Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ann Medlock's "near-TED" experience

UPDATED: Video of this talk is now available. In this great post, Ann Medlock describes her "near-TED experience" speaking at a regional offshoot of the TED conference. She describes the high stakes the TED conferences set out for their speakers. Here's the list:
Speakers are given the TED Commandments, which writer Amy Tan called a prescription for a near-death experience. Said rules include: Be personal. Be vulnerable. Make people laugh/cry. Do something the audience will remember forever. Say something you've never said before. Share an idea that could change the world. Do not pitch for your company or organization. Do not go over your allotted time. Do not read. Rehearse and be spontaneous.
Even better, she describes how it felt to go through the talk, including:
  • how it feels to speak in such a large venue that you can't relate to the audience with eye contact (too many lights, size of room);
  • how she planned and actually executed her speech;
  • what she did to compensate for a last-minute equipment change (yes, that even happens at TED);
  • how she compared herself to the speakers before and after.
You may not be in such a highly competitive speaking environment, but you can try to incorporate the TED rules--try one at a time--and glean some great tips from this post.