What’s Wrong with TED?

What’s wrong with TED?  There’s no question it has been an extraordinarily successful venture.  It has transformed the world of public speaking in a number of ways, most of them obviously for the better.  But it has had some subtler negative effects too, and that’s what this post covers. It’s hard to remember now, but there was a time, before TED, when it was difficult to get the measure of a professional… Read More

How Do You Create Intimacy as a Speaker?

I wrote last week about how speakers need to move deeper into authenticity to achieve intimacy with their audiences.  I see this new demand as part of the increasingly blurred working and home world that our always-on, Twitter and Facebook-saturated culture brings. The question is, how do you create intimacy?  I think you have to reveal a little bit of yourself, your real self, to the audience.  You get to choose which… Read More

The Best and Worst Communicators of 2013

Who were the best and worst communicators in 2013?  In a very real sense, it’s an impossible question.  There are something like 6 billion of us humans on the planet.  All of us are communicating all the time (if mostly during our waking hours).  So, to pick 10 best and worst is to ignore the plain fact that we all could find our way on that list – for good or ill… Read More

The Basic Building Blocks of a Great Speech – 3

This post is the third in a series of the basic building blocks of a great speech.  You’ve researched your audience, asked the right questions, and learned the particulars of the occasion.  You’ve created the opening frame of the talk with an engaging story that hints at the glories to come.  Now you’re ready to get down to it. Remember that you asked yourself the question, what is the problem that the… Read More

Don’t Do Irony Like This?

I recently posted about irony as the humor of this era, and David Meerman Scott asked, naturally enough, for an example of someone doing irony well from the stage.  So here is a TED talk from Ze Frank that begins and ends with irony and has a lot in between.  And it’s hilarious.  Enjoy! Ze Frank TED