How I Curate a TEDxUGA Talk
I walk through the whole process of how our team prepared Jack Harth (and many others) for a TEDxUGA Talk.
TEDxUGA is an independently organized TED event that brings UGA's leading thinkers and doers to the stage to share their passions, stories, research, and ideas. Every spring, the University of Georgia and Athens community come together to connect in a collective experience that has been viewed almost 6 million times. The event is hosted and managed by the New Media Institute at UGA.
I first got involved with TEDxUGA in Spring 2020 and have since curated 6 different presenters for the stage, prepare for 3 major events, and produced the 2023 event.
As a part of TEDxUGA's 10th year of putting presenters on the red round rug, I am producing a short documentary piece to showcase the behind-the-scenes work done by students and UGA staff to put on an event like this.
TEDxUGA 2023:Roots marks the 10th year of TEDxUGA. This is also the first event I have helped produced, assisting with everything from email registration campaigns to building the Run of Show and production scripts. This is my 4th year working with TEDxUGA, helping put talented presenters with ideas worth sharing on stage. Like the previous year, TEDxUGA 2023 will be hosted in the historic Morton Theatre in downtown Athens, GA. Unlike previous years, I do not have a set of dedicated presenters that I work with. Instead, as a producer, I work with all presenter teams to craft visuals and ensure their slides are up to TEDxUGA standards.
TEDxUGA 2022: Wonder was the second full event I participated in as a student curator. Assigned 3 different presenters with 3 different topics, I was tasked to help each presenter form their scripts and visuals in preparation for the event on April 1, 2022. I worked with each presenter (Jack, Marques, and David) weekly to identify their big ideas and main messages, create a compelling structure around those messages, and craft engaging visuals that supported their talk. Additionally, I helped prep them for stage by scheduling and overseeing practice sessions in front of test audiences, incorporating feedback into their scripts and offer additional guidance to the presenters.
I first joined the class in Spring 2020, taking the class as a graduate student as part of UGA's Double Dawg program in which I could earn credit towards my Emerging Media masters degree while still in undergrad. Therefore, I was assigned to assist 3 presenters: Tot Keller, John Jardin, and Sam Spellicy. As a curator, I helped each presenter form their big ideas and messages, write their scripts, and create visual aids to their talks. However, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted our event 2 weeks prior- sending everything to a standstill. Most of the work for the event had been accomplished, but would have to be postponed until the following year. Fortunately, these presenters were able to present their talks in 2021, and I was glad to see that our work in 2020 was not wasted.