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

How Authors Can Give TEDx Talks

TEDx Talks for Authors: an “All Things Book Marketing” Podcast

The All Things Book Marketing podcast from Smith Publicity is available on iTunes and Spreaker. Weekly interviews with publicity experts from the publishing and PR world. Providing information on Book Marketing, Book Publicity, and Book Promotion.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 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.

How to market a book by using Tedx for author branding as an expert in what you write about. Information on social media services for authors, book marketing services, and author promotion.In the discussion of TEDx speeches for authors and their book marketing value, two experts discuss the structure of TED, which was founded in 1984 as a nonpartisan nonprofit to stand for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. 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.

This 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 and give talks.

Listen to “Interested in Doing TEDx Talks? Everything Authors Need to Know” on Spreaker.


Author TEDx Talks and How to Market a Book

How authors can get a Tedx talk. Learn more on how to market your book, marketing for authors, and book publicity.When book publicists strategize how to market a book, including TEDx talks, 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. Gross and Herdieckerhoff give insight into winning a spot on the stage in the podcast. Because successful book marketing and publicity are progressive, giving an author TEDx talk can effectively 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 developing event and speech topics appropriate for TEDx 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 book publicity and promotion 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 often look 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 her own TEDx video go viral, so we’ll be speaking a bit of that. And Josephine Gross is a ghostwriter, collaborative writer, and speechwriter. 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 just had a webinar here in the office with Elena and Josephine, and our publicists found everything you had to say so informatively. So we’re going to talk about some of those same things and some other questions that came up during the webinar and afterward. We will include them if we think they would be of interest to either author using publicity services or 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 tell us a bit about your path to placement, which is how we talk about getting someone in a media spot. So 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 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 talked 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 bit about that process and the different ways that people get to the TED and TEDx stages?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Absolutely. So maybe it might be helpful for your audience 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 specific curators independently manage them, there is no streamlined process to apply for particular events. So that makes it a little bit more challenging to actually find the suitable event for you and then apply because it’s not, as you rightly said, it’s not a standard process.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So every curator will have their 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 websites. You might send them a book or something to get yourself in front of the curator because the curator is the one who makes the call. And typically, for a TEDx event, you can expect a medium-sized one that about 500 people will apply, and 10 to 12 speakers will be chosen. So you must 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. They have a search function on that website where you can locate all TEDx events coming up for that year, and you can search by geographic location and month if you want to look at something specific. And once you have found the events in a geographic area that is interesting to you, you will see that each event has a theme. Typically that theme is not too important; so that 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 TED’s 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, perhaps a year in advance already. Even if the doors are not officially open, you can already reach 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 perhaps they have a spot to fill. So it’s 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 the 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 how 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 correct. And Anything that you can put together to show off your expertise, to show, perhaps that you have a 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 agree with you; whatever you can do to build your profile will 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. 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 many times for people to get onto TEDx?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
That’s 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 allow you to talk if you can demonstrate that you have the right expertise and a lot of passion for your idea that you want to share with the world. So I would say to everybody concerned that there may not be 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 a showreel of your different talks that you can then pass on to the curator, so they get a better feel for you and your speaking style. So that can be helpful.

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

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yes. I think that’s 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 they 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 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 humans 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 is 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 share things. And so I love to understand that kind of marketing, but I don’t like gimmicks and a lot of other aspects of internet marketing.

Josephine Gross:
And that’s why the viral possibilities of your talk are 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 they could be sharing. We help them discover what the gift, the diamond is, we call it the silver bullet that we’re going to transmit to the viewer so that the viewer can quickly grab hold of it and share it with other people. And it is a bit of an excavation process between the author’s expertise, their stories, and their angles. So that is 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, the possibilities to discover and realize are what people will love. 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 crucial aspect. So make sure your message is rather than 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 subject. So, I don’t know if you have an example, or you could use Elena’s talk as an example. Still, 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 different idea tracks to get a sense of what the experts are discussing. We try our best to become subject matter experts and get a feel for the available scope. And what we’re 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 compelling ideas 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. People need to 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 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 science and art. The science is to see what idea has not been presented in this way yet. What is a novel idea? What could be exciting? What could be an idea that when you know 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 entice people to dedicate 15 minutes to your talk and 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 concept 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 the aha effect you need.

Andrea Thatcher:
Absolutely. And it also seems like it’s sort of you need to come at it. I mean, 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 hearing from you guys is that it has to sort of come from a selfless place. You want to get this message out there to change someone’s life and 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 because I’ve been an online marketer for many years, I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost 15 years. So I 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 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 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 genuine connection with you. And the next step for them will be to see how they can deepen that connection? How can they learn more from you? And then they will type your name into Google, and they will look for the next step for them with you, right? So, for example, 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 it is a new form of PR with global impact, because, to give you a view, when my TED talk went live, I just spent $2,000 in ad spend for Facebook ads. And that I did in the first month to get some initial traffic going to my YouTube video. Since then, it’s been going viral without additional ad spending on my behalf. Because it went viral, people organically shared it.

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 also be those other businesses, or it can be media coverage. So I got a lot of mainstream media coverage and people writing blogs or articles about me. I got radio and podcast invites, grew my subscriber list, and received high-volume website traffic. In addition, I have been offered speaking gigs and book deals. So all of it came on the back of a talk that never mentioned my business. So it drives business more subtly but in a more profound way. Because if you were to introduce a company or a book directly in your talk, you’re likely to lose the impact if 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 love your idea and are passionate about it, they will be emotional too, and they will automatically take that next step. And we’ve seen this with leading figures of the TEDx world, for example, Brene Brown or Esther Perel, who have had sensational books and 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 a prominent channel.

Andrea Thatcher:
Right. And it seems like it is a good idea to have something in place that people can find when they 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 or 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 are; obviously, they landed a talk, crafted the speech, delivered the lecture, and that’s where most TEDx speakers stop their efforts. And what makes a TEDx talk impactful is when many people see it. So we need the fourth piece, which is the marketing piece. We help our clients establish a concrete marketing plan and help them build their brand. For example, if they have a book, we help them understand precisely how they can leverage the impact of their TED talk to support their audience and business. So we help them 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 talked about the four steps, landing the talk, crafting the speech, delivering the lecture, and marketing the talk, it reminded me of the book process. 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 related to that, and I think 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 essential for whatever you’re putting out there in the world. Why do you think people neglect this step?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
I think it almost seems like it doesn’t belong to the initial steps, right? Because everything you do to land a TED opportunity, 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 help our clients do heartfelt marketing, where it is a natural extension of the relationship they’re building with their audience. It allows businesses to map out a joyful customer journey for people to really go into their world and then take the natural next steps to be in dedicated service to people 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, a business expert or an author doesn’t necessarily see the piece needing this elemental and heartfelt message. In contrast, if someone has a simple, sincere message, they are naturally into it. So many of our authors don’t want to be selling themselves. They think, 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 a great honor and fortune to receive what I call love notes from people all over the world. They share their stories of transformation with me that they’ve experienced with my TED talk, and it just reminds me every day that a Ted talk is there to change and improve lives if done in the right way. And when you know that, if you hold back on your marketing efforts, you’re holding back on changing people’s lives for the better. So if you reframe your mindset from selling to serving, it suddenly 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 opportunities. 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 real talk and your YouTube live date. And what you want to have in place ideally is a Facebook ad strategy where you can send traffic to your talk, preferably maybe to a landing page where you offer some kind of gift. It could be a free chapter if you’re an author or another gift that you could give an audience to build your community, collect emails, and generate views for your talk.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
And you want to invest the most 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, they will position you better in their algorithm. So that’s something to bear in mind for these first 48 hours. In addition, you already want to have an email that can go out to your friends, family, and followers or subscribers of any type. 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 potent 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 are so many authors who get to the point where, “Oh, my book is coming out next week. I 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 feel surprised. You don’t have a specific date when you know that TEDx will 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 isn’t easy to know the exact date your book will go live on Amazon. So I love it.

Andrea Thatcher:
This example from you guys works well for publicists working with non-traditionally published authors and now switching gears slightly. 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. Our mission is to serve our clients and help them see their expertise from a novel perspective. Because sometimes, when you’re so deep, it’s tough to tell what’s your 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 not had any disagreements about our winning idea. Not to say that it couldn’t happen, but it hasn’t happened so far.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
And we 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 absolute 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 doing in the world and why I’m doing it.” So it’s an exemplary 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? 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 you went through?

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

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So that’s something that people maybe go for a 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 one of our success recipes. You also want to be aware tip number three is to find the optimal length for your idea. So not every talk needs to be 18 minutes. Some talks would be more potent if they were shorter. So our advice is always to make the talk as quick as possible and yet get all your ideas out simultaneously because what that does is help every single line be succinct. And your goal is almost to think that every sentence should be a valid sentence that even works without context around it. And Josephine and I always say sometimes as 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:
That puts a considerable amount of pressure on you because you need to excel in crafting the talk. So that’s where Josephine’s expertise comes in. And I’m sure she can say something that is the real reason a talk goes viral. It’s not because of marketing but because it’s crafted well and has vital elements. And given that Josephine is our speechwriter 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 make a talk more shareable. In terms of the correct elements, there is no formula to create a winning TEDx talk, but we know some things that work, 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, and 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 you have available, et cetera. And I wanted to say also a quick word about marketing, when Elena teaches our clients how to market the talk, she talks about push-and-pull marketing. What most of us don’t like is push marketing. We don’t want 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 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 as Elena said, turn into you providing the service, so you don’t feel like you’re selling something.

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 the TEDx talk, the very first step you want to do. You want to start watching the TED talk every day or TEDx talk every day and see why you like particular talks and topics 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 an excellent practice that anyone can start doing right away, begin 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 every day 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 speak 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. You also said that you both worked in Reiki, and I wondered how you felt that that work translates or helps you with your intuitive process?

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 a 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 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, and a talk has its power, its own life, and you a speaker you are there to be a channel for this talk. And in our work at Red Dot Stage, we tune in to our clients’ energy.

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
So if they may be talking about an idea, we feel the energy. Are they genuinely excited about this? Or do they think it’s an idea that should be shared, but they’re maybe not so passionate about it, or perhaps 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 support them in the process of figuring out why. And of course, 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 who are open and appreciate the kind of enthusiastic support, we love offering it 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 and 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 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 crucial aspect of what we do because everything is energy, as we all know.

Andrea Thatcher:
That’s great. I think that so many authors consider their book to be an expression of their energy or personality; however, they want to put it. So I think various people 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 you wanted to add that you felt like you wanted to communicate to authors?

Elena Herdieckerhoff:
Yes. I think my message would be don’t wait to step on the Red Dot Stage because it’s truly life-changing for everybody involved, the speaker, the audience, and 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. 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. 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 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 have expert guidance, we’re delighted to offer all of your listeners a free introductory call with Josephine and me. We will 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 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 Josephine and me. 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 selling 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.