The Idea Reigns Supreme

Once a year, we enjoy an exhausting, exhilarating, thought-provoking discussion to identify the speakers for TEDxColumbus. This year saw a record number of nominees from all over Columbus focused on the theme of “On the Edge.” Just last Friday, we notified all of the speakers who will share their ideas on November 16. Stay tuned for the speaker announcements and ticket info…

The curatorial committee, comprised of non-profit leaders, academics, artists, business-people, advocates and more hashed through idea abstracts, bios, and videos of the nominees. While the selections won’t be announced until fall, it always amazes me how this diverse group of thinkers narrows to a smaller group of finalists with relative ease. Don’t mistake that for a lack of debate, we have plenty. But, what each discussion demonstrates is the commitment to identifying ideas worth spreading. Each committee member brings their own bias and background to the conversation, but because they are focused on the IDEA, there is a surprising amount of consensus.

The work we do coaching and training leaders throughout the year, informs the view that we can take a great IDEA with an inexperienced speaker and coach it into a great talk. The inverse is generally not true.  It’s why we don’t seek out professional speakers for TEDxColumbus and it is this focus on the IDEA that drives our coaching with clients as well.

So often as a speaker, we worry about how we walk, talk, dress, speak on stage. That is important. But what we have learned through the years is that your audience can forgive almost all of it. The years of playing in our TEDxColumbus sandbox has given us a wealth of experience with every kind of speaker, every distracting disfluency and we’ve coached on topics from coral reefs to cancer to community. What brings the audience together, what allows the diverse committee of individuals to coalesce around choosing speakers is their curiosity and interest in something new.

It’s the IDEA that reigns supreme.

articulation founder Ruth Milligan also founded TEDxColumbus in 2009. This year Meagan Buren led the curation and selection process for the first time. The team at Articulation considers TEDxColumbus the centerpiece of their community service while also getting to work with another amazing set of thinkers, ideators and leaders.