TEDxACU is accepting applications for students to speak at the event Feb. 27, 2016.
Bailey Cate , senior communication major from Freemont, Nebraska, and intern for TEDxACU, said students can submit a video online. Videos must be a maximum of 18 minutes and are due by midnight on Oct. 23. The creators of exceptional videos will be called back for judges to listen to their talks live on Nov. 5.
“We’re looking for someone who has created an idea worth thinking about,” said Cate.
Student speaker Victoria Sun spoke last year about being a millennial. The student speaker should be someone who is thoughtful and creative, Cate said.
“It’s not about your age, major or classification,” Cate said. “We want a broad scope of ideas.”
Cate also said there are opportunities for students to become student ambassadors. This role includes tasks such as advertising, selling merchandise and helping with check-in.
Ten to 12 students were student ambassadors last year, and Cate’s role in the event was onstage visuals. Students can apply online now, and the application has a space to list skills or interest in specific tasks.
TED is an international non-profit that started in the 1980s and stands for technology, entertainment and design. TED has national and international events, but any event titled TEDx is a locally organized event. Local events usually are facilitated by cities, universities and schools. TED has education initiatives, international events and translations of talks into different languages.
Dr. Lauren Lemley, TEDxACU director, said the university had to obtain a license to hold the conference and use TED branding. Speakers can’t be paid, and they can’t be donors. They also can’t sell anything, campaign for a political party or preach, though they are allowed to talk about religion as long as they don’t preach a sermon.
“The goal is getting people to experience things they wouldn’t normally know,” said Lemley, assistant professor of communication and director of the Speaking Center and graduate studies.
Lemley said she hopes to have up to two student speakers this year. All students are encouraged to apply regardless of their major or their public speaking skills.
“Public speaking isn’t one-size-fits-all,” Lemley said. “If they are passionate about something, anybody can talk for three minutes.”
Students can share life experiences, not just “book-knowledge,” and they can find creative ways to speak such as using videos or music. Student speakers have been as young as 12 years old, so age is not an issue, Lemley said.
“Conversations always happen that I never would have expected,” Lemley said. “Who knows what that can spark?”
Anyone can attend the student-speaker competition’s final round on Nov. 5. The location will be announced at a later time.