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TED commandments and public speaking

TED is in the news with its new Global Conversation. But beyond the ideas worth spreading concept, are sound public speaking ideas. Here are the 10 commandments of TED talks:

  1. Dream big.
  2. Show us the real you.
  3. Make the complex plain.
  4. Connect with people’s emotions.
  5. Don’t flaunt your ego.
  6. No selling from the stage!
  7. Feel free to comment on other speakers’ talks.
  8. Don’t read your talk.
  9. End your talk on time.
  10. Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend … for timing, for clarity, for impact.

Garr Reynolds gives his version of the “TED commandments” with additional comments on preparing to speak. He offers examples of speakers who presented data heavy information, used a script, and one who stood, planted behind a podium. The point is that all of these people found a way to deliver ideas worth spreading that engaged the audience through their use of story and compelling delivery.

If you’re already a TED fan, I recommend the article in September Fast Company that was forwarded to me by a friend this week: “How TED Became the New Harvard – Only Bigger“.

As for me, I appreciate the work that has been done in the last several years to encourage improvement in the delivery of business, technical, and general presentations. I always find room for improvement whenever I reflect on my own public speaking opportunities. Re-reading the TED commandments is a good place to begin.

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