Tuesday, October 28, 2014

[How to Deliver a Great TED Talk] Post 10: Humor

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Surprise and Humor

     Humor lies in twisted surprise. That's why the punch lie is at the end. Here are a few types of common humors

  1. Self-Deprecating: Making fund of yourself is probably the safest humor. We are in a society where people want to look good. So, we laugh when people let their guard down. We laugh when people share mistakes or physical pain, expressing the they are actually human. 
  2. Exaggerated reality: Excessively enlarging obvious plain thing is also a good humor. If you are a nerd, go all the way. Be a super nerd beyond any human can be. Put a normal person in an exaggeratedly extraordinary situation or put an extraordinary person in a exaggeratedly normal  situation are also good ones. For example, you may nonchalantly ignoring danger, react excessively to minor offenses, or relentlessly pursue futility. 
  3. Bring down authority: Talk about what super smart persons or politicians could have done. Statistically comparing a genius to chimpanzees would be a good one. But be a bit careful. Try not to offend anyone.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

[How to Deliver a Great TED Talk] Post 9: Get Introduced

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      Getting introduced prior to your talk is like an appetizer before the main dish. It should entice the audience of benefits they will get and why you are the right speaker. So, don’t let the M.C. or the chairperson just read out your bio that which the audience could not care less.
"A great introduction tempts the audience with the taste of the benefits they're going to get, but does not go so far as to give away the bacon."
A great introduction should be something like ‘By the time, he finishes his presentation, you would learn …’

Don’t Be a Super-Human

     Bragging too much has several negative effect. First, your biography does not provide benefit to your audience. If you are not famous, they probably come because your talk is interesting, not because you’ve got a Ph.D. from a reputable school. If you are famous, they probably know you inside out anyway. In any case, there is no benefit bragging about yourself.  Secondly, bragging about yourself put yourself up to a pedestal for attack. Finally, even if you are really good, you would portray yourself as a superhuman. Your talk won’t provide benefit to your common people who are listening to you. Your audience would think that this idea is what only you can do. They can’t do it. So, why should they care?
"Though we respect authority, we trust people who are similar."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

[How to Deliver a Great TED Talk] Post 8: Conclude Your Talk

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     Conclusion is your last chance to give your audience something to remember or to put it into action. It is the final reinforcement for everything you have said. 

Best Practice for Conclusion

  • Tie to your key message. Do not present any new material here. 
  • Focus on your audience. Reemphasize what benefit your audience has got. Present the next easy step they can take, or give a speech of hope. If your key message has two parts, you may say the first part and let the audience think or say to second part. Finally, you may say ‘thank you’ to end your talk.
  • Use shorter phases. Add passion to your voice. Create a sense of urgency. 
  • Callback to your opening to remind your audience of the promise you made.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

[How to Deliver a Great TED Talk] Post 7: Open a Talk

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      The first 20-30 seconds is the most important moment. It defines the rest of your talk. Give your audience a reason to sit up and listen to you.

Presentation and Poem

     A great talk needs art and science. It's like a poem. Poem has a structure where verses rhyme systematically. Poets then use their imagination to fill in these verses and create a poem. A great talk also has a systematic structure: An opening, a body, and a conclusion. Speakers need to fill in these parts to create a great talk.

Three Great Ways to Open Your Talk

1. Personal story

      Everyone loves story, especial personal story. Don’t lecture them, especially at the beginning. Start with a story. You can give your audience content later. Here are characteristics of great personal story:
•Your story is the best story. You can have a hero to make your point. Share your observation. Tell the audience why you think this story is particularly interesting.
•Pick a story relevant to the talk so that you can move from an opening to a body smoothly.
•Make your story emotional, sensory, and rich in dialog. Make your audience re-experiences it with you.
"World class speakers strive to mirror the energy in the room at the opening, and then lead their audience on an emotional journey for the remainder of their talk."