(Close Window)
Topic: How to Give a TED Talk - One Magician's Journey
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jul 27, 2015 09:04AM)
Hey everyone,

Ever since I delivered a TEDx talk in June and the video hit YouTube a month ago I've received questions and comments from magicians and non-magicians alike the world over asking about the process. People want to know, what's it like to give a TED talk? When I was first preparing for my own I searched for blogs written by people who had given one, hoping to learn about it from first hand experiences, but found very little out there. So I've compiled a huge 5000 word post describing my entire experience from start to finish.

You'll find it here: http://brianmillermagic.com/how-to-give-a-ted-talk-one-magicians-journey/

If you have any questions that I didn't address, please let me know.


Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Jul 27, 2015 01:08PM)
Thanks Brian - I will give it a read latter in the week.
Message: Posted by: jugglery (Aug 2, 2015 01:06AM)
Thanks for posting this, Brian.

I'm a presenter for a TEDx talk in October, so I'm in the midst of refining the message and style. Your blog post was very helpful.

Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 3, 2015 05:35AM)
Uhhhh, please excuse an old geezer butting in, but WHUT is a TEDx talk??? (I must plead ignorance or stupidity!) Maybe, I was just born too soon...
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 3, 2015 07:01AM)
The TEDx Talks are a pretty well respected series of lectures by professionals and specialists on their area of success. Brian recently presented a great presentation on his topic as a performer and lecturer. He also took the time to create a release/announcement campaign and focused on making the whole experience have interest, appeal and a lifespan of benefits to him and his business extending long beyond its normal reach and appeal. You should search youtube and check them out, starting with Brian's.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Aug 3, 2015 07:38AM)
Thanks Mindpro!
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Aug 5, 2015 10:41PM)
Brian - I read your journey. Thanks for providing so many details. It was interesting to discover all the things one has to take into account in order to have a strong performance as well as plans to maximize the benefits.
Message: Posted by: bubbleburst2004 (Aug 8, 2015 05:23PM)
Brian, congratulations on the talk and sharing your insights. I learnt a lot .

My only concern is that you sometimes advertise it as a TED talk, when it was actually a TEDx talk. Quite a difference. And perhaps a little disrespectful of the guys who have done TED talks. Yes, once you read or watch further you see the reality, but your title and sig file are a little bit misleading. Like the magicians who claim to have performed at the Castle or on a cruise ship, when all they did was a card trick at the bar or perform in the passenger show.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Aug 9, 2015 08:28AM)
Bubbleburst2004: I can appreciate what you're saying, but I don't see it as a big deal. As you noted, I only use "TED Talk" in the title or link, which is for SEO purposes. I am always transparent about it being a TEDx talk in the blog posts. Plus, most people have no idea what the difference is between TED and TEDx. Your analogy to performing a card trick at the bar in the Castle isn't quite fair, I don't think.

In any regard, thanks for watching and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Really appreciate the support!
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 9, 2015 08:47AM)
I agree with this as well. Most people will not distinguish the difference and Brian is quite upfront with everything and what it is. I think many here are also missing some interesting points in relation to this presentation. Like most around here, everyone is seeming to only focus on the talk itself and perhaps the topic.

But in a much bigger picture, from a business perspective, I think Brian should be complimented on his approach (that many seemed to miss) to this event as a whole. His whole idea of a pre-event release and announcement to create interest and awareness while creating a buzz and anticipation leading up to the event itself was a very good use of pre-promotion and multi-media resources.

His announcement/release was well thought out, crafted and produced specifically how he wanted it presented to serve its purpose of pre-event promotion, as well as what he is doing with the back end. Using press and media and related resources to incorporate into all of our performances, presentation and business offerings is something missed and really not understood by most performers, and I applaud Brian for not only realizing and understanding this, but taking the steps (actions) to make this happen for him and thus taking control of an opportunity often missed by others. I enjoyed watching your efforts, the process and the results. Well done.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 9, 2015 10:48AM)
How many people have to be put off by it for it to matter?

I have no idea still the difference but if there is one then it is odd to make the mistake intentionally. To those who do know the difference it is a let down.

Point is if people indeed do not know the difference changing it should not be a big deal.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Aug 9, 2015 11:32AM)
[quote]On Aug 9, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
How many people have to be put off by it for it to matter?

I have no idea still the difference but if there is one then it is odd to make the mistake intentionally. To those who do know the difference it is a let down.

Point is if people indeed do not know the difference changing it should not be a big deal. [/quote]

A whole lot more than 1 person of the nearly 100,000 people who have watched it have to be put off for me to change the strategy. And it's not such an odd "mistake" to make: Most people search Google for TED talks whether they mean TED or TEDx (because they don't know the difference). For that reason it says "TED" in the title and link, in order to show up in Google results. As soon as you click it, the post says "TEDx conference" everywhere.

And since the charge is that "someone who has given a TED talk might be offended," then I will take it seriously when someone who has given a TED talk gets offended. Right now, it's just one person who has not given a TED talk speaking on their behalf. I see no reason for me to change my strategy as a result.

But I welcome a further discussion.

SIDE NOTE: Danny, since you say you don't understand the difference, here it is: TEDx talks are independently organized by local communities under the strict guidelines and philosophy of TED. One must apply for a TEDx license from TED and pass a very stringent set of conditions to receive it, and must reapply every single year.

UPDATE: I've changed it as a trial to see how it looks/works.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 9, 2015 01:16PM)
Well it seems to me that intentionally using the wrong name to get better Google result is wrong.

Why wait until someone is offended? If it is wrong it is wrong.

Whqt you will never know is those who simply do jot use you BECAUSE of what they perceived as a false claim. Many a comic has run into the perception that they lied about a resume and had tough time finding work and never knew why.

I just don't see the reason is all. The accomplishment stands on its own. It is fantastic and getting invited is great in and of itself. It went great. Why play games for better Google results?
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Aug 9, 2015 01:18PM)
This came across my Facebook feed today: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-gwars-insane-ted-talk-on-regional-identity-20150809#ixzz3iLE3xZHJ

Apparently even Rolling Stone doesn't know the difference. Same thing. Referred to as "TED talk" but then states "at a TEDx conference" - this vernacular is pretty universal. To say "TED talk" at a "TEDx conference" which is what I did. Thoughts?

I never said it was a TED conference or the TED main event.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 9, 2015 01:22PM)
My thoughts haven't changed. Being as ignorant as Rolling Stone makes me feel no less ignorant for not knowing.

Doing it like that to boost Google results is what your intent is. Do the people at TED mind? Ask them if it is ok to misrepresent on purpose. If they don't mind nobody else should. I wouldn't if they don't.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Aug 9, 2015 01:32PM)
The difference is: TEDx is not for professional speakers, such as motivational speakers and the like.
Its purpose is to give a platform to those who donít normally have one. TEDx focuses more on the
local community while TED takes more of a global approach.

I think that is what bubble was saying.

Still, I too thought Brain did a great job.

Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Aug 9, 2015 01:32PM)
EDIT: In any regard, I changed it earlier for those of you who were offended. I will continue to look into the issue.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 9, 2015 02:26PM)
I was and am not offended in the least. I think you did a fantastic job as I said.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Aug 9, 2015 02:49PM)
No Iím not offended either. Not at all.

TEDx is a part of TED. And Brain did openly say on here in the beginning that he was doing it mainly
for the experience of being on a talk show that didnít want just a performance.

Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Aug 9, 2015 04:06PM)
[quote]On Aug 9, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
I was and am not offended in the least. I think you did a fantastic job as I said. [/quote]

Oh I know! It's good to hear the difference of opinion on a subject like this. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 9, 2015 06:58PM)
It is exactly that. An opinion and nothing more of mine.
Message: Posted by: bubbleburst2004 (Aug 10, 2015 05:59PM)
Brian, I wasn't offended either. As stated I quite liked your talk and really liked your sharing of your thought process and actions.

Some time ago I was considering applying to run a TEDx event. Part of that process was to study the rules and lengthy guidelines.
Their intention is quite clear in relationship to the 2 brands .....from the Rules. ...

"While we appreciate any coverage, we kindly ask that all journalists and/or bloggers be respectful of the difference between the TED and TEDx brands."

There is more, but I think you understand, otherwise you wouldn't have made the corrections you did.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Aug 10, 2015 10:35PM)
Appreciate you bringing it up, thank you.

In other news... the video hit 100,000 views tonight. Holy Moses.
Message: Posted by: jugglery (Aug 24, 2015 10:29PM)
Tom Boleware said:
The difference is: TEDx is not for professional speakers, such as motivational speakers and the like.

Just so you know, this is not the distinction between the two. Plenty of TEDx speakers are pros and plenty of TED speakers aren't pro speakers. The difference is in the organization of the event and in the accessibility of the event to audience members and presenters.

There is one TED conference each year. Audience members must apply to attend - sending a resume, of sorts, in order to qualify. Tickets to the conference are $8,500. There are other versions, such as TED Global and TED Active.

There are more than 1,000 TEDx events coming up in the next year, all over the world. Audiences are limited to just 100 people, and tickets are distributed free, by a lottery. You don't apply for tickets, but you have to register to get them. At the TEDx I'll be speaking at, there will be a live video feed to another meeting room. Those who don't get in to the live presentation can see it by video on that day.

So, getting a TEDx opportunity is much more accessible for everyone involved.

Both have prestige, but TED is definitely the bigger brother.

A TEDx speaker can certainly move up to the TED platform, but the competition is great.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Aug 26, 2015 11:44AM)

Congratulations on the talk...what a great honor and experience. Thank you even more for writing about it. I applied to give TEDx talk last year and the team never bothered to reply to me. If only I had what you'd written back then.

Thanks again
Message: Posted by: jkvand (Nov 25, 2015 08:32AM)
Just read this thread, watched your TEDx Talk, and read your article about the whole journey - thank you for sharing! Wonderful job not only preparing and delivering the talk, but also writing up all the relevant info about your experience. This is a very helpful resource about combining magic and speaking, or transitioning between the two. Thank you for living up to the Magic Cafť's motto of magicians helping magicians.
Message: Posted by: The Mysterious One (Dec 16, 2015 12:22PM)

I have decided to contribute to the Cafť after many years of reading various posts to give back as much as I can. The TEDx Talk you did was great. I also appreciate you sharing your experiences as well. Thank you for openly sharing your thoughts, preparation, and everything else in between that made your TEDx talk a success. Congratulations!