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TEDxDayton Signature Event

The 7th annual TEDxDayton 2019 Signature Event is now accepting applications from community members. The event will take place on Friday, October 11 at the Victoria Theatre in downtown Dayton, OH.

The theme for this year’s signature event is “CONNECT.”

TEDxDayton’s mission is to bring the spirit of ideas worth spreading to deep conversation and connections within the community. The event will feature TED’s signature format of brief talks, demonstrations and performances meant to inspire learning and curiosity while encouraging meaningful conversation.

“Staying true to a core tenant of TEDxDayton, we are looking for speakers who have a big idea worth sharing,” said Brenden Wynn, co-chair of the Speakers Committee. “This can be a new idea, or a unique perspective on an existing idea. While a talk doesn’t have be formed around the idea of ‘connection,’ we do hope our slate of speakers can connect with their audience in a way that keeps their idea worth sharing alive long after the event.”

You don’t have to be a professional speaker or a published author. The event will include a diverse slate of speakers on a wide range of topics. All you need is a new idea, a strong point of view, and the courage to share your thoughts with a large audience.

We’re looking for individuals who can deliver a focused, thought-provoking message in a talk of roughly 6 to 10 minutes.

We also ask for a commitment to the process. Once selected, speakers will be assigned a mentor (likely a former TEDxDayton speaker) who will guide them through a series of workshops and rehearsals over the course of four months. Those mentors, and the Speakers Committee, will help them refine their topic, edit their talk, and practice their performance.

TEDx talks are as varied as the people who give them. TED rules prohibit talks that explicitly promote a speaker’s book or business, talks with political or religious agendas, and talks which promote pseudoscience.

Photo by Knack Creative.
Photo by Knack Creative.


Photo by Knack Creative.
Photo by Knack Creative.

TED suggests the following seven types of talks:

The big idea

The talks that make one or two very strong points, and it’s important. Examples: Bryan StevensonOnora O’NeillChimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The tech demo

An onstage look at some clever new invention that the speaker was a part of creating. Examples: Tan LeMarkus FischerRaffaello D’Andrea

The performance

Music, dance, magic, puppetry, or some other performance to captivate your audience. Examples: Usman Riaz + Preston ReedArthur BenjaminPilobolus

The artist’s statement

In these talks, artists showcase their art and explain the meaning and process behind what they create. Examples: Raghava KKLiu BolinAparna Rao

The “dazzle with wonder”

These talks are mainly about the amazement of science and discovery. Examples: Yoav Medan, Marcus ByrneJanna Levin

The small idea

These talks are not about one big, world-changing idea, but instead a very engaging take on an interesting topic. Examples: Mary RoachJoe SmithCharlie Todd

The “issue” talk

These talks expose your audience to an issue that they may not otherwise know much about. Examples: Rodrigo CanalesLawrence LessigRose George


  • Applications are currently being reviewed by the Speakers Committee.
  • Applicants will be notified by email in mid-April about whether or not they are invited to audition. Those selected to audition will be assigned an audition date and time.
  • Auditions will be held the evenings of May 6th, 7th, and 14th, as well as the morning of May 11.
  • The final slate of speakers will be selected and notified in early June.

For inquiries regarding the application process, email Brenden Wynn at

*Please note that we are not taking late applications.