Browse Tag: talk like TED

TEDMED Changing How Doctors Approach Curing Patients

Curing Patients can be improved by changing how Doctors think

Changing how doctors approach their job of curing patients is never going to be an easy job. That is part of why this talk at TEDMED 2014 in Washington D.C. by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz is brave, to say the least. She has something important to say and it potentially tweaks the nose of an entire – and very articulate – profession: Doctors. And she is giving the talk for the benefit of people like you and me.

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TEDMED Talks that try and change behaviour

Storytelling is useful when you want to change behaviour

Economist Ramanan Laxminarayan wants to change behaviour amongst GPs and industry. Oh as well as potentially change the price of a widely used drug. (Or does he? Watch and see for yourself!) That’s a pretty big ask when a profession is being asked to change years of accepted practice and when an industry profits from they way they do things.

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TEDMED stage Palm Springs

Emotion and relationships in TED Talks

Emotion and Relationships Move People.

This is one of my favourite TED style talks. For a few reasons. Firstly, how I first saw it. A guy who had worked on and off for me for a few years sent the clip to me via Facebook with the message “This woman reminds me of you.” I watched it and had to dry my eyes. Who would not want to be compared to this woman?

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TEDMED Speaker Coach

How to talk like TED? Be likeable

What is the most important factor in giving a successful TED style talk?

Many clients increasingly ask me “How do I talk like TED?” or “I want to talk like TED”. That is often why they come to me – they have read books and blogs and watched the videos but now they are looking to do it themselves and they are looking for a real SpeakerCoach who has actually coached people whose talks have appeared on TEDMED and TED.

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Public Speaking Tips

Get close to your audience – Public Speaking Tips

Lecterns are for Losers – Public Speaking Tips

This is not just about lecterns – it is about removing distance and barriers and distractions and getting close to your audience. Talking TO people is old fashioned and ineffective – talking with people is natural and human and real and normal. Audiences have always wanted to be emotionally involved in speeches. Now they demand it. Today they will simply leave the room, change channels or escape your preaching and make themselves a coffee or a sandwich while you drone on.

Public speaking conjures up images of grand stages and huge crowds – but the best speakers speak to every person like they are only talking to them. If you get this right, everyone who hears you speak should be able to close their eyes and imagine you are speaking just to them.

So as a first step in getting close to your audience, leave the lectern behind and get close to your audience. Let them see you close up – let them see your face and your expressions and your hands. Good speakers get rid of distractions as well as barriers. Physical closeness demands attention, rules out the use of notes, builds rapport and reminds the audience that you are human – like them. It also makes you vulnerable and vulnerability and authenticity are best buddies.

If you are speaking on the radio – imagine you have just one person listening. If you have to be on a big stage – speak just to one person.

Sometimes you have to use a lectern – but the other rules still apply. Move around it like Obama does rather than hide behind it. All the speeches I have given from behind a lectern have been inferior to the ones where I took a risk, went without my notes, got close to my audience and spoke from my heart.

Working on the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s speech to the United Nations, which was by definition protocol-rich and sort of demanded the use of a lectern, we had to work incredibly hard on the content and his delivery to make this behind-the-lectern speech human and real and relevant.

Front of the lectern speeches are almost always more effective and more powerful. David Cameron’s leadership speech was in front of the lectern. TED speakers hardly ever use lecterns.

Clinton and Obama lean on them like comfortable old pieces of family furniture rather than formal, official hard-edged barriers between them and their audience.

In this video Bill Clinton, arguably the best speaker in the world today, shows how getting close and destroying barriers and distance builds empathy and helps him get what he wants.


Update. After writing this post, I checked with my friend Denise Graveline who is a Washington based speaker coach and also a TEDMED coach.

She said:

“TED talks are nearly always ‘walk-and-talk’ rather than lectern-based. A few exceptions have been made for older speakers or those who need something to steady them–a favorite of mine is 84-year-old Harvard biologist E. O Wilson’s TEDMED talk–and in those cases, almost invariably, a clear plexiglass lectern is used, to make sure you’re seeing the speaker. Connecting with the audience is the hallmark of any TED conference, from the lack of lecterns to the proviso that speakers stay through the entire conference to interact with attendees.”

She added that the TED Commandments and the TEDMED Hippocratic oath call for one not to read, but to talk which she writes about on her blog The Eloquent Woman

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