I have easily spent hundreds of hours being amazed, moved, and delighted by TED Talks: the gold standard of presentation and speaker nirvana. I watch for inspiration and information. I forward them to clients for ideas, strategies and stylistic standards. Jill Bolte Taylor’s talk (at close to 7 million viewers, the #2 most viewed TED talk) Stroke of Insight continues to be one of the most powerful presentations and one that unravels almost all the “should and musts” that interfere with most speakers’ ability to fearlessly and genuinely connect.

TEDX New England (TEDXNewengland) comes to Boston in November and I am thrilled to be working with some of the speakers. They are a powerful group and as I comb through the “How to prepare speakers for a TEDX talk” I recognize their simple and essential commandments:

Thou Shalt…

  • Be vulnerable.
  • Talk about failure as well as success.
  • Share something that the audience will remember forever.
  • Speak plainly.
  • Make us laugh and cry.
  • Leave your ego at the door.

The Brene Brown (TEDX Houston: 1.8 million views) talk, The Power of Vulnerability is, to my mind, an outstanding example of what a TED speaker can and should do.  Her subject matter, combining research and personal discovery about facing excruciating vulnerability and living whole-heartedly is moving and real and true. As I make plans to meet and work with the extraordinary people of TEDX New England, I hope to internalize both the TED Commandments and “The Power of Vulnerability” to bring my best self to the speakers. Stay tuned, as I will most definitely keep you posted.