3 reasons not to give a TED talk

TED talks may seem like the ultimate speaking opportunity, but they might not expand your network and boost business like you’d think.

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When I talk to clients about speaking engagements, they invariably bring up TED.

It’s natural: TED’s reputation is that it’s a hip, highly stylized and talked-about conference that attracts star speakers from Oliver Sacks and Sheryl Sandberg to Bono.

But when clients say they want to speak at TED, I ask, “Why?”

They tell me they want to make an impact, spread their ideas and expand their base. This leads to a discussion about the hundreds of other events that will reach those goals faster. Many of these events are more tailored to specific subjects and industries, and bring like-minded people together (a prime networking potential).

The CECP Summit, for example, is geared toward philanthropy and corporate citizenship. South by Southwest V2V focuses on entrepreneurship. These prestigious events are just two of countless conferences much more likely to help a thought leader than an 18-minute TED talk.

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