TEDxFargo – Ted Dintersmith – Speaker

In Speaker by Mark Sylvester


The Hack: Find a TEDx community that will resonate with your message, and pitch your heart out

Ted Dintersmith has a great story on how he got to the TEDxFargo red circle, in less than six days. This is a testament to his passion for education and his commitment to getting his idea out on as many stages as he can. He said, "There are red circles all over the world." He's relentless in his pursuit of making a difference in education.

Ted has become one of America’s leading advocates for education policies that foster creativity, innovation, motivation, and purpose. He knows what skills are valuable in a world of change, and how we can transform our schools to prepare kids for their futures.

One of the things that we learned in talking with Greg Tehven of TEDxFargo is his focus on the speaker experience. That led to this conversation with Ted, so we could hear, from his point of view, what it was like to be a speaker and see the show from the inside out.

I go for a lot of 12 minute walks."Ted Dintersmith, Change Agent

The Lightning Round

  • Tell us a bit about your background and your TEDx origin story.

    TED is a TEDster, having attended the main event in Vancouver in 2016, then responding to the last minute call from TEDxFargo to come and present on their stage. He said he appreciated the relaxed, family-like feel of the TEDx stage vs. the 'big' TED vibe. He's a retired venture capitalist who's on a mission and is putting his money behind the effort to make the changes he believes we need.

  • How many TEDx events have you spoken at?

    He's just done the one, but you get a sense from him that he'll try to get on others.

  • What made your TEDx Talk unique?

    He only had six days to prepare and is an accomplished public speaker, so the only thing that threw him was the 12-minute format. His talk has gotten over 80,000 views (at the time of this posting.) Since giving the talk, he's been back to Fargo five times, meeting with educators he was introduced to at the event.

  • What was the biggest surprise for you?

    How professional the event was. How the post-talk editing was done, with high production values and the level of experience of all the other speakers. He commented that Fargo was a blast!

  • Every Talk has its challenges, what was the biggest dragon you had to overcome?

    He expected to be nervous and wasn't. He was nervous about having an unrealistic sense of the number of views the talk would have. He didn't need to worry with over 80,000 to date. Remember he didn't have six months to fret, he had six days.

  • What’s one piece of advice you have for potential speakers?

    Do your homework and pick your forum. Find the right TEDx that is aligned with your message. Your idea will get a lift from the TEDx stage. Finally, he suggests, go for a lot of 12-minute walks. (That's how he prepares for his Talk).

  • Looking forward to the impact of your Talk, what excites you the most?

    Ted is working his way across the United States, visiting all 50 states and personally making sure his idea spreads. He's meeting with educators, policy makers, and local officials. One state at a time. He's been back to Fargo five times.

  • The show is called Hacking the Red Circle, what's your best hack?

    Much like his advice, he suggests finding the TEDx event with a theme or focus that's aligned with your message, then pitch hard to get into the red circle. Have a bold approach to the right venue.

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