By: Ellen Egan
You all know that I love TED.com. According to the web site:
TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.
The annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Oxford, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).
On TED.com, we make the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free.
I am truly addicted to this site as it allows me to hear the ideas of some of my heroes and soon-to-be heroes.
So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to find The TED Commandments of Public Speaking.
The TED commandments of public speaking:
- Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick. Don’t just rehash an old speech or someone else’s old speech. If the ideas you are presenting are old and tired, then why will anyone bother to listen. Put a new spin on things – look at the problem from a new perspective or come up with an innovative solution.
- Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before. Take the time to come up with something new and interesting and specifically new and interesting for your audience.
- Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion. Take a risk and show that you care. Reveal a bit of yourself to your audience and they will get caught up in your enthusiasm.
- Thou Shalt Tell a Story. Stories have always been a powerful way to present ideas to audiences. They make connections between people and ideas.
- Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy. Don’t be afraid of controversy, it sparks interest and reminds people that there are different perspectives on an issue.
- Thou Shalt Not Flaunt Thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success. This speaks for itself. You are not up on stage to speak only of yourself and your triumphs. Audiences relate to humanity and humility in presentations.
- 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. This is a special commandment for TED talks. many of our public speaking presentations will relate to promoting our businesses, products, writings, etc…
- Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good. Laughter is the best medicine for your stress, your audience’s stress and is welcome in any public speaking environment (even if the topic is very sobering).
- Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech. Amen. Show your audience the respect to look at them and not just at your notes. The only thing worse than reading your speech is handing out copies of your PowerPoint presentation and then reading the presentation to the audience, word-by-word.
- Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee. Keep to the time that you have been given. If you “spill over” into the next person’s presentation, you are “stealing” their time.
If these commandments can be followed by “the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers”, when they have been challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes), then certainly we can keep them in mind as well when we are delivering a presentation.
To your success,