2024 Call for Entries

Now seeking local TED talk and entertainment ideas for 2024.


What makes a great TEDx talk?

A clear, well-formed idea delivered in under 18 minutes. TED.com explains this often shows up in two ways: 


1. Something that’s new and surprising; an idea or invention that your audience has never heard about.


2. A great basic idea (that your audience has maybe already heard) with a compelling new argument behind it that challenges beliefs and perspectives.

In other words, an idea isn’t just a story or a list of facts. A good idea takes certain evidence or observations and draws a larger conclusion.

What’s the commitment?

In addition to adhering to all TED guidelines, selected speakers and entertainers will need to be available for a rehearsal in the afternoon on Oct 7th and the conference in afternoon on Oct 8th. We recommend setting aside the entire day for the conference as there are events before and afterward.

Speakers must also commit to meeting with TEDx Macatawa’s speaking coach twice prior to rehearsal.



The Application Process

Submit your Talk or Performance Idea

Use the form embedded lower on this page to apply.

Open Until July 26

Jump to the Application

Selection Committee Review

The TEDxMacatawa committee will ideas using TED’s guidelines to determine the strongest ideas for the conference.

Late July, early August


Video Pitch Submissions

The selection committee will invite leading presenters to submit a 90-second video pitch.

Mid to Late August

Final Selections

In alignment with TED’s guidelines, the selection committee will invite about 12 speakers for this year’s conference.

End of August


What to know before submitting

Content Guidelines *Important

All talks and presentations must align with the TEDx Content Guidelines. The bullets below are not black & white rules but titles for much deeper guidelines. If you’re concerned your talk or idea might not fit, please review them in further detail.


  • No commercial agendas
  • No political agendas or inflammatory rhetoric
  • No religious agendas
  • No bad science

Theme and Content

  • Align with the TED ethos: TED’s mission is to “discover and spread ideas that spark conversation, deepen understanding, and drive meaningful change.” Though the content of TED talks can vary widely, the initials are short for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It is helpful for topics to align with one of these three original pillars.
  • Originality and Relevance: Your content must be original and relevant to the theme. Please avoid sales pitches, product promotions, or purely personal anecdotes without a broader message.

Talk Length

  • Duration: Talks should be shorter than 18 minutes in length, but shorter talk ideas can be an advantage. Some of the strongest talks are only 10-12 minutes (or shorter!) in length. This is crucial for maintaining the dynamic pace of the event and keeping the audience engaged.

Format and Structure

  • Storytelling: We encourage storytelling that is personal, engaging, and thought-provoking. Structure your talk with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
  • Visual Aids: If you plan to use slides or other visual aids, ensure they complement your talk and enhance understanding. Limit the number of slides to around 10, and avoid clutter.
  • Performances: For musical or artistic performances, storytelling is also a helpful way of weaving elements of the performance together.

Speaker Commitments

Speakers must commit to:

  • Coaching Meetings: Commit to two meetings with the speaker coach.
  • Rehearsal: Attend the complete dress rehearsal on Oct 7, including listening to co-presenters.
  • Conference: Naturally, attend the conference on Oct 8. Speakers should attend the conference in its entirety and plan to say afterward to connect with the audience.

These sessions are crucial for refining your talk, receiving feedback, and ensuring technical readiness.

A note on Feedback: Be open to feedback from the speaker coach and committee. We are committed to help you deliver your message with clarity and impact.

Visuals Aids

  • Visual Aid Recommendations: If you plan to use slides or other visual aids, ensure they complement your talk and enhance understanding. Limit the number of slides to around 10, and avoid clutter.
  • Props/Other Visuals: Please inform your speaker coach of any and all props or necessary visuals before rehearsal. This will allow us to better accommodate you.
  • Slideshow Requirements: All slides must be numbered in the appropriate order; be either PNG or JPG format; a 16:9 ratio; minimum of 1920px X 1080px.
  • Slideshow Deadline: All slides must be submitted and approved by September 30th.
  • A note on animations/transitions: Different than PowerPoint, our commercial presentation software does not support custom animations or transitions. If motion elements are necessary, presenters will need to provide advanced notice.

Technical Requirements

  • Equipment: TEDxMacatawa will provide basic AV equipment, including a microphone, projector, and screen. Please confirm your technical requirements in advance.
  • Check Your Tech: Test all equipment and your presentation well before the event. Familiarize yourself with the venue’s setup.

Media and Recording

  • Recording Consent: By speaking at TEDxMacatawa, you agree to the event being recorded and your talk potentially being shared on TEDx platforms and social media. This is a requirement of our TEDx license.
  • Use of Content: TEDxMacatawa retains the right to use your talk content for promotional and educational purposes.


Submit Your Idea

If the google form does not load below, please use this link.