Audition Application – FAQ

Potential Future Speaker

Hi. So you’re interested in being a future TEDxCharlotte speaker? That’s great. We have developed this page to give you some tips on our criteria, pointers for your application, general logistics of applying and our process.

Please read this page BEFORE applying or reaching out with specific questions! 

TEDxCharlotte is governed by TED event rules. One of their bigger rules for TEDx events is that you cannot plan an event past the one that you currently hold a lease to produce and they only grant leases on a yearly basis for one event. So all of the following is information, tips, and lessons learned from the previous events produced by our core team.


  • AUGUST 30th – Applications close at midnight on that day, no exceptions.
  • OCTOBER: Auditions are held.
  • NOVEMBER: Speaker Finalists are announced
  • MARCH-APRIL: Speaker Coaching occurs.
  • TWO WEEKS BEFORE EVENT: Final Auditions are held.
  • APRIL: The Event.

  • Our focus will be on your idea, so yours should be too! Let us say that again so you’re listening. DURING OUR ENTIRE PROCESS, WE ARE FOCUSED ON YOUR IDEA.
  • The majority of our applications are rejected because the idea isn’t clear or your audition focuses on the promotion of your work.
  • A topic is not the same thing as an idea! We want your IDEA WORTH SHARING.


  • We are a Charlotte-centric event. What does that mean? All of our speakers live and work in the Charlotte-area. We are committed to this principle and never bring in speakers from around the country to speak. We believe Charlotte has great ideas and talent and there is no need to import it.
    • If you are from outside of the Charlotte metro area, your application will be rejected without being read. We recommend that you look for a TEDx event near your home. While some TEDx events bring in outside speakers, we have chosen not to do this without exception.


  • This is a challenging process, which includes a Final Audition two weeks before the event. Selection in the spring does not guarantee you a spot on the stage.
  • All of our speakers go through a speaker coaching process for the two months before the event. These are weekly, in-person coaching sessions with our team. During these sessions we will help you polish your idea and make your talk as impactful as possible; therefore, your coachability and participation are key elements in making it to the TEDxCharlotte stage.


  • You are NOT on stage to promote your new book, workshop, or business. If your topic is just to talk about your new book, that isn’t an Idea Worth Sharing and won’t make it to an audition.
  • We are looking for a selection of ideas that fit together like a puzzle to create an interesting day of talks. What this means is that we take into account your audition, presence, idea, and how they will fit together without other potential speakers. Our selection team is looking for your idea but also, how does it fit with the other ideas presented during auditions.
  • This is not the type of talk that you can recycle an existing talk for.
  • The “theme” each year is selected by TED and does not affect the ideas we select. It is primarily used as a marketing tool.

ONCE AGAIN: We CANNOT stress this enough, WHAT IS YOUR IDEA? Topics are not ideas.


Once you’ve read everything and watched the video, you’re ready to apply. Here is the application: