Those of you who have been reading this blog for some time will know that I consider watching TED Talks to be one of the best ways to spend time on the Internet. The curator of TED is Chris Anderson.
In an interview with Bizmore, a business website, Anderson offered some insights into the workings of TED. He also provided some advice on what makes a TED Talk (or any talk for that matter) sizzle. A couple of excerpts:
On having a “Wow! Factor”
“All the best presentations have some sort of ‘wow’ factor. That may be a big idea, or a new lens through which to view the world. It may be a spectacular visual or an amazing personal story. There are plenty of things that kill a presentation, but there is no set formula for making a great one.”
On the need for clarity
“One of the most common killers is a lack of clarity. A presenter has a lot to say but they fail to put it together in a compelling and understandable narrative. There’s too much jargon, or a bit too much chopping and changing. Some people will try to cram too much in, and the audience doesn’t feel like it’s been brought along on a thrilling journey.”
On being willing to be vulnerable
“The key part of the TED format is that we have humans connecting to humans in a direct and almost vulnerable way. You’re on stage naked, so to speak. The talks that work best are the one where people can really sense that humanity. The emotions, dreams, imagination.”
Unfortunately, as of 1 September, 2010, the Bizmore website is no longer in operation. However, TED continues to thrive. I recommend that you find a little time in your busy schedule each week to visit the TED website.