Preparing speakers for their best talk ever

When TEDxUHasselt invites speakers, we ask them to create the best talk they have ever given. We set the bar high with good reason: not only do 500 people attend the conference, thousands more watch the talks on YouTube. Of our 2012 conference, the 15 talks combined were watched almost 50,000 times. To assist our speakers, TEDxUHasselt team members help out in shaping the talks: from an early Skype meeting months in advance to an on-stage rehearsal just before the big day.

Although we do work together with a professional speaker coach, a large part of the coaching is done by our own team members – students. We are no public speaking experts, so we got help from someone who is: Lars Sudmann. As 5-times Belgian and one time European Champion of Public Speaking, he sure knows what he’s talking about! Although he usually hosts workshops on public speaking for large professional organizations, he was kind enough to organize one just for the TEDxUHasselt team. The perfect opportunity for teambuilding and learning about the secrets of a great TED talk.

As it turns out, giving a great talk is all about CODE:

  • Content: what to talk about?
  • Organization: how to order the content of a presentation?
  • Delivery: how to bring your presentation in style?
  • Effect: the icing on the cake that makes a great presentation an awesome one.

Lars Sudmann gave a very insightful presentation a while ago at TEDxFlanders, where he discussed CODE in more detail:

One topic Lars did not discuss in the TEDxFlanders talk but did discuss at our workshop is humor. After spending a lot of time on watching the most popular 3 minute TED talks, he figured out that, on average, the audience laughs 1.6 times per minute during a TED talk. 1.6 times per minute, that’s huge!

Lars Sudmann is a leadership expert who works with Fortune500 companies as well as high-performing startups on performance improvement, leadership and communication. Besides TEDxFlanders, he has also spoken at TEDxGhent. Check out his website:

All talks online

Videos of all TEDxUHasselt 2012 talks are now online! Which one is your favorite?

Watch the videos


First five talks

It took quite a while, but we have finally been able to release the first five videos of TEDxUHasselt 2012. Check them out!

We’ve also created a photo album with some of the best pictures taken at TEDxUHasselt this year.

Right after TEDxUHasselt 2012, we’ve sent an anonymous survey to the attendees. We were very happy to read all the enthusiastic feedback. One of the attendees puts it as follows:

It was truly one of the most perfectly organised events I ever went to. Everything was great. The talks, the food, the venue, the drinks, the people, all of it. Even the smallest details were done perfectly.

97% of the attendees plans on coming back next year and over 70% feels TEDxUHasselt made an impact on their life. Mission accomplished.

See you in 2013, we have some awesome events planned!

Can’t attend? Watch the TEDxUHasselt 2012 livestream

Last year, we unveiled a technical first for TEDx events worldwide. For the first time ever, people were able to watch a livestream of a TEDx event in 360 degrees, comparable to Google’s Street View but with live video!

This technology is offered to us by the Hasselt University EDM research centre, and provides an experience that goes way beyond the traditional livestream. For a preview, head over to, the website of Prof. Bekaert.

TEDxUHasselt founder Rutger Bevers had the honor to give a talk about our unique livestream at TEDxSummit, the TED-organized conference for TEDx organizers. Check it out:

This year, we have brought the livestream experience to the next level. At our stream page, located at, we added a secondary stream containing the slides of the current speaker. This way, the 360° stream can be used solely for looking around and following the speaker. The slides however, will always be visible.

So, if you can’t attend TEDxUHasselt or did not get a ticket, you can still feel like being there. Watch TEDxUHasselt like you’re a part of the audience, join the Twitter conversation and enjoy. Stream TEDxUHasselt 2012 live.

Made possible by Rambla.

Visit TEDxUHasselt with CoCar

Are you going to attend TEDxUHasselt? Do you need a ride?
Maybe CoCar can help you…

What’s CoCar about?

CoCar *links social networks to real-time ride sharing. At the foundation of CoCar lies a dynamic database of route- and person-related information with which an on-the-spot request is immediately linked with matching offers. In this way, the project aims to increase the degree of occupation of private cars thereby improving mobility in Flanders.

*CoCar is currently a trial version.

How does CoCar work?

Find a ride in 4 simple steps:

  1. Sign up (via Iphone, iPad or website).
  2. Enter your departure and
    destination address.
  3. Find matches.
  4. Get in touch with the driver

Offer a ride in 4 simple steps:

  1. Sign up (via Iphone, IPad or website).
  2. Enter your departure and destination address.
  3. Find matches directly or get contacted afterwards by email.
  4. Get in touch with the passengers.

More information: Visit their booth at TEDxUHasselt!

Four awesome TEDxUHasselt extra’s

When we started brainstorming about TEDxUHasselt 2012, we came up with a goal: to organize the most awesome conference we’ve ever been to. This means we want to surprise the attendees from beginning to end, in many different ways. We won’t tell you everything just yet, but here are a few extra’s we’ve been working on lately:

The lab

During the breaks you can get in touch with a wide range of innovative projects, start-ups and companies.

‘The Lab’ offers you an exceptional experience of how people are making a change in the universe.  You can try some of the interactive booths where you can let your creativity flow, or pick up interesting stories from young entrepreneurs, making their way. Or maybe you can get inspired by some of their creative, succesfull business models?

Eight young companies will be present: Lumoza, Studio Pieck, Brelec, The New Drive, Svanto, LuGus Studios, TinkerTouch and Junior Consulting.

The lounge

No boring breaks at TEDxUHasselt. At our lounge, you’ll be able to relax in one of the super comfortable egg seats while the DJ makes sure the atmosphere is just right.

If you’re not into music, fear not: there will be plenty of other spaces.


What better way to stimulate conversation than great beer? ;-) At TEDxUHasselt, a selection of the best Belgian beers will be available.


TED talks are always quite a bit better than whatever powerpoint presentation your mal-prepared coworker can throw at you. However, usually it is still only the speaker doing all the hard work, while the audience just has to show up and relax. Together with the young game developers at LuGus Studios we say: NO MORE! It is time for the attendees to show what they’ve got!

So be sure to bring your phones and tablets to TEDxUhasselt, because LuGus is putting things into perspective with their talk “Engaging audiences by showing them your A.S.S.”. With a special guest appearance of their valued employee Astro Bob, some real technological magic and a concept especially designed for TEDxUHasselt.

Ticket applications are go!

14 speakers sharing innovative ideas; that’s TEDxUHasselt in a nutshell.

But no TEDxUHasselt without an audience. In fact, we believe the audience is equally important as the speakers because TEDxUHasselt is a unique opportunity to meet 500 passionate people of a wide range of expertise fields, both students and non-students.

How about the price? Well, we’re very proud to be able to offer free tickets! So, what are you waiting for? Apply now for a ticket. After applying, you will receive a confirmation or refusal no later than October 27th.

We work with ticket applications rather than first-come, first-serve so we can make sure there is a good mix of audience members. We aim for a very diverse audience from beginning students to senior business experts - everyone has a chance of getting in!

And more thing: stay tuned for more information about the complete TEDxUHasselt experience – we’re working on some really awesome stuff.

First speakers of TEDxUHasselt 2012

We promised an extraordinary speakers line-up and today you can finally judge for yourself.

Last year, “the technology revolution” theme was quite narrow. For 2012, we wanted a line-up of speakers from a broader range of topics. But how broad should we go? We decided to focus on the three most taught subjects at Hasselt University: science, technology and entrepreneurship.

With that decided, we spent half a year selecting a combination of world-class speakers and local talent. Today, the speaker selection is finished and we are really excited by how it turned out. Let us introduce some of them to you and you will understand why:

Priya Parker (USA) doesn’t just run a start-up in New York, her research at MIT on identifying what the driving factors are that lead people to thriving and what blocks them from it is highly relevant these days.

Marc Buelens (BE), professor at Vlerick Leuven Ghent Management School, won’t be delivering yet another lecture, he will take Nele Snoeck (BE), a professional actress, with him on stage for a unique talk.

Juergen Schmidhuber (CH) is not just an internationally acknowledged artificial intelligence expert, he also manages to combine complex science with humor.

TEDxUHasselt wouldn’t be a TEDx event without some surprising speakers: Jee Kast (BE) brings poetry to the mix and Peter Gregson (UK) will talk about his innovations in music. Anders Sandberg (UK), Nik Baerten (BE), Willem Ombelet (BE), Javier de la Torre (ES/USA), Jan Scheele (NL) and Thijs De Vries (NL) make this first speaker announcement complete.
You can read everything about TEDxUHasselt 2012 on this webpage. More speakers will be announced in the next days, so make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

We hope you are as excited about our speakers as we are. However, TEDxUHasselt is more than just talks. Our goal is to create a unique experience from beginning to end, in every aspect. That includes workshops, long breaks with networking tools, great food and drinks, even extraordinary decoration and much more we can’t tell you about just yet. Stay tuned.

TEDxUHasselt’s TEDxSummit talk

When we organized the first edition of TEDxUHasselt back in November 2011, we were limited to 100 attendees because of our license with TED. Since much more people applied for a ticket and many of them had to be disappointed, we decided to set up a livestream.

However, livestreams traditionally are very static experiences; they don’t quite give you that feeling of actually being at the conference. In cooperation with the Hasselt University EDM research centre, TEDxUHasselt developed an interactive 360 degrees livestream – as the first TEDx in the world – which provides an experience that goes way beyond the traditional livestream.

TEDxUHasselt founder Rutger Bevers had the honor to give a talk about our unique livestream at TEDxSummit, the TED-organized conference for TEDx organizers. Check it out:

How can I get this livestream at my event?

A lot of people asked us this question! Since it’s a Hasselt University research project, you can’t just rent one somewhere at this moment. However, feel free to share your contact information and we’ll keep you up-to-date:

TEDxSummit: day 4 (Action Day) & day 5 (Post-Summit Tours)

Day 4: D-Day for Rutger. It turned out to be the most epic day of the week.

In the morning, Rutger presented the TEDxUHasselt 360 degrees livestream on stage during a session on technical innovations and brilliant failures of TEDx conferences around the world. Rutger also explained the future possibilities of the technology for TEDxUHasselt. It went flawless. The audience (TEDx organizers from all over the world) listened and were amazed. After Rutger’s talk, many people approached us and asked about the technology.

After this, we attended several workshops. The first session Rutger went to ‘Speaker preparation’ and I went to ‘PR and Media Planning (PR + Press)’. We learned some tips and tricks that we surely can use in the preparation of our event. At 13h30 we both attended the same workshop ‘Deep Dive: Researching Speakers, Structuring and Pacing a Speaker Program (Speakers)’. Some things were interesting, but they also discussed a lot specific cases which are not that useful for us. The final workshop we attended was about ‘Collaborating with Other TEDx Events (Community)’. The most important thing they kept on stressing in that workshop was that we should start collaboration by giving each other a pint of beer.

In the evening, there was a closing night TED talk session with a lot of interesting speakers.
An overview of the speakers can be found here:
We found Juan Enriquez and Cesar Harada to be the most interesting speakers. Juan talked about ‘the next human species’ and Cesar showed us how he was re-inventing our relation to the sea. You should surely look those talks up!

After grabbing something to eat we went to the after party in the W-hotel. It looked pretty exclusive.. and rest assure, it was! The after party was in club-style on the balcony with a pool, cocktail bar, … At 2h00 they closed and we went to an after-after party in one of the hotel rooms in the Kempinski hotel. This was on the 58th floor, and it was a room with 3 floors on its own. It even had its own elevator.

We met a massive amount of new people on this day and it all started with Rutgers amazing presentation in the morning. Good job Rutger ;)

The next morning we went to the MIA again for a picnic. We didn’t stay there for a long time, because we wanted to take a refreshing dive in the swimming pool of the hotel. In the afternoon we went to the Souq Waqif, the most famous local market in the region. We bought a lot of nice souvenirs for our family and especially for the TEDxUHasselt team.

In the evening there was a diner in the ballroom of the W hotel. This was a great opportunity to say goodbye to everyone we’ve met during this insane week. At night we got on our flight back home and now we are back in the ‘normal’ life..

The theme of the first ever TEDxSummit was “the power of X”. After a week working together and sharing ideas with TEDx organizers from around the world it became clear that this theme is spot-on. TEDx has u huge power for changing the world for the better.

One thing is for sure: me and Rutger went back to Belgium full of plans for TEDxUHasselt. And trust us, it’s going to be pretty awesome.

Finally, we want to end with a thank you to H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who financed the whole conference.