Monday, July 9, 2012

The TED Commandments & TEDMED Hippocratic Oath: Guides for speakers

If you've wondered how to figure out the secrets of speakers at high-profile conferences like TED and TEDMED so you can use them in your own speaking, wonder no more. The keys lie in two documents that are sent to every speaker these conferences select--documents with guidance that any speaker can use to excel.

At TED, the document's called "The TED Commandments," and it reads:
I.  Thou shalt not simply trot out thy usual schtick.
II. Thou shalt dream a great dream, or show forth a wondrous new thing, or share something thou hast never shared before.
III. Thou shalt reveal thy curiosity and thy passion.
IV. Thou shalt tell a story.
V. Thou shalt freely comment on the utterances of other speakers for the sake of blessed connection and exquisite controversy.
VI. Thou shalt not flaunt thine ego. Be thou vulnerable. Speak of thy failure as well as thy success.
VII. Thou shalt not sell from the stage neither thy company, thy goods, thy writings, nor thy desperate need for funding, lest thou be cast aside into outer darkness.
VIII. Thou shalt remember all the while laughter is good.
IX. Thou shalt not read thy speech.
X. Thou shalt not steal the time of them that follow thee.

At TEDMED, the speaker's guide takes its cue from the physician's Hippocratic oath, and it reads:
I swear to fulfill to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will speak from my heart, not from my notes.
I will speak in plain English so that all may understand.
I will present only one big idea.
I will use visuals to enhance my words, not duplicate them.
I will share my true character on stage.
I will showcase the thinking, not the thinker.
I will not sell or solicit the audience.
I will rehearse for timing, clarity and impact.
I will hand over the stage when my time is up.
I will attempt to reveal something the world has never seen before.

Good advice for speakers everywhere...will you follow this guidance or share it with others?

I've coached the speakers for TEDMED for two years and many TEDx speakers. Can I help you get ready for a TED talk, or a TED-quality talk in a different venue? Email me at eloquentwoman[at]gmail[dot]com. I work with groups and with individuals.

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