sense as you can for 18 minutes, then sit down.  18 minutes is just about the perfect length for such a talk.  It’s long enough to lay out the basics of almost any idea, but short enough to force the speaker to state it concisely and with elegance.

Having watched TED Talks for years, I’ve come to think of them as the ultimate demonstration of the communicator’s art.  If you can set heads on fire in 18 minutes, you’ve really done something.  It’s a challenge that I’ve wanted for years to meet.  The problem is that you don’t really go to TED with your spiel.  TED comes to you and asks. [Read more...]

Making a Run at TED2013

I’ve admired the TED Conference since I discovered videos of TED talks online five or six years ago.  Each presenter gets 18 minutes to express his or her “ideas worth spreading” in the most engaging way possible.  A genuine “stand up, make sense, and sit down” presentation format that does away with the stuff that doesn’t matter and puts the important stuff out front.  I think that my favorites thus far have been Jill Tarter and Mike Rowe.  I’ve become aware through TED of people who have since become heroes of sorts.  And I’ve come across ideas that I’d like to think that I’ve internalized and used to fuel much of what I’ve done, whether professionally or avocationally.

The TED approach has had a lot to do with the way in which I’ve approached Airspeed over the last six years.  After all, what else could be to blame for a suburban schlub who’s talked his way into military aircraft, flown with some of the best airshow performers out there, and become a competitive aerobatic pilot himself?

So you can imagine how exciting it was when I saw the announcement for TED2013.  At least half of the program will be crowdsourced.  Auditions will take place in 14 cities around the world.  Applications open for the New York auditions on March 30, they close on April 19m and the auditions are on June 7.  The application allows the applicant to submit a video. [Read more...]