Wednesday, April 10, 2013

TED Talks - What Would You Do?

The influence of TED continues to grow.  Several of my friends have "Attending TED Global" on their "bucket list".  Countless communities are hosting TEDx events.  The TEDxYouth movement is gaining more traction.  Since June 2006 the TED videos have continued to populate the web and many have gone viral, achieving millions of views.

TED is about "Ideas Worth Spreading", but many people do not really understand what it means to give a TED Talk.  TED stands for "Technology, Education and Design", but it has come to mean so much more.  While not every TED Talk is itself a great presentation, the ones that have reached around the world are amazing examples of what happens when ideas are clearly and concisely communicated.  It is not only about content (although this matters), but the combo of the knowledge being shared and the speakers ability to deliver the message in a way that touches the soul of others.

Amazing TED Talks do not need a technically great or experienced speaker, as many who speak at various TED events are not trained orators... but the best speakers respect the art of speaking and dedicate many hours to honing their presentation.

I have begun to ask all my clients "If given the opportunity to speak at TED or TEDx... what would you talk about?"  This is a great exercise, as if someone was really given the opportunity to speak at one of these events it would be a once in a lifetime event.  Thus it would be foolish to waste the chance to deliver your great idea, concept, and story.   TED talks are limited to 18 minutes (some even shorter), and thus this is not a typical speech.  You have to get clear on what is the core of your idea, and there is little time to say everything.  The speaker must not make it self-centered or a sales pitch..... it has to be about the impact of the idea.

If invited to the TED stage you have to cut through much of your superficial story and leave behind all your "shtick".  It is different than most other presentations you would be asked to deliver, and if done right you could impact the world.  To explore this idea is to dig deeper into what matters to you, and what idea you think is worthy of such a platform.  We do not often have to get as serious about our thoughts as a potential TED speaker, but it can open up your blind spots and even if you never are on a TED stage, you will think differently about the topics you share in other parts of your life.

So what would be the message of your TED Talk?

Have A Great Day

thom singer

1 comment:

Patrick Allmond said...

Wow. That would be a very hard choice. The first thing that comes to mind is the extreme unfairness in what we pay the people to educate and take care of our children. I volunteer in an elementary school every Friday. That career is definitely a labor of love. These people are creating our future, yet we treat them like crap and pay them amounts that they can barely live on sometimes. I'd find a heartfelt way to tell the crowd that we need to value those early education trainers more.