Kimberly Weil of Strategic Samurai leading a TEDxCSULB workshop in a psychology classroom on the CSULB campus

TEDxCSULB Kickoff Seminar

On Sunday 29 Jan ’17 we had a TEDxCSULB launch workshop with 3 of the Organizers (Eric, Camille & Vania) and Kymberlee Weil of Strategic Samurai. Here are a few notes from the day:

Kimberly Weil of Strategic Samurai leading a TEDxCSULB workshop in a psychology classroom on the CSULB campus
Kimberlee Weil, Strategic Samurai

1st of 3 Workshops.

Kimberlee Weil

I’m a little obsessed with TED!

Back in 2002 I was in the computer industry and I would have loved to be invited to TED… attendee matching for Macromedia… my 1st experience w TED launched a software company.

2006: Chris Anderson letter > TED University – teach something… everyone break a board!

… who was I? What if they laughed at me? Or walked out?… > Speaking business!

Mark: When you’re off the red circle.

Kimberly: that doesn’t happen.

Best version of your talk.
-> Change happening

  • Name
  • Working On
  • Interesting about U

3300 TEDx’s in 2016
80,000 talks online

TEDx’s in prisons!

Camille Raquel, Eric Crenshaw & Vania Arriola speaking to the workshop group for TEDxCSULB in a Psychology Department classroom on the CSULB campus
Organizers Camille Raquel, Eric Crenshaw & Vania Arriola


  • Crystal clear on your core idea
  • how you’re gonna layout your talk

Richard Saul Wurman started TED in 1985 as dinner parties that kept growing & growing.

3 Original TED Commandments

  1. Don’t sell
  2. Tell a story you haven’t told before
  3. Be vulnerable

Think about your audience. Your audience is the world. Think globally. You might develop an audience from a collection of people in another country. We’re optimizing for the day, and for the video that will live on indefinitely.

3 Part Structure

  1. What? —> funnel to your core idea, your idea worth spreading
  2. So what? —> make your audience care (through story, shocking stats, intrigue) justify why your core idea matters
  3. Now what? —> if I buy your core idea, what do you want me to do? —> Paint a picture of the new reality. Give them an understanding of what they have to look forward to.

If you don’t have a Core Idea, you don’t have a TED talk.

Most often your title is not your core idea. (you don’t want to give it away). We’re optimizing for video. The title will be what gets them to watch or not.

Core idea – what will you fight for?

Make your Core Idea a short sentence that can really stick in people’s minds.

Core Ideas

  • Not too abstract
  • What’s your hashtag?
  • What is your idea worth spreading?
  • TED likes alternatives, this vs that

doesn’t have to be fluffy, not everyone has to agree

Black men should stop playing sports

Free will is a skill

  • Finalize your Core Idea (worth spreading) in the next couple days.
Ryan Serrano & Brandon Gamble sitting in a TEDxCSULB workshop
Fellow speakers Ryan Serrano & Brandon Gamble
Fellow speaker John Bruna attending the workshop and "standing in the red circle" remotely from Colorado
Fellow speaker John Bruna attending the workshop and “standing in the red circle” remotely from Colorado

What > Story

Story can change people’s lives. Story evokes emotions. Facts & figures activate 2 regions of your brain – story activates 7.

  • Your signature story. In all of our lives there’s something that’s happened that made us who we are today. How we see the world today. Something your grandmother said. A teacher said. Times in your life that things changed significantly. That led to your core idea. Something happened to make you think that way. What got you into the industry you’re in and the work that you do.

Fear on your road to the red circle

  • Just means you care
  • confronting & overcoming fear is not an easy thing
  • it’s never as challenging as you think it is
  • courage is messy, it’s not so simple

So What

Now What

What do you want us to do? Join me and make this change happen. I want you to…

If you ask a question, give your audience time to reflect and answer it. No throw away questions.

Audience participation is out. Raise your hand if… doesn’t play on video.

Kimberlee Weil at a white board going over TEDxCSULB development dates
Kimberlee going over the schedule


  • 5 Feb: Outline and Core Idea
  • 12 Feb: 1st Draft
  • 19 Feb: 2nd Draft
  • 26 Feb: Final Draft due to Kymberlee
  • 26 Feb – 2 Mar: One on One meetings with Kymberlee
  • 6 Mar: 7pm Performance Two Hour Workshop (virtual)
  • 12 Mar: Final Content locked down and all Final drafts delivered to Organizers
  • 20 Mar: 7pm Group Q/A One Hour Webinar covering all content and performance (virtual)
  • 20 Mar – 7 Apr: Live Rehearsals with Organizers (Speakers should be each rehearsing with Organizers at least once per week and daily on their own.)
  • 7 Apr – Friday 6 or 7pm – President Conoley hosting Speakers’ Gala @Miller House
  • 9 Apr: Dress rehearsal 9am and Conference @Noon


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