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The first Open Call Auditions for TEDxColumbus took place on Thursday, August 16 at the Columbus Museum of Art.  Three judges, David Staley, Judi Stillwell and Colleen Duffy, heard from 28 people who desired to have a place on the stage at TEDxColumbus 2012: The Future Revealed on October 5. By all accounts, it was an impressive and passionate group.  The judges met afterwards and made their difficult decisions —  and we are pleased to announce these folks will have a participating role in “The Future Revealed.”

Jan Allen on “Retiring Retirement : A Personal Upgrade to the Bonus Decades.” Jan will deliver a TEDx talk.
Ben Shinabery on the “New Genre of Music Education.”  Several musical acts from the Dick and Jane Project will be featured.
Brian Breitch on “The Next Musical Interface.”  A demonstration of their technology will be featured on and off stage.
Megan Holstein on “Mobile Apps for Autism,” to be featured at TEDxYouth@Columbus on October 3 with a TEDxYouth talk.

For those participants who weren’t chosen and for future participants to Open Calls, the judges shared these main reasons why many people did not get chosen (the list is a summary and doesn’t represent all reasons):

Did not summarize the idea well – the judges didn’t like to hear “and I’ll tell you the rest on October 5.”
Unclear central idea – like above, but too many ideas in the hopper, TEDx talks are about one core idea.
Bordered on selling – several ideas were clear extensions of what people did for a living.  While that may inform an idea, it can’t be the idea.
Speaking style was strained – the judges expected if there was nervousness in 3 minutes, there will be extreme nervousness in 10 or 15.
Hard to follow – if a core idea was stated last as opposed to first, the judges ended up confused through the pitch.  The judges wanted to be able to follow the idea from the start – as audiences desire to do.

And lastly,

No connection to theme – The judges were hoping for some tie to “The Future Revealed.”


Thanks to all who came out and gave it a try!  We were humbled by the participation, enthusiasm and spirit for sharing ideas.  We encourage those of you who didn’t make it to try again!

We look forward to hearing these ideas that did win — and seeing you all on October 5 at COSI!  Tickets go on sale to the general public on September 4 and the complete speaker list will be announced September 10.