Apply to Speak/Perform

TEDxSanDiego Speaker/Performer Submission Guidelines & Form

The deadline to apply for 2023 TEDxSanDiego is December 1, 2022
In Person Call Backs will be on December 11, 2022
Speakers and Performers will be announced in early February 2023.
**We will not be responding to applications received past the deadlines.


We are now accepting submissions for TEDxSanDiego 2023. 

TEDxSanDiego is always looking for great ideas worth spreading that we can bring to our community on the TEDxSanDiego stage. The submission form is open to anyone. Please fill out if you are applying to speak or have a performance that you would like considered. 

In-Person Call Backs:  We will email you by December 5, 2022, if you have been chosen for an in-person callback. Callbacks will be held on Sunday, December 11, 2022. Keep this date open! You will be giving the same talk that you submit in your application. You will not need to memorize the talk for callbacks. You can read a script. No AV for callbacks.


Contrary to what many may believe, TEDx talks aren’t just motivational talks or stories – they must revolve around a central idea. This idea doesn’t have to be completely new – it could be a unique approach to an old problem, or a new perspective that provokes insight.

Some ideas that have made good TEDx talks in the past are:

  • A unique perspective on important and timely issues given by subject matter experts.
  • New inventions, scientific or economic theories that will change the way we live, work, or play.
  • Universal insights gained through unusual or unexpected personal experiences.

Here is what we look for in a strong submission:

  • The applicant presents a crystal-clear, singular idea and must submit a 3-6 min video to be considered..  (more details on the application form) This is a draft, we want to see your idea worth sharing and how you present it. If chosen, your talk will be further developed with our speaker coaches. 
  • An idea that addresses a topic of acute interest to our audience or a pressing challenge in our community.  — Remember you are sharing an IDEA, not an ISSUE.
  • We are looking for ideas from San Diego and for the World. Thus, we only work with speakers from San Diego and in some cases broader San Diego County.
  • The idea was founded in proven data/evidence or experience and has a broader application than just to the speaker’s life or situation.
  • The idea is novel: We have not heard it before at TEDxSanDiego or from any other TED or TEDx speaker. (Research your idea first on
  • One of the most important aspects of creating a great talk is to show a willingness to be vulnerable.
  • See TED guidelines: HERE.

Conversely, talks that aren’t a good fit for TEDxSanDiego include:

  • “How to be more successful” presentations.
  • Motivational talks.
  • Personal narratives.
  • Canned talks that have been given at another conference or event.
  • Sales pitches for a company or a product.
  • Fundraising asks for a cause or company.
  • No Political or Religious Talks

Please note the following considerations:

  • Speakers must demonstrate expertise, and where relevant, credentials in the field they are speaking about.
  • Speakers and performers may not promote themselves, their company, or a product from the TEDx stage.
  • Speakers and performers cannot be paid for their talk.
  • Speakers must have an average of 1-2 hours per week to devote to TEDx between selection and the event date.
  • Speakers must agree to receive coaching from the TEDxSanDiego coaching team.


  • You’re required to be responsive and provide talk outlines, slides, and other information we ask for by our deadlines. You’ll be going through a 3 to 4-month coaching program that leads you through the talk’s development.
  • You’re expected to work with the speaker coaches to modify your talk to optimize impact accordingly and at the pace, you agree on with them.
  • You must attend the entire event on June 11 and the Rehearsal on June 10, 2023. 
  • We will be having other speaker/sponsor gatherings leading up to the event that we would like for you to participate in. (In person and virtual events)We always love to have your ideas and we will have time for you to interact with attendees before and after your talk at the day of the event.

For Performances: We are looking for unusual performances. Please fill out the application to share. Performances could include:  (Dancers, Singers, Group Performances, Spoken Word, Artists, Bubble Performances, etc).  **We will not be holding callbacks for performers.