TEDxUConn speaker application closes this weekend

According to TEDxUConn website, conference will be help April 8th in Oak Hall. (Jon Sammis/The Daily Campus)

TEDxUConn is accepting applications for student speakers until Saturday, Feb. 10.

This year’s theme is Zero to Hero, according to the TEDxUConn website.

“TED specifically requires having a very broad theme so they can allow a wide range of topics,” TEDxUConn President Leila Shwayhat said. “Our interpretation is literally anything that started off small and grew to be a bigger idea.”

The conference will be held April 8 in Oak Hall, according to the website. This will be the fifth year of presentations on the University of Connecticut campus, Shwayhat, an eighth-semester environmental engineer major at UConn, said.

There are a number of qualities needed to be a speaker beyond simply sending in an application, Shwayhat said. Along with the application, which can be found on the TEDxUConn website, students are required to submit a two-minute video giving an outline of the talk.

“We want to see that you have good speaking skills and that you have a good idea to share,” Shwayhat said. “We also like to emphasize that it’s a narrative, that it’s not just a lecture that you would sit in class and listen to.”

The talks are about captivating the crowd, Shwayhat said.

“We want to hear that you’re telling a story and we want the audience to be engaged,” Shwayhat said. “If we’re engaged, then I think that’s a good sign that it’s a good talk.”

The program has been growing in success, Shwayhat said.

“We’ve noticed an increase in the number of applications to attend, the number of applications to be a student speaker,” Shwayhat said. “Then we’ve even had some random outside people reach out to us who are interested in being speakers as well.”

TED rules cap the audience at 100 people per talk, Shwayhat said. In order to compensate for that, there will be both morning and afternoon sessions so 200 people can attend the talks.

“Because there is this audience cap, we do require an application if you would like to attend the conference,” Shwayhat said. “That way we ensure that the people who are coming are really dedicated to actually sitting and learning these new ideas.”

Audience member applications can be found on The Daily Digest. The deadline for audience member applications is March 2nd.

“We’ll be offering a livestream of the event as well, so if you couldn’t make it to campus or if you didn’t make it into the audience, there will be a livestream through our website the day of the conference,” Shwayhat said.


Nicholas Hampton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at nicholas.hampton@uconn.edu.