I assume you’ve been to, listened to or at least heard of TED talks. Last week at TEDxMileHigh I was exposed to 26 speakers; that’s 26 different styles and topics presented in 15 or fewer minutes, in one and a half days!
What I noticed:
- Everyone was extremely organized and prepared – they have to be.
- Non-verbal communication wasn’t at the top of their list; that was a disappointment.
- Humor was scattered in almost everyone’s topic from airplane travel to community activism.
- The speakers incited interest at some level; educated and enlightened me.
- Each person had a story to convey.
Not everyone is a TED talk candidate, and yet the lessons learned impact your next presentation.
- Plan, organize and practice.
- Move; animation is good energy at the lectern or other, no matter how big your “platform.”
- Laughter is good for the soul. When you get people to laugh you have them in the palm of your hand; you don’t have to be a comedian to convey humor; non-verbal humor creates a great visual.
- Why does your topic interest me, the listener? What benefits or excitement do I get from your information?
- Tell me a story. We grew up on stories; we relate to them in various ways – directly or indirectly.
- Too many facts and not enough flavor make for a dull presentation; mix up stats with story, story with humor, and humor with data.
Planning, organizing and practicing are three paramount activities before every presentation. Plan your message: what’s the point? Why does your audience want to listen? What’s its benefit and value? Organize it: a strong opening and closing cement attention, with stories and major points in the body. Practice it: It doesn’t matter if you’re a 15 minute TED talk presenter or an hour-long policy and procedure presenter: Practice, practice, practice.