how to enter a KiDtalk/TEACHERtalk video

We’re thrilled that you’re interested in doing a Talk! We want to hear from you. Now what?

Cobb has modeled our KidTalk concept based on the work of TED and TEDx. Building on the work of the experts at TED, here are a few dos and don’ts on how to give a great talk. These aren’t comprehensive, but will give you some guidance as you develop your KidTalk.

Step 1: Get familiar with the format

Step 2: Develop an idea

Step 3: Make an outline and script

Step 4: Rehearse

Step 5: Video your talk

Step 6: Submit your video

1. Get familiar with the format

What is a KiDtalk/TEACHERtalk?

KiDtalks are a showcase for Cobb students in grades K-12 to share well-formed ideas about the world in 5 minutes or less. You can watch a TEDx talk to better understand the format. Here’s a link to a TEDx talk that will help you understand the format: How to defend the Earth from Asteroids

Can I go over 5 minutes?

No! The time limit is part of what makes it work. When you have a limited amount of time to make your point, you tend to be more focused. It may even only take three minutes to make your point in an unforgettable way.

2. Develop an idea

What makes a good idea for a talk?

Like a good magazine article, your idea can be new or surprising, or challenge a belief your audience already has. Or it can be a great basic idea with a compelling new argument behind it.

An idea isn’t just a story or a list of facts. A good idea takes evidence or observations and draws a larger conclusion.

How do I know when my idea is ready?

You do not have to be an expert on your topic, but you do need to be very knowledgeable. It will be your responsibility to provide your audience with accurate information – so make sure you fact check! It’s a good idea to spend time doing research from reputable sources and consulting with experts in the field.

Next ask yourself the following questions about your idea:

  1. Is my idea new?
  2. Is my idea interesting?
  3. Is my idea realistic?

You want to make sure you’re telling people about something that they haven’t heard a million times before. You also want to ensure that your idea will apply to a variety of people. Take time to consider who would be interested in this topic. Finally, ensure that what you’re asking people to do, can really be done.

If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, spend some time refining your idea. To refine your idea, consider sharing your idea with other people – your peers, people older than you, people much older than you, people younger than you, and/or with people with whom you don’t normally collaborate.

Step 3. Make an outline and script

What is the best structure for a Talk?

There are a variety of methods that have been found to be effective when giving a talk. There isn’t a single right way, but here are some components that have been found to be effective:

  1. Start by making your audience care, using a relatable example or an intriguing idea.
  2. Explain your idea clearly with conviction.
  3. Describe your evidence and how and why your idea could be implemented.
  4. End by addressing how your idea could affect your audience if they were to accept it.

No matter the structure you decide on, remember that your primary goal is to communicate your idea(s) effectively. Telling stories and evoking emotions are great tools to help communicate, but these aren’t the goal of the KiDtalk.

The TEDx Speaker’s guide provides the following suggestions to speakers.


A strong introduction is crucial.


In presenting your topic and evidence:



Once you’re settled on your outline, start writing a script. Be concise, but write in a way that feels natural to you. Use present tense and strong, interesting verbs.

Step 4. Rehearse

I’ve read through my talk once, is that enough?

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! We can’t stress this enough. Rehearse until you’re completely comfortable in front of other people: different groups of people, people you love, people you fear, small groups, large groups, peers, people who aren’t experts in your topic.

Listen, listen, listen to the criticisms and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. If someone says that you sound “over-rehearsed,” this actually means you sound unnatural. Keep rehearsing and focus on talking like you’re speaking to just one person in a spontaneous one-way conversation.


Time yourself. Practice with the clock winding down in front of you. Do it until you get the timing right every time. Your talk should be 5 minutes or less.


Practice standing still, planted firmly in one spot on the stage. Have a friend watch you and stop you from pacing back and forth or shifting your weight from leg to leg.

Step 5. Video your talk

Inhale. Exhale. Do it like you practiced. Unless you feel comfortable setting up and capturing the video shoot on your own, work with your teacher to set up a time and location to shoot the video. Discuss the equipment available to use – like an iPad, video camera, or other device. It works best if you have an audience. So invite some friends to come and be the audience when you give the talk.

Step 6. Submit your video

Now comes the fun part! It’s time to share the video. You will need to name your video using the title you would like + your name + your school (ex - Change The World - Anna Mullins-Durham MS) and upload it to YouTube. Be sure to make your video "public". (If you are under the age of 13, an adult will need to upload your video to YouTube.)

Click here to complete the online KiDtalk Cobb application

Click here to complete the online TEACHERtalk Cobb application



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