Why give a TED talk.
Sometimes people come to me and say that they want to give a TED, TEDMED or TEDx talk. They want help. My first question is to ask them what they want to talk about and what is the essence of their message.
Some look and sound surprised and admit that they honestly don’t know – they think simply that giving a TED talk would be good for their career, help to sell a book and boost their profile and earnings. These are all the wrong reasons or motivations for giving a TED, TEDMED or TEDx talk – but it is certainly true that these are all frequent side effects or results of having given such a talk.
Why should you give a TED, TEDMED or TEDx talk?
TED.com is the daddy of the TED brand. TED uses the phrase “ideas worth spreading”. This is a great basic template. Giving a TED, TEDMED or TEDx talk is NOT about selling or promoting yourself – it is all about sharing an idea that is worth spreading in such a way that it is globally accessible and relevant over time.
“Ideas worth spreading”
Most speakers dream of standing ovations and of getting their talk escalated to the TED platform. This week’s featured TED talk is given by a man who sincerely, seriously and urgently asks the crowd to STOP applauding. He cuts them off! Seriously! Who does that? I have worked with politicians, business people and speakers at the TED family of conferences and I have never seen that before. Of all the talks that I have seen and worked on this man is the most driven and focused and anxious to get his message across and to say it all within the limited time he was given. There is also no doubt that this talk would have been escalated and promoted to TED.com wherever it was actually originally given.
There are other lessons to be learnt from this talk including the use of humour, personal storytelling, the lack of any sales pitch or personal promotion, TRULY amazing images and self deprecating humour. But the biggest lesson is that the speaker has something massively important to share and he is so keen to share this that he asks the audience to stop applauding and listen. You don’t see that very often!
The photography is stunning and courtesy of National Geographic. The talk is fascinating. But the focus of the man to share his message is palpable and urgent. The standing ovation is inevitable and well deserved.
You can hire him to speak too. More great photos and his contact details are on his website – http://www.paulnicklen.com
“Diving under the Antarctic ice to get close to the much-feared leopard seal, polar photographer Paul Nicklen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Nicklen found an extraordinary new friend.”
I have worked with speakers on talks that have ended on TEDx, TEDMED and TED stages and I am also a TEDMED SpeakerCoach. If you have an “idea worth spreading” give me a call and we can discuss how I can help you maximise the impact of your talk.