How to launch a series of inspiring Talks by employees for employees

In 2016 I launched a series of inspiring Talks given by employees to employees, in a format similar to the TED Talks, about topics that were fresh, new and engaging. 

Goals to launch the series TEF Talk:
  • Employee engagement: employees trust employees. If an employee talks about how cool is working for this company, this comment has more impact than any employer brand brochure or presentation that management can put together.
  • Employee development: since the talks had to be inspired in TED, I sent the speakers to a story telling coach who would teach them in a 1:1 session how to transform a topic into a story and how to present it without boring powerpoint slides.
  • Networking and fostering of cross functional work: after the Talks employees were invited to beer and pizza (yes! the Talks took place after office hours!) and had the chance to connect cross teams, which had of course benefits in the day-to-day job.
  • Make the internal know-how available for everyone who wanted to listen: employees are experts at their work but they also have hobbies or other expertises. The Talks gave them the chance to share them with colleagues while teaching them sometimes new skills or new areas.

Location and agenda:

I organized the Talk in different locations over the two years. One was the company's start-up incubator which is in the city center and very well connected. Besides the cool, young and crazy environment, this location gave the Talks a millennial touch that worked very well. The other location was the press room of the company's main building and added the charm of speaking or attending a Talk while enjoying the amazing view of the city from a 35th floor.

The Agenda was simple: 15 mins check-in, 20 mins Talk, 1 hour for questions and discussion and then pizza and beer for networking.

The series was a success and we always had more registrations than we could host in the location!

Do you want to learn more about organizing inspiring talks for employees? Let me know: