Christian Long

Student Talks Rules

And while we’re inspired by the hundreds of TED Talks we’ve watched/analyzed, our actual student talks will more closely emulate 5-min Ignite talks. Here is a good example:


  1. Each student selects a topic about which they are passionate. Expertise is not a requirement, although it is a goal.
  2. Each student develops a way to ‘tell a story’ or ‘highlight an idea’ or ‘pursue a question’ that they want to share with the world.
  3. Each student develops a speaking style that combines intentional practice and passionate delivery.
  4. Each student shares a well-developed and rehearsed Talk with the support of visual slides (PPt or Keynote) that help move the topic forward.
  5. Each student considers the opportunity to share their TEDxProject Talk with the larger world (as well as their classmates).


  1. Students will be randomly assigned dates for delivering their Talk in front of their class.
  2. Each student will have 2 weeks minimum to prepare their talk. Talks will be given in class over a 2-week period.
  3. Each Talk must be between 4 and 6 minutes.
  4. Each Talk must include 10-20 PPt or Keynote slides (turned in 1 day in advance to Mr. Long).
  5. All Talks will be recorded.


  1. Pick an idea you are madly curious about, want to learn more about, and/or want to share with the world. The topic can be something that you’ve experienced, heard about, read/watched, or have simply been wanting to learn more about over time.
  2. Focus on ‘one story’ (if possible) to center your overall Talk, although you certainly can expand beyond that. Be factual but also help your audience emotionally care about the subject.
  3. Try to imagine being in the audience listening to your own Talk: What will interest you? What will inspire you? What will move you to ‘act’ or want to learn more?
  4. Practice the timing of your Talk. Do not present for the first time in class; do one/multiple dry-runs.
  5. Because each Talk must last between 4 and 6 minutes, figure out whether your ‘draft’ Talk should be shorter or longer after you practice a few times. Think about your audience as you make these decisions.
  6. Since you have to create 10-20 PPt / Keynote slides, select visuals (images, text, or images+text) that create a connection to specific points in the Talk. Avoid bullet points and adding too much text to a single PPt / Keynote slide. Make sure that all images are given proper credit. It is better to use your own images (or at least to make sure the images you find on the Internet/etc are allowed to be used by you).

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