Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fast Company's "7 easy steps" to giving a TED Talk...and the TED Commandments



Fast Company magazine offers this video with insights on why most TED Talks are 18 minutes and how to get yours to conform or just qualify for consideration, with some data on the most popular talks--the most-viewed talk, with 6 million views, was by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, who talked about her experiences after having a stroke (and she used a real human brain, spinal cord attached, as a prop).

Perhaps more useful to you: The TED Commandments, which are given to every TED speaker to guide their presentations. Here they are, for you to use in your next speech:

1. Dream big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given. Reveal something never seen before. Do something the audience will remember forever. Share an idea that could change the world.


2. Show us the real you. Share your passions, your dreams ... and also your fears. Be vulnerable. Speak of failure as well as success.

3. Make the complex plain. Don't try to dazzle intellectually. Don't speak in abstractions. Explain! Give examples. Tell stories. Be specific.

4. Connect with people's emotions. Make us laugh! Make us cry!

5. Don't flaunt your ego. Don't boast. It's the surest way to switch everyone off.

6. No selling from the stage! Unless we have specifically asked you to, do not talk about your company or organization. And don't even think about pitching your products or services or asking for funding from stage.

7. Feel free to comment on other speakers' talks, to praise or to criticize. Controversy energizes! Enthusiastic endorsement is powerful!

8. Don't read your talk. Notes are fine. But if the choice is between reading or rambling, then read!

9. End your talk on time. Doing otherwise is to steal time from the people that follow you. We won't allow it.

10. Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend ... for timing, for clarity, for impact.