Over the last few years, Frisco has welcomed quite a few globally recognizable brands – PGA of America, Dr. Pepper Keurig, Dallas Cowboys, just to name a few. As of January 2020, one other brand will be added to that list: TEDx.
In case Frisco is moving too fast for you these days and you missed the news, on January 11, 2020 at Frisco Discovery Center’s Black Box Theater, Frisco will host its first TEDx event under the title “Next Level.”
TED (short for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short powerful talks, about 18 minutes or less in duration. It began in 1984, but the age of YouTube catapulted it into the consciousness of millions around the world.
The unique format of the talk permeated our modern communication vocabulary, and the TED brand soon launched a spinoff. TEDx are local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.
Who is responsible for bringing TEDx to Frisco?
The idea of bringing TEDx to Frisco came from Dr. Trillion Small, an energetic young Frisconian whose own TEDx talk at the SMU Women conference went viral. The Frisco community responded quickly and eagerly to her leadership, and planning is well underway. Dr. Small considers this first event only the beginning of TEDx presence in Frisco and seeks to create more TEDx events soon after. She says,
Preparing for the very first event has been a pure joy for me. I am discovering on a daily basis that this will be a wonderful event to bring people together who otherwise would not have met. It became even more apparent to me at our first mix-n-mingle that this is a great opportunity to build a diverse community focused on ideas and projects that transform lives on a micro, meso, and macro level. It is my desire to establish TEDxFrisco in such a way that it not only becomes a place where men, women, and youth have the space to creatively express themselves but I desire for it to also be a place where many find a sense of belonging.”
TED is careful about its brand, as most big brands are, and the event has some very specific guidelines to follow; some are on the technical side (videos have to be carefully produced if they’re going to be on the TED or TEDx YouTube channels), but there are others that may come as a surprise.
For example, the audience for this first event is limited to only 100 visitors, and you can’t just buy a ticket – you also must apply to be considered. This is because TED wishes to encourage the exchange of ideas between the speakers and the audience, so they seek people who can contribute to the conversations and connections at the event.
If you’re interested in attending, visit www.tedxfriscotx.com for details.
The speakers were announced in September after a rigorous selection process – biographies for both speakers and performers can be found here. Their talks will cover a wide variety of subjects from sex trafficking and law to music business and entrepreneurship.
The experience thus far with rehearsals and preparing for TEDxFrisco has been very exciting and rich in learning opportunities. Trillion has done a great job setting us up with an improv expert in Frisco, Bob Zak with Frisco Improv Players, who has been helping us out a lot with things like body language and displaying emotion. We have been working on improv skills a lot as well. I still have work to do as far as editing my speech, however, I am making good progress. I look forward to finishing the final draft, practicing even more and to the humbling opportunity to take the stage in January.” says Tomasz Kwiatkowski.
A few rehearsals already took place, and one even included some fun activities led by an improvisational comedy specialist.
Speaker Jessica Vittorio says,
Preparing for TEDxFrisco has been one of the most unique and challenging experiences in my professional career thus far; I am constantly learning from the other speakers, coaches, and organizers. I’ve had to dig deep and really challenge not only my speaking skills, but the manner in which I approach and explain my topic. I look forward to sharing the fruits of these experiences with TedX and the rest of the Frisco community.”
In addition to the talks, the event will include music, poetry, and dance performances, as well as a post-event gathering where the speakers, performers, and audience members can connect. Finally, the event is still looking for volunteers and partners, so there are plenty of opportunities left to get involved.