TEDx talks are becoming more popular, and more authors want to employ the power TEDx affords for book marketing and expert branding.

“All Things Book Marketing” Podcast Episode:
How Authors Can Give TEDx Talks

How authors can give TEDx talks to market their books brand themselves as experts is a hot topic of conversation given the popularity and influence of TEDx globally. The Smith Publicity “All Things Book Marketing” podcast linked to this article features a successful TEDx speaker who went viral along with a speechwriting expert known for coaching TEDx speakers. Because the path for how authors can give TEDx speeches is not uniform nor traditional, the unique insights provided in the podcast are valuable advice for marketing a book and building an author brand.

In the discussion of TEDx speeches for authors, the participants discuss the structure of TED, which was founded in 1984 as a nonpartisan nonprofit to stand for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. By today, the organization has broadened significantly and includes topics of virtually any kind. Because some author TEDx talks have gone viral, there are some fantastic stories about the boost they can provide to a book marketing campaign and the personal visibility of an author. The podcast is hosted by Smith Publicity’s Andrea Thatcher and features Josephine Gross and Elena Herdieckerhoff, founders of www.RedDotStage.com. It is a company with an impressive record of helping authors break into TEDx.


Author TEDx Talks and How to Market a Book

How authors can get a Tedx talk.When book publicists strategize how to market a book with TEDx, the path to placement will include applying to a curator for the desired event. TEDx events often contain 10 to 12 speakers, and as many as 500 potential speakers may apply. In the podcast, Gross and Herdieckerhoff give insight into what goes into winning a spot on the stage. Because successful book marketing and publicity are progressive, giving an author TEDx talk can be an effective way to build toward even greater exposure. It can happen directly on YouTube, lead to stores in the media, or even a T interview.

Speaking opportunities for authors often go to non-fiction writers who are experts in their fields and have a unique point of view. But they also can be available to fiction writers who think creatively to develop a topic. Smith Publicity advises its authors on how to develop event and speech topics that are related to books in ways audiences and book buyers find interesting. A surprising number of topic areas can be available to authors who think resourcefully. When successful and well-received, the results of speaking engagements can provide a boost to book publicity campaigns.


From the RedDotStage website:

“Most people believe landing a TEDx is difficult and time-consuming at best. They want to know what makes a TEDx talk go viral. We help our clients distill their core message (based on their passion, what makes them tick), apply for TEDx events, and craft their speech. Next, we come up with a marketing strategy to help them leverage and capitalize on the exposure once their TEDx talk goes live on YouTube.” 

The “All Things Book Marketing” podcasts from Smith Publicity are intended to provide valuable insight for authors and publishers about a myriad of topics.



Transcript of Podcast

Speaker 1:
Welcome to the Smith Publicity All Things Book Marketing Podcast. The best tips, insights and advice from the best in the publishing industry.

Andrea Thatcher:
Hi, this is Andrea Kiliany Thatcher with the Smith Publicity All Things Book Marketing Podcast. And today, we’re very excited. We have two TEDx experts. We know that our authors and clients are often looking to expand their brand and get their message out there via TEDx. And so today, we’re talking to Elena Herdieckerhoff and Josephine Gross. Elena is just a TEDx phenomenon. She had own TEDx video go viral and so we’ll be speaking a little bit about that. And Josephine Gross is a ghost writer, collaborative writer and speech writer. And together, they’re TEDx speaker coaches and they work under the umbrella of the Gabriel Media Group and you can find them at RedDotStage.com. And ladies, welcome to the podcast.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
We’re excited to be here. [crosstalk 00:01:12] Thank you.

Andrea Thatcher:
We actually just had a webinar here in the office with Elena and Josephine and our publicists found everything you had to say so informative. So we’re going to talk about some of those same things and some other questions that came up during the webinar, and afterwards that we think would be of interest to either authors using publicity services or also self published authors. We also have some listeners that are other industry professionals or book marketers. So anything you did speak to for those audiences, you did a great job speaking to the author audience with us earlier. So I know that you’ve got that down. So first Elena, could you just tell us a little bit about your path to placement which is how we talk about how we get someone in a media spot. So just explain how you got your TEDx talk.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yes. Well, I didn’t have the usual way of getting a TEDx talk. So I kind of slid in through the closing doors to get my TEDx talk. So I spoke on the TEDx Paris stage and three months before the event, they were still looking for a speaker and somebody in a networking group that I was a part of mentioned that. So I just seized the opportunity, applied for this TEDx event and I was very grateful to have been chosen and I spoke on the gentle power of highly sensitive people. So if anybody wants to check that out, it’s on YouTube. And as of the date of this recording, I’m about to hit 1.5 million views. So that’s super exciting and we are about to celebrate that, Josephine and I.

Andrea Thatcher:
Good, you should celebrate that.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yeah.

Andrea Thatcher:
When you guys were talking about having this sort of unusual path to get there, that sort of seems to be more the norm. There’s not a traditional path where you apply for the spot and they vet you and take people that way. Can you talk a little bit about that process and the different ways that people get to the TED and TEDx stages?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Absolutely. So maybe just it might be helpful for your audience just to see that there are three TED stages, you can speak on this, the main TED stage, which happens once a year. And it’s organized by TED and TED is a nonprofit organization. So they have the main TED talks, then you have the TED derivatives, which are also yearly events. Normally three-day conferences such as TEDGlobal or TEDWomen or TEDMED. And then you have TEDx events, which most people are familiar with because you have them in most cities. And TEDx events are independently organized events. And because they’re independently organized by specific curators there is no streamlined process to apply for specific events. So that makes it a little bit more challenging to actually find the right event for you and then to apply because it’s not, as you quite rightly said, it’s not a standard process.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So every curator will have their own application forms if any. Some don’t even have any application forms on their website. So you need to get creative to figure out who the curator is, maybe contact them on social media, maybe send them a tweet, or if you’re an author, perhaps you might find them again over their own personal websites and maybe send them a book or something to get yourself in front of the curator because at the end of the day, the curator is the one who makes the call. And typically for a TEDx event, you can expect for a medium sized one that about 500 people will apply and 10 to 12 speakers will be chosen. So it’s very important that you put your best foot forward in the application process.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Now, the first thing we recommend is if you’re looking for an event is to go on the main ted.com website, and they have a search function on that website where you can locate all TEDx events that are coming up for that year, and you can search by a geographic location as well, and by month as well, if you want to look at something specific. And once you have found the events that are in a geographic location that are interesting to you, you will see that each event has a theme. Typically that theme is not too important, so it will be very generic. So most talks will be able to fit into that theme. So I wouldn’t ever be too concerned about not fitting in with a specific theme. And then you want to start the process of applying for that event. And typically you want to be doing that six to nine months before the official start date.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Now that’s the ideal world scenario where everything works out. There’s an application form on their website. But if that’s not the case, you have to be a little bit creative and at the same time, you can also start applying maybe earlier than the nine months if you want, maybe a year in advance already. Even if the doors are not officially open, you can already start reaching out to the curator. And likewise, even if the event is just two or three months out maybe there is a speaker that can’t make it. So maybe they have a spot to fill. So it’s definitely worthwhile always to establish a good relationship with a curator.

Andrea Thatcher:
Absolutely. And it sounds like a lot of the work that we do as book publicists is sometimes we talk about brand building and an author doesn’t understand the value of something that doesn’t concretely lead to book sales, but it’s sort of this sort of thing. If you’re out in the media market, in the market for the TEDx talk that you’re targeting, maybe it’s more likely that curator will have heard of you. When they get that email, they’ll be like, “Oh, I just heard them on our PR affiliate.” So it’s kind of nice to hear the ways that publicity and media placements and just general that elusive buzz can be beneficial to someone when they are looking for a TEDx opportunity.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
That’s absolutely correct. And Anything that you can put together to show off your expertise, to show, perhaps that you have a certain following or that you are a thought leader in your area, all that will help you build a good case to demonstrate to the curator that you are the best person for this talk. So I actually agree with you, whatever you can do to build your profile is going to be very helpful.

Andrea Thatcher:
Terrific. And we also had someone on the podcast who had done the TEDx talk and he mentioned he ended up doing it just because I think he was talking to a local university. His advice was just to get as many speaking opportunities as possible, whether it’s like a local rotary club or a local college or something a little bit bigger, just doing as many speaking engagements as possible because someone came up to him after his talk and said, “I’m friends with someone who is the organizer of the local TEDx talk. We’d love to have you on.” And that just led to more and more opportunities. Do you find that that’s a path that happens a lot of times for people to get onto TEDx?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
That’s definitely one of the paths. I mean, the beauty with TEDx is you don’t need to be a professional speaker just to put that in perspective. So I am not a professional speaker and it was the first time I even spoke on a stage outside of maybe my brother’s wedding. And still TEDx will give you the opportunity to speak if you can demonstrate that you have the right expertise and also a whole lot of passion for your idea that you want to share with the world. So I would just say to everybody who’s concerned that there may be not prolific speakers. That’s not what TED is about. TED is really about the ideas not necessarily your speaking experience. But of course, if you do have opportunities to speak and to refine your craft, then by all means do it and that will also help you maybe put together like a show reel of your different talks that you can then pass on to curator so they get a better feel for you and your speaking style. So that can absolutely be helpful.

Andrea Thatcher:
That’s big perspective just for people who don’t have a speaking background. So that’s good to hear. You talked a lot earlier about giving gift to the audience that your TEDx talk is a gift. Can you talk about this mindset and why it’s important?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yes. I think that’s actually Josephine’s favorite question. So I’ll volley that over to her.

Josephine Gross:
Yes. So one of the reasons why I love TEDx talks is not only for what it can do for you as a speaker or anyone who wants to promote their brand or create a following. The way that you benefit from a TEDx talk is if you have to make sure that when people who watch it that you make them feel good and that they feel as though they are receiving a gift, because the law of reciprocity between human says, if I receive a gift from you, I want to pay that forward. In other words, I want to share that gift with my friends, with my following on social media. And that is how a talk goes viral. It’s from people sharing it. And I said this one of the things I love about the next time because I have a love hate relationship with marketing. I love learning how to… I love deepening my understanding of what makes people want things and want to share things. And so I love to understand that kind of marketing, but I really don’t like gimmicks and lot of other aspects of internet marketing.

Josephine Gross:
And that’s why I chose to focus on authentic stocks because the viral character of your talk is really based on the quality of the content. And that’s what we help our clients with is we help them distill out of all the messages that they could be sharing. We help them discover what is the gift, the diamond, we call it the silver bullet, that we’re going to be able to transmit to the viewer so that the viewer can easily grab a hold of it and share it with other people. And it is a bit of an excavation process sometimes between the expertise the author has, the stories they have, the angles they have. So that is really the foundation of a winning talk. It is that core message. And we spent quite a bit of time, like probably the first two or three sessions that we have with a client is specifically dedicated to brainstorming.

Josephine Gross:
First of all, all the possibilities that we could be looking at and then selecting, or discovering and realizing, this is what people are going to love about this. So it has to be something that makes people feel good, that’s easy to share and something that unifies people, meaning that everybody can relate to it in some way or another. That’s also a really important aspect. So make sure your message is rather than being divisive that it is unifying.

Andrea Thatcher:
Absolutely. Can you tell us a little bit more about that process? We feel like there’s a lot of similarities between what you guys do, helping people find their topic for the TEDx talk and the way we help people find angles to pitch the media about their topic. So, I don’t know if you have an example or you could use Elena’s talk as an example, but when you have an expert you’re working with who really could talk about a variety of issues, and they’re passionate about a topic that has a lot of different paths that you could go down, how do you find that silver bullet? What’s that process like?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So what we want to look at first is we will at least flesh out four to five different idea tracks to get a sense of first what the experts talking about. We try our best to become subject matter experts as well, to get a sense for the scope that is available to us. And what we’re really looking for is an idea that can be fully fleshed out in 18 minutes or less because that’s the maximum amount of time you have on the stage. So we’re looking for ideas that are really powerful yet simple enough to go deep within that amount of time. And we’re looking for an original take on something. We’re looking for something that’s perhaps even slightly controversial yet still unifying in this overall message where people feel they can get behind this message or be motivated by it, or somehow emotionally touched.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So we’re looking for it to be intellectually stimulating and also emotionally engaging because those are the key ingredients to help a talk go viral. So we’re going to explore a few different tracks before we pick the winning one. And it’s a bit of a mix of a science and an art. The science is to see what idea has not been presented in this way yet. What’s really novel? What could be exciting? What could be an idea that when you see the title of the talk, people are going to be curious and going to be like, “Oh, I haven’t heard that before. That sounds interesting.” So you actually entice people to dedicate 15 minutes to your talk and to want to explore it further with you.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So that’s kind of what we want to do from the science perspective. And then the art comes in where Josephine and I were both very intuitive people is we also feel into the ideas and feel into the energy of the idea so that we know this could be a winner. And typically what happens with our speaking clients is we’re like all at the same time, we’ll be like, “Ah, that’s the one.” And that’s kind of the aha effect we’re looking for.

Andrea Thatcher:
Absolutely. And it also seems like it’s sort of you need to come at it. I mean, obviously everyone we’re working with would love to have book sales and a New York Times bestseller and all those types of accolades. But the message that I’m really hearing from you guys is that it really has to sort of come from an altruistic place. Like you want to get this message out there to change someone’s life, to share your idea with the world, because you think it will make the world better. And how do you balance that with the business goals that your clients may have?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yeah. So this is an excellent question. So one of the core principles of TED in general is that it’s all about the idea not about you. And this may seem very counterintuitive from a marketing point of view because you think what it has to be about me or my business or my book, if I want to benefit from it. So I understand that thinking I’m an online marketer since many years, I’ve been an entrepreneur since almost 15 years. So I totally appreciate the desire to market what we have to offer, but the way TED delivers on the marketing promise is different than we’re used to in traditional marketing. So here’s how it works with a TED talk, a TED talk should ideally pitch an idea and not you, not your business. And that’s why it’s actually forbidden in a TED talk to mention your business or a book or anything like that. You’re not allowed to do that.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
But what you are allowed and encouraged to do is to share a life changing idea. And what happens with the viewer of that idea is they start a relationship with you when they watch you speak for 15 minutes, they can establish a true connection with you. And the next step for them will be to see how can they deepen that connection? How can they learn more from you? And then they will type your name into Google and they will look for what’s the next step for them with you, right? So for example, for me, the most searched Google term for my name is Elena article or book, because people want to deepen this connection with me. They want that next step.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So it happens as an automatic result when it comes to viewers. They will want to take that next step with you anyway, because they’re fascinated by what you’ve shared. Now, from a more business perspective, a TED talk, we think is a new form of PR with global impact, because, just to give you a perspective, when my TED talk went live, I just spent $2000 dollars in ad spend for Facebook ads. And that I did in the first month, just to get some initial traffic going to my YouTube video and for you to recognize my video as such. And since then it’s been going on and it’s been going viral ever since without any additional ad spend on my behalf because it became viral because people organically shared.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
And what we found is that there’s no other form of PR that you don’t have to pay for, that keeps on bringing new people to your world to what you’ve created, be that individuals, or actually also be that other businesses or it can be media coverage. So I got a lot of mainstream media coverage as well as people writing blogs or articles about me. I got radio and podcast invites. I grew my subscriber list. I got high volume website traffic. I got offered speaking gigs. I got offered book deals. So all of this came on the back of a talk that never mentioned my business. So it drives business in a more subtle way but actually in a deeper way, because if you were to introduce business or a book directly in your talk, you’re likely to lose the impact of what you’re saying, because then people feel that maybe your message is not as genuine or not as sincere.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Whereas if they feel your heart is in the right place and you’re doing it because you care and you love your idea and you’re passionate about it, they will be passionate too and they will automatically take that next step. And we’ve seen this with leading figures of the TEDx world, for example, like Brene Brown or Esther Perel that have had sensational books, successes on the back of their TEDx talks. And they never mentioned their work directly either. So it’s something just to bear in mind that you will benefit immensely, but it will not be to an obvious channel.

Andrea Thatcher:
Right. And it seems like it is a good idea to have something in place that people can find when they do search for you. And you mentioned that people search for your name and book. So what comes up when they search that you have a website, you have a newsletter?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yeah, absolutely. So that’s where we support our clients as well. So the three things most TEDx speakers do and do reasonably well is obviously they landed a talk, they crafted the talk, they delivered the talk and that’s where most TEDx speakers stop their efforts. And really what makes a TED talk really be impactful is when many many people see it. So we need the fourth piece, which is the marketing piece, and we help our clients establish a concrete marketing plan, help them build their brand, or if they have a book, for example, we help them build the funnel and understand exactly how they can leverage the impact of their TED talk so that it serves their audience and it serves their business as well. So we help them really create a business vision for themselves if they don’t have a business yet. And if they already have a running business and an email list and a social media presence and all that good stuff, then we just help them optimize it for the incoming TEDx traffic.

Andrea Thatcher:
Great. When you guys were talking about the four steps, landing the talk, crafting the talk, delivering the talk and marketing the talk, it really reminded me of the book process as well. So obviously getting that book deal or making that decision and that investment to self publish your book onto the world. So many authors think, “Wow, my work is finally done.” And from our perspective as publicists, the work is just beginning. I really related to that and I think that our authors will as well. So I think when we put it in that context, maybe authors will better understand that marketing piece or publicity piece is so important for whatever you’re putting out there in the world. Why do you think people neglect this step?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
I think because it almost seems like it doesn’t belong to the initial steps, right? Because everything you do to land a TED talk, to craft a beautiful talk and to deliver it, that feels like one energetic unit. And then when you did it, you kind of think, okay, it’s going to do its own thing now. And marketing almost seems like it doesn’t fit into the same energy because it’s about selling and promoting. It’s just a very different mindset that you need for the marketing piece. But what we want to do is we want to help our clients do heart-centered feel good marketing where they just see the marketing piece as a natural extension of the relationship they’re building with their audience. And really helping them mapping out a joyful customer journey for people to really go into their world and then take the natural next steps so that they can be in true service to people who are interested in learning more about their work.

Andrea Thatcher:
I love the way you speak about that, heart-center marketing and this journey of joy and that again, I think a lot of our authors will relate to that. I think it can either go one way or the other. Sometimes if it’s a business expert or an author, they don’t necessarily see the piece where they need to have this genuine heartfelt message whereas if it’s someone who has a genuine heartfelt message, they don’t want to be… So many of our authors don’t want to be selling themselves. They… How can I do this without making it sound like I’m asking people to buy a book? Well, you are asking people to buy a book. So you kind of at some point have to get comfortable with that from the book publicity perspective. But from the TEDx talk and speaking perspective, what would your advice be to someone who’s doing this themselves? What should they be doing to market their talk?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Well, what they should be doing first of all, is to shift their mindset, as you quite rightly say, from thinking that they’re selling to thinking that they’re serving because truly a TEDx talk can change lives. Every day when I wake up, I have the great honor and fortune to receive what I call love notes from people all over the world who share their stories of transformation with me that they’ve experienced with my TED talk and this just reminds me every single day that a Ted talk if done in the right way is really there to change and improve lives. And when you know that, if you hold back on your marketing efforts, you’re actually holding back on changing people’s lives for the better. So if you refrain your mindset from selling to serving, then all of a sudden it becomes a lot easier. So that’s the first thing.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
And the second thing is to be mindful of the possibility that online marketing offers now. I’ve been a business coach for the last five years. So I love geeking out over online marketing strategies and possibilities. What I would say, that’s very important for somebody who does go it alone is that you want to be very mindful to have a marketing plan in place before your TED talk even goes on YouTube. So typically you can expect four weeks between the actual talk and your YouTube live date. And what you want to have in place ideally is you want to have a Facebook ad strategy in place where you can send traffic to your talk, preferably maybe to a landing page where you offer some kind of free gift on the landing page, could maybe be a free chapter for an author or some other gifts that you could give an audience so you can start building your community, collecting some emails and at the same time also generating views for your talk.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
And you really want to invest the most amount of money in the first 48 hours, because from a YouTube perspective, that’s how they see if a video is generating traffic. And if it has the potential to go viral and they will position you better in their algorithm. So that’s something to bear in mind for these first 48 hours. In addition, you want to already have an email ready that can go out to your friends, family, and followers, or subscribers of any capacity. So you have everything ready. As soon as you hear that your TEDx talk went live, that you can push out that email to everybody you know that could be interested or support you right off the bat.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
And if you know any influencers who have a large following of their own, who might post it on social media for you or maybe also send an email to their subscribers, that can be hugely impactful as well. And of course, be sure to use your own social media channels just as well, be your LinkedIn, your Facebook, your Twitter, whatever it is, really create a big splash around this event because the initial days will be your most powerful days. So that would be my number one recommendation, get your ducks in a row before your talk even goes live.

Andrea Thatcher:
That’s such great advice. And it applies, again, so well to a book launch as well. There’s so many authors who get to the point where, “Oh, my book is coming out next week. I really got to start thinking about marketing.” Whereas from our perspective, we want to be thinking about marketing the book three, six, nine months before the book comes out. And I also appreciate that you kind of get surprised, you don’t have a specific date when you know that TEDx is going to post your video, because that can be similar to the experience of many authors who published with CreateSpace or BookBaby, or some of these hybrid publishers. Sometimes it’s difficult to know the exact date that your book will go live on Amazon. So I love it.

Andrea Thatcher:
Now, having this example from you guys of having everything ready to go so that even though you can’t say, “Okay, June 2nd, this advertising or Facebook is going to start, or June 2nd, I’m going to schedule my interviews”, you can have that stuff in the pipeline and ready to execute, even if you don’t have a specific date. So that’s super useful to us as publicists working with non traditionally published authors. I kind of switching gears a little bit. I was wondering, have you ever disagreed with a client about what their talks should be about? And can you tell us how you ended up getting to the talk that was a success?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Well, interestingly enough, we haven’t disagreed with a client yet. And I think the reason for that is that it’s a collaborative process. So what our mission is, is to be in service to our clients and to help them see their own expertise from a novel perspective, because sometimes when you’re so deep in what you know best it’s very hard to tell what’s your winning idea at some point because you think every idea is a winning idea. So what we do is we just help them flesh out what this winning idea is, but given that they likely love the idea anyway, because they put it forward to us, we have as yet not had any disagreements about our winning idea. Not to say that it couldn’t happen, but so far it hasn’t happened.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
And we really like to have very transparent and open conversations with our clients. And we also, Josephine and I, as I mentioned earlier, we’re very intuitive. So we’re also feeling into what we believe is the real core truth of our client and what their mission is behind their expertise. We help them tease out their mission. And sometimes they’re even refreshed by this process because they’re like, “Wow, I feel reinvigorated now about what I’m actually doing in the world and why I’m doing it.” So it’s actually a very rewarding process for everyone.

Andrea Thatcher:
That’s perfect. And then what are some mistakes or lessons that you’ve learned from going through this process? Obviously different videos or talks are going to have different levels of success. Can you point to any mistakes to avoid or lessons you’ve learned from something that you went through?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yeah. I mean, we’ve studied hundreds and hundreds of TEDx talks, of course, to refine our own art and to see what is it that makes a talk go viral versus what makes a talk be stagnant. So coming back to the first mistake is to make the talk about yourself, to make the talk about your business, or even if you don’t mention your business, if the energy of the talk is centered on you or where people feel you’re not there to give, but you’re there to take. So that would be number one mistake. I think to make that you should absolutely avoid at all costs. The second is to choose a bad title. So a TEDx talk can sink or swim with a good title or a bad title. So what that means is you need to create a title that produces some kind of emotional reaction, be that curiosity, be that intrigue, be that excitement, whatever it is, you want to have a really powerful title.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So that’s something that people maybe go for more bland title. And then nobody’s going to necessarily give you those 15 or 18 minutes if they don’t even think the talk is going to be interesting. So that’s where some talks even fail before they get started. So finding a winning title, and Josephine is excellent at that, that’s definitely one of our success recipes. What you also want to be aware of is tip number three is find the optimal length for your idea. So not every talk needs to be 18 minutes. Some talks would be more powerful if they’re shorter. So our advice is always make the talk as short as possible, and yet get all your ideas out there at the same time, because what that does is it helps every single line to be succinct. And your goal is to almost think in terms of every sentence should be a valid sentence that even works without context around it. And Josephine and I always say sometimes like you write in tweetables. Every sentence of your talk should be as good as a tweetable and should be able to stand on its own.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Now that puts a huge amount of pressure on you because you really need to excel in how you craft the talk. So that’s where Josephine’s expertise comes in. And I’m sure she can say something to that is the real reason a talk goes viral is not because of marketing is because it’s crafted well, and it has some key elements in it. And given that Josephine is our speech writer and she writes these brilliant TED talks for our clients, maybe Josephine, you want to share a little bit more about the winning ingredients of one.

Josephine Gross:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, first when you were talking about the length of the talk, Elena, I want to point out also that a shorter talk can be more shareable. Like once a friend sends me a link to a TEDx talk and it’s 18 minutes, I might decide, “Oh, that’s too long”, but if it’s just six or seven minutes, I might say, “Oh, I can just squeeze that in. That’s like a perfect little break.” So it can actually make a talk more shareable. In terms of the right elements, there is no formula to create a winning TEDx talk, but we do know some things that work and so there are definite do’s and don’ts. So you want to have a powerful opening. It can be an intriguing question, a startling statistic, or an emotional touching anecdote or story, those are a few examples of powerful beginnings.

Josephine Gross:
Then you want to create a context for why your idea matters. And then you, in the middle of the document, develop the idea. And then another very important aspect is how you end the talk, because the feeling that you leave your audience with at the very end, that’s going to determine what they’re going to do with that talk, right? Either share it or Google your name and find what else do you have available, et cetera. And I wanted to say also a quick word about marketing, when Elena teaches our clients about how to market the talk, she talks about push and pull marketing. What most of us don’t like push marketing. We don’t like to be on the receiving end of it. And we don’t like to do it, like, “Buy my book. Buy my stuff. Here I am.” We don’t like that. But the beauty about authentic stock, it is pull marketing, meaning people come to you asking for more. You have created that emotional connection with them. They like you. We can say, they know, like, and trust you, and now they want to learn more from you.

Josephine Gross:
And then when you put your message out, instead of saying, “Here’s what I have to sell”, you can differently say, “Here’s what I help people do. For instance, I help people become better parents or I help people.” So like Elena said, turn into you providing the service, so then you don’t feel like you’re selling something, right?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Absolutely.

Andrea Thatcher:
Yeah, absolutely.

Josephine Gross:
And then one more thing, I had a tip that came up for our listeners who are authors and anyone interested in TEDx talk, the very first step you really want to do, and we actually do that with our clients as well, is you want to start watching the TED talk everyday or TEDx talk everyday and see why you like certain talks and what about certain talks that you like. Because that will show you the process of how the way a speaker approaches the talk, how it lands for you. And that is how you learn the ideas that will work in your TEDx talk. So that’s a very good practice that anyone can start doing right away, start watching talks and even with your spouse and your family, or with a friend and see how to start talking about it and noticing what works.

Andrea Thatcher:
Yeah, absolutely. There’s a couple of different influencers that I follow that say they start their morning with a TED talk everyday and try and listen to these. There’s, I mean, the way these are engineered and so curated, there’s almost no… I’ve rarely found a TED talk that didn’t speak in some way to something that I related to and I guess, “Oh.”

Josephine Gross:
Yeah.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Absolutely.

Josephine Gross:
And so that’s also how you discover mistakes and feel free to read the comments. Like once I was watching it, TED talk on the suicide rate among doctors, like there’s a lot of doctors committing suicide, and I was looking at the comments and one lady said, “I love her message but I don’t like the way she talks as if she were Jesus.” And indeed the speaker was performing and in a way trying to inspire, trying too hard, and it was a disconnect with the message. And so you need to be very authentic when you talk, when you deliver that, it’s not because you talk for the audience in the room, but most of all, you talk for all this… You create an intimate connection with the YouTube viewer because most people will see your talk on YouTube, of course. So it is about authenticity and intimacy much more than about performing and trying to inspire.

Andrea Thatcher:
Right. Absolutely. And the way you guys talk about that, and you mentioned several times the energy of a speaker or an idea and you had mentioned offhand that you both worked in Reiki and I was wondering if so, how you felt that that work translates or helps you with your intuitive process with working with your clients?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
That’s a beautiful question. So yes, we are both Reiki masters. And for those that do not necessarily know what Reiki is, it’s Japanese form of energy healing. And it’s all about positive energy creation that you can generate by pulling in beautiful source energy through you and passing it onto others essentially. So what that does for both of us, I think, and I’m sure Josephine might have her own perspective, but at least for me is I became and I am highly intuitive and very energy sensitive. And a talk is if you like, it’s an energy being in and of itself, a talk has its own energy, its own life, and you a speaker you are there to be a channel for this talk. And so in our work at Red Dot Stage, how we support our clients is to tune in also to the energy of our clients.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So if they may be talking about an idea, we feel energetically, are they really genuinely excited about this? Or do they just think it’s an idea that should be shared, but they’re maybe not so passionate about it, or maybe their voice drops or their shoulders drop or their energy is not as high as for another idea. So we kind of use our energy sensitivity to read our clients and to support them in the process of figuring out their why. And of course, also throughout the process, if they desire that we support them energetically by sending them Reiki, sending them encouragement, of course, for some people that’s not for them and we don’t do that, that’s absolutely fine. But for those that are open and appreciate the kind of energetic support as well we love offering that as an addition to our clients. And I don’t know if Josephine you have any other remarks on that?

Josephine Gross:
Yes. Everything you said, I totally agree with. One thing, I could add a very specific example, once we script the talk. So once I write talk and the author tries it on, practices it, we have a rehearsal. So the author will speak their talk, sentence by sentence, and Elena and I will tune into our bodies as like a radio and put ourselves on the receiving end of the audience and we’ll feel into our body when the energy drops. So, Reiki is the flow of life force. It’s healing, what I think, that uses that force. So we’re very sensitive to when the life force drops, like when less life force is going through. And then we know this is a sentence that we either should drop or tweak. It can even be a word that has low energy and we feel that literally in our bodies and then we know to tweak it or replace it with a higher energy word or sentence.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yeah.

Josephine Gross:
I think that’s a very important aspect of what we do because as we all know everything is energy.

Andrea Thatcher:
That’s great. I think that so many authors consider their book to be an expression of their energy or their personality, however they want to put it. So I think there’s a variety of people who can relate to that concept. Thank you for sharing about it.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Sure [crosstalk 00:43:48]

Andrea Thatcher:
That’s everything that I had to go over today. Did you have anything that you wanted to add that you felt like you wanted to communicate to authors?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yes. I think what my message would be is don’t wait to step on the Red Dot Stage because it’s truly life changing for everybody involved, the speaker, the audience, the business, it’s a transformational experience. And I think that there is no quicker way to touch minds, hearts and souls throughout the world in such a short timeframe as a TEDx talk and be brave and don’t think you’re not ready yet because you’re not a professional speaker or because maybe you think you’re missing credentials or missing expertise in some aspect, and you think, “Oh, I need to add this or that.” Try to do it now. So there’s the power of now and I would encourage everybody who’s listening, if you know you have an idea that’s kind of burning inside of you and you know it needs to be shared with the world, then don’t hold back from sharing it.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
And if you feel you do want support to demystify this process and to have expert guidance we’re very happy to offer all of your listeners a free introductory call with both Josephine and myself, where we can explore if it’s the right thing for you to be on the TEDx stage, help you flesh out already in the initial stages what your idea might be, and to see if we would be the right partners for you for this TEDx journey. So we invite everybody to visit us and say hi in our virtual home, so that’s RedDotStage.com and pop on over. And if you want to get on a call with us, we’d be delighted to be of service. So that’s for me and Josephine I’m sure you have some parting words of wisdom also.

Josephine Gross:
Well, I’d like to add that going through the process of becoming a successful TEDx speaker will benefit you in many ways beyond the TEDx stage. Not only in terms of building your community and sell whatever you have to sell, but you will become a better communicator, a more well rounded expert. And it will help you not only on the stage, but in communicating your ideas on many different levels. So it will help you grow as a person and as a professional on many levels that you don’t even expect. So that’s why we like this like Elena I said, is why not you? Why not now? Let’s do it.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Absolutely.

Andrea Thatcher:
Awesome. It’s so inspirational and so many nuggets of wisdom and everything you guys have said. I think everybody listening feels energized to figure out what their TED talk might be. So thank you so much for coming on the podcast today. As always, you can find Smith Publicity at smithpublicity.com, and we are @Smithpublicity on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. So let us know what you think about the podcast when you hear it and share it with your friends. And thank you so much for coming on ladies.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Thanks for having us.

Josephine Gross:
Thanks for having us.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Take care everyone.

Andrea Thatcher:
Take care. Bye bye.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Bye.

Josephine Gross:
Bye.

Speaker 1:
Thank you for listening to this edition of the Smith Publicity All Things Book Marketing Podcast. To reach us and learn about our many book marketing services visit www.smithpublicity.com or send us an email to info@smithpublicity.com.