The road to TED – Part 1: The formal invite

Written by Lior Zoref Date 27/11/2011 Time 8:21

imageIt’s been 6 months ever since I participated in the TED full spectrum auditions and I’m on my way to stand on the most amazing stage in the world.

Tomorrow I’ll start the crowd sourcing process to build my TED talk.

Before I start doing so, here’s the first part of a diary I wrote in the last two months, ever since I received the official invite to be a speaker at TED 2012.

In the coming months I will continue to share with you stories from behind the scenes, the journey, preparations and excitement.

I hope you’ll join me in this journey.

October 4th 2011

A few minutes ago I received an email from TED content director.

It’s been two months since the auditions… I’m expecting an email that will tell me whether or not I’ll speak at TED.

My heart is beating at a rate of hundred miles an hour. I open the email, and it start like this:

Hi Lior,
We’re thrilled to have you as part of the TED2012 speaker program (and you’re going to be in excellent company!).

My dream is about to come!
I read it again, to make sure that I’m not mistaken.

I’m beginning to understand that this is going to be one of the most amazing experiences in my life…
I remember how time passed before the birth of my daughter, Maya.

I knew that having a baby would be an event that will change my life, but did not understand how exactly.
Now I realize that this event can change my life but I’m not sure I understand how …
Sometimes dreams come true.

October 5th 2011


I’ts 6 am. 24 hours after receiving the email from TED.

Everyone in my house are sleeping but I can’t sleep.
I’m watching this documentary which shows behind the scenes at TED 2010.

Behind the TEDTalk 2010 from m ss ng p eces on Vimeo.


I look at the guy from India and wonder how he feels while praying that his sick mother will stay alive to watch his TED talk and be proud of him.

At the end, Sr. Ken Robinson, the legendary speaker, says:

Dreams are what guide us and what helps us to become the best that we could be.
Dreams are what make us who we are.

I’m sorry for being emotional, but at this point a tear fell from my eye…
I bet I won’t sleep much in the next four months.

The anxiety is starting to emerge.
Will I be able to do it ?….

October 6th 2011


In the past few days I was still trying to digest the news. 

It took me two days until I had the courage to enter the link and confirm my participation as a speaker.
When filling out forms, I’m used to mark V on all kinds of legal terms.
In the case of TED, this is what I was asked to confirm:

I understand that those who attend TED do so in a spirit of curiosity, open-mindedness, respect and tolerance, thereby enabling constructive conversation and allowing TED speakers to be more open than they might otherwise be.

Halleluiah ! I’ve confirmed happily.

After I finished filling the form, I could see a ‘TED Speaker’ badge under my photo:

A few second later, I get an email with a few important things that I should take into consideration. Pay attention to rules 4 and 8:

Rule number 4: Clear your calendar. No, really. To help you get the most out of TED, we ask that you lend us your brain. Ignore your email. Switch off your phone. Don’t take meetings. TED is an immersive experience, and you won’t want to miss a moment.
Rule number 8: Don’t miss a thing. Watch every session. Go to every event. The best TED moments happen when you least expect them. So resist the temptation to sneak back to your room, and give yourself a complete TED experience.

This is going to be so much fun.

השאר תגובה

Get my best work sent for free
Learn how to make better decisions, tips, stories from behind the scenes and much more...
Never display this again