TEDx Application Tips


The TEDxBozeman team is incredibly excited to start planning for the 8th Annual TEDxBozeman event. With over 70 applications each year, our selection process is extremely competitive. This year, our selection committee has come together to provide some guidance and tips as you prepare your application!

Get excited about the idea you want to share from the TEDxBozeman stage. If you are excited, it will be much easier for our team to get excited about helping you spread your BIG IDEA. Plus, we want to get to know you, don’t shy away from the camera and let your personality shine through! 


Our selection committee is a group of passionate individuals from a variety of disciplines; however, it is unlikely that we have expertise in your specific field, and 90 seconds is NOT a lot of time. Don’t just ramble into the camera, take some time to plan and help us by connecting your idea to the relevant research and/or impact on our community.

Each year, our coordinating team puts a lot of thought into what the theme for the annual event will be; make sure you take the time to read through the theme and connect it to your idea! We purposefully select themes that are broad in order to accommodate a diverse range of topics – be ready to think outside the box!


Don’t be scared off because you think your topic/idea doesn’t fit the theme – our number one goal when choosing speakers/performers is to put on a high-quality event with a diverse range of subject matter with relevance to the Bozeman community!

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxBozeman, where x = independently organized TED event. With this in mind, we are looking for ideas that are relevant to our Bozeman community!

In addition to your idea, we want to know what impact your topic has on our community and are looking to hear what is the single takeaway that you want our audience (and online viewers) to walk away with.

One of the questions we have our selection committee consider for EVERY application is: Is this applicant the correct person to give this specific talk? In other words, we want to know why you are uniquely qualified to talk on the proposed subject – is it your research, degree, professional experience, travels, life experiences, etc. Let us know what makes you an authority on the subject!


With over 70 applications to go through, we need the pitches to be short, concise, and to the point! We know that 90 seconds is not that long, but we have found that the best speakers are able to relay their idea in this time frame! Pitches that go far over this limit are nearly always thrown out.

Spend more than 15 minutes on your application and consider the best way to relay your story to our team. Practice your application with friends, family, or colleagues, and ask them for constructive feedback!

Consider showing us your relevant work, specifically if you are an artist! Professionals and academics may also find that sharing images/photos furthers their pitch and will help us connect to your idea.


**This might not work in every pitch, use your discretion on the best way to pitch your BIG IDEA.


We are looking for FRESH ideas – and it will hugely benefit your application to pitch it that way! With that said, we understand that research (in particular) is something that you have been working on and speaking on for years. The fresh idea we are looking for is how you are taking your research or idea and applying it to “everyday life” in a way that our audience will be able to relate to it.


We are so looking forward to viewing your applications! If you have ANY questions about the application process, please feel to reach out to our speaker coordinators: Katya and Dalton at speakers@tedxbozeman.com.


Again, thank you for your interest in speaking at TEDxBozeman 2019!

2018 Talk Titles Announced

TEDxBozeman is pleased to announce the speaker line up and talk titles for the 2018 event. The event will be held April 28th at The Commons and bring together 12 speakers, 3 performers, and 550 community members for one big day of ideas worth spreading.

This will be TEDxBozeman’s 7th year, and the theme for the event is Redefine.

Detailed speaker, event, and ticket information can be found at TEDxBozeman.com.


Speakers and Talk Titles

Micah Fink -  Redefining the relationship between challenge and purpose

Vasu Sojitra -  What is your normal?

Dr. Luke McKay - Life, electrons, and aliens

Molly Caro May -  Female rage and resilience in the modern era

Dr. Jordy Hendrikx -  Understanding avalanche risk: A new paradigm

Bridget Wilkinson - The power of showing up

Whitney Tilt -  Paying for the play: Putting our money where our footprints are

Meredith Scully -  Unlocking potential: Learning through connection

Dan Doty -  What the world needs from men

Dr. Angela Des Jardins - What an eclipse taught me about being human

Lorca Smetana - A hunger for joy

Chris Hedrick -  Potential and opportunity: Learning in the age of a.i.


Performers and Performance Titles

Summit Highsteppers - The big apple

Improv on the Verge - Improv: A play by play

Raison D'être Dance Project - Trinity


About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com.

TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia. TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.


About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

2018 Speaker Lineup Announced

TEDxBozeman is pleased to announce the speaker lineup for the 2018 event, which will be held April 28th at The Commons. This year our team received nearly 70 speaker applications and would like to thank each and every person that took the time to apply.

Speaking at TEDxBozeman 2018 will be...

  • Meredith Scully // Founder and Director of Cottonwood Day School

  • Vasu Sojitra // Adaptive Sports Director for Eagle Mount and Professional Athlete

  • Whitney Tilt // Director, Lands and Wildlife, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

  • Bridget Wilkinson // Executive Director of Bozeman Area Community Foundation

  • Dr. Angela Des Jardins // Director, Montana Space Grant Consortium

  • Molly Caro May // Writer and Teacher

  • Dr. Luke McKay // Astrobiologist and Microbial Ecologist, Center for Biofilm Engineering at MSU

  • Lorca Smetana // Resilience and Performance Coaching, MSU Instructor

  • Micah Fink // Founder and Executive Director of Heroes and Horses

  • Dr. Jordy Hendrikx // Director, Snow and Avalanche Laboratory, Associate Professor of Geography

  • Dan Doty // CEO & Co-Founder of Everyman

  • Chris Hedrick // Entrepreneur

TEDxBozeman is 100% volunteer-organized and entirely funded through the support of local organizations. If you would like to explore sponsoring this year’s event, our sponsorship team can be reached at sponsors@TEDxBozeman.com.

Redefine: TEDxBozeman 2018

In 2017 we asked Southwest Montana to Elevate their perspective. In 2018, you are invited to help Redefine what is possible.

About The Theme

Our world is constantly in a state of redefinition, from how we communicate and work to how we eat and live. As we bring our perspective to a more local view, we will explore how Montana’s traditions, land, and way of life are constantly changing to align with ever-changing expectations.

"You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem." - Tim Cook

Embracing this change and growth in our local communities brings many opposing viewpoints and ideas to the table. While growth can be good, it does require some redefinition of who we are, how we live, and the choices we make.

Join us as we redefine what's possible, redefine the status quo, and help redefine the world at TEDxBozeman 2018. The event will be held April 28th, 2018 at The Commons.

Calling All Speakers

Are you working to redefine the status quo? Have a great idea to share? Speaker applications can be submitted through February 7th by clicking here.

Maybe it’s not you, maybe you know someone with the big idea. New this year is the ability to nominate a speaker. If you know someone that has a great story to tell - or concept to share - we'd love to hear from you. We will be reaching out to every nominated speaker within the next week encouraging them to apply for the event.

New Leadership Team For The 2018 Event

TEDxBozeman is pleased to announce two new Co-Executive Coordinators and one new Board Member for the 2018 event. Veronika Sieben and Brittany Watkins will be joining the team and continue the legacy of longtime Event Director, Brooke Leugers. Logan Burgess will be joining the Board of Directors while continuing his work within the marketing team.

Veronika Sieben / Co-Executive Coordinator + License Holder

Veronika moved to Montana seven years ago and fell in love with the last best place. She holds a B.A. in both Organizational Communication and English Literature from the University of Montana and works locally as HAVEN’s Development Coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for community events and donor engagement around the issue of intimate partner violence. Before working for HAVEN, Veronika worked in the travel industry coordinating trips in South America and Africa and is now starting an off-leash dog hiking company with her business partner. Outside of work, you can find her practicing yoga, traveling, and adventuring with her pup, Alfred.

Brittany Watkins /  Co-Executive Coordinator

Brittany received her BFA from Montana State University in 2010 before relocating to the Bay Area, California.  She and her husband finally gave in to the realization that they missed Bozeman and the beautiful mountains that surround it, moving back in August of 2016. Brittany holds an MFA from California College of the Arts, works at Montana State University, and is an artist. She has a background in non-profit arts education, is passionate about her community, and is excited to bring her creative insights to the team. When not working or volunteering she can be found hiking, long distance trail running, or obsessing over her three dogs.

Logan Burgess / Marketing Coordinator + Board Member

Cliche as it may be, Logan moved to Bozeman over a decade ago in search of powder and never left. He holds a Finance Degree from Montana State University and is a co-founder of Headwall Digital, a Bozeman-based creative and copy writing firm that supports startups and agencies. This is his second year coordinating the creative and public relations activities for TEDxBozeman and will now be joining the organization’s Board of Directors. When not working or volunteering, he can be found chasing trout, powder and hockey pucks around Southwest Montana.


Speaker applications will be open soon...

TEDxBozeman will be accepting speaker applications for the 2018 event from Wednesday, January 24th through Wednesday, February 7th. Everything you need to apply can be found below. Know someone that would make a great speaker? Nominate them by clicking here.

How To Apply

Due to overwhelming interest from highly qualified individuals, we've decided to use an application process for the event. Submissions will be accepted starting January 24th, 2018 through February 7, 2018. 

Who We Are Looking For

Anyone with an amazing story to share, including, but not limited to...

  • Authors and Poets
  • Natural Resource and Environmental Professionals
  • Agricultural Professionals
  • Academics
  • Scientist
  • Students
  • Artists (Video, Drawing, Painting, Design, etc.)
  • Musicians
  • Dancers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Business People
  • Innovators

What We Need From You

  • Contact Information
  • Proposed Talk Title
  • Expected length of talk (max 18 min.) NOTICE: Depending on the final schedule that is put in place after all presenters are selected, your maximum allotted time may change. Most presentations are limited to 8-10 mins. 
  • 90 second "elevator pitch" (video or audio)
  • Resume or CV (single page)

Like last year, we will be using an updated format for applications. In addition to a standard list of questions, we require the submission of a 90 second (max) "Elevator Pitch" for yourself and your talk - video and audio files ONLY. We encourage you to be creative and show us your personality! Convince us why your idea is worth spreading.

Your elevator pitch MUST include the following:

  • Topic Pitch (overview/description of your proposed talk/topic/performance and your presentation methodology)
  • Bio/Background (description of who you are & how you are an expert in your field or topic of interest)
  • Montana Connection (our one requirement for presenters is for each to have some sort of a connection to Montana. Please briefly describe your connection to the area.)
  • Remember: Audio or Video files only - 90 seconds maximum

Where To Submit Your Application

Once again, TEDxBozeman will be using submittable to collect speaker applications. You can bookmark our Submittable page now, so you will be ready on January 24th when the application window opens.


THANK YOU for your interest in TEDxBozeman

Volunteer Positions Are Open

TEDxBozeman is looking for passionate, self-motivated, and dedicated volunteers to join the TEDxBozeman Planning Committee. This is a great opportunity to get involved with and shape the spread of thoughts and ideas, to get to work with other individuals who are passionate about TED, and to gain greater experience in a position that interests you! TEDxBozeman is a non-profit and the first and longest-running TEDx event in Montana. It has received accolades for its high quality production value including being featured in WIRED magazine and being singled out as one of 3 TEDx events worldwide featured on the TEDx website.

We are currently accepting applications for the following positions through November 15st:

Sponsorship Coordinator

This team member is responsible for recruiting and coordinating with sponsors to cover event expenses in the form of cash and in kind donations. An interest in networking and getting to know community leaders is a must. The ideal candidate should have excellent personal skills and prior experience with fundraising and development is a plus.

Speaker Coordination

This team member will assist the lead Speaker Coordinators and help with organizing the activities, preparations, and schedules of the speaker and performer lineup. This individual will also be involved with practice sessions and speaker coaching. Experience coordinating and communicating with varied personality types is a plus.

Volunteer Coordinator

This team member is responsible for recruiting and managing volunteers before and during the TEDxBozeman event. This position may be asked to assist with other committees during the planning stages.  Experience coordinating and communicating with volunteers is a plus.

How To Apply

To apply, please send to info@tedxbozeman.com your current resume and a cover letter explaining (i) why you would like to join the TEDxBozeman Planning Committee, (ii) what position you are applying for, and (iii) why you would be a valuable asset to our team. The deadline for applications is Nov. 15, 2017.