The personal journey, the innovative idea, the moment of epiphany: these are at the heart of TEDxAsburyPark talks. The 2017 conference included scientists, writers, and musicians, as well as students and entrepreneurs each speaker with an idea worth spreading.

Becoming a TEDxAsburyPark speaker is a process. Last year some of our main-stage performers, including carpenter Eric Burdge, (pictured above) were discovered through open mic sessions. Our first Open Mic Night for TEDxAsburyPark 2018 will be held at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park on Thursday, November 16th. The 2018 theme is Passion.

Those chosen to participate in the Open Mic Night will have the opportunity to present a shortened TED-style talk in front of a live audience in hopes of being selected as a speaker for our main event on May 19, 2018.

Once a speaker is selected, the coaching begins. We have a team of experienced coaches dedicated to helping speakers develop powerful presentations. Each speaker is assigned a coach, and they work together to construct a seven-minute talk that will inspire listeners to think about the topic in a new way.

MK Harby, now in her fourth year as a speaker coach with TEDxAsburyPark, has owned a public speaking business for ten years. “I love helping speakers communicate their value,” says MK. “I ask a lot of questions to find out a speaker's objective and expertise and how they are going to improve the life of the audience with their story.”

Coaches also work with speakers on delivery and communication skills. “We come up with strategies to connect with the audience; we work on presence, enunciation, eye contact, tempo, smile, body language, to name a few things. We practice and practice, and we try to get an idea that's worth spreading,” says MK.

While the process culminates in the May 19th Passion event, it may begin for some by applying to speak at the November 16th event. Open Mic Night speakers must apply online and are asked to come prepared with a five-minute talk, slideshow, rant, routine, song, dance, experience, or performance art highlighting the theme of TEDxAsburyPark 2018: Passion.

So what’s your story? Begin the process of sharing it by filling out the Open Mic Night speaker application here. Listeners are welcome, too. Join us for a night of fun and inspiration. Click here for ticket and registration information.

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