Speaker Guidelines

Our speakers infuse assemblies with learning and wonder. If you are interested in giving a talk, check out these guidelines, and email us.

  • Is 15 minutes on a topic in which you're an expert
  • Is the spot in the program where we “wonder more”
  • Teaches the assembly something factual and new in an engaging way
  • Is practical, scientific, historical, or otherwise informative
  • Should be positive or neutral and family-friendly
  • Cannot promote a product, business or political candidate
  • Should not be explicitly about atheism
  • Visual aids, like a slide show, are encouraged (submit at least 5 days before assembly)
  • Please be prepared to submit an outline, transcript or video before acceptance

The TED talk guidelines are an excellent reference for this. Please also use those guidelines on maintaining scientific credibility when building a talk for Sunday Assembly SV.

Some of our past speakers include:

Danny Harris, Knight Foundation - Building Community
Seth Shostak, SETI - Is There Anybody Out There?
Kimberly Dark, Storyteller - Unity and LGBTQ Stories
Andra Kaey - Out of the Labs and Into Our Lives
Gretchen Hellman, Career Coach - Mothers and Unconditional Love
Josh Rosenau, National Center for Science Education - Evolution
Ruby Ming, Asian Art Museum - Your Brain on Art
Daniel McCoy, Pixar - The Stories We Tell
Cellista Freya Seeburger, Musician - Music and Paying the Artist
Jim Gardener, Good Karma Bikes - Helping the Homeless
Tyler Pew, KidMob - Super Cyborgs
Elizabeth Drescher, Santa Clara University - Spirituality for the Nones
Dr Lynn Rothschild - Darwin Day
Author Robert Wright - Evil
Dr. James Doty - Compassion
Cellista Freya Seeburger - Music
Daniel McCoy - Pixar
Jerry DeWitt - Building a Meaningful Secular Community
David Diskin - Camp Quest
Prof. Sheldon Helms - Critical Thinking
Ian Harris & Sanderson Jones (by robot) - Birthday
Kevin McCormack - Stem Cells
Prof. Carol Mukhopadhyay - Valentine Origins
Ruth Kaiser - Spontaneous Smiley Project
Jeremy Adam Smith - Improve Life by Discussing Death
Andra Kaey - Women and Robots
Tucker Hiatt - Gratitude for the Laws of Physics and Nature
Prof. Ken Wharton - Time Travel
David Wittkowski - The Internet of Things
Dr. Devin Prouty - Sleep
Minh Ngo - My Red Shoes
Dr. Marilyn Colon - Embracing Mistakes
Lester Deanes, SCU - Celebrating Men and Boys
Mahnani Clay - Project Cheer and Black Lives Matter
Sejal Patel - Social Justice
Nils Petersen - Santa Clara County Poet Laureate
Steve Kurtagh - Volunteering
Brad Hoge, NCSE - Discussing Tough Topics With Tact
Lisa Blanchard, Grateful Garment Project - Dignity
James Kopp, Pear Theatre - Improv Your Life
Craig L Anderson - The Nature of Awe
Astrobiologist Dr Lynn Rothschild - Life On Mars
Sanderson Jones - Sunday Assembly
Sheldon Helms - Your Brain as a Role Model
Marcela Davison Aviles - Remembrance
Greta Christina - Flirting With Death
Michael Fredrickon, Pixar - Awe
Susannah Zaraysky - Seeing in 2D
Michelle Tran - Queerness and Healing
Esperanza Phoenix - Inclusion
Migthy Mike McGee - Slam Poetry
Justin Imamura, Trash Punx - Motivation
Bex and Gil, Kicking the States - Exploration
Lisa Blanchard, Grateful Garment Project - Dignity