Articles tagged: TED

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading novel ideas. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Each year, TED conferences serve as a platform for some of the most adept speakers in the world.

Six Minutes has been used by TED speakers to prepare (see Becky Blanton’s How to Deliver the Talk of Your Life). TED talks, in turn, provide a wealth of material for aspiring speakers to learn from, and they are a frequent source for speech critiques.

Examples and more information can be found in the following Six Minutes articles:

This article reviews the 2006 TED talk by Ken Robinson about whether our education system kills creativity. As I write this speech analysis, his talk is the most-viewed TED talk in history. Not surprisingly, it is rich with lessons for speakers.

Robinson’s talk demonstrates many lessons, including:

  • Reference shared experiences or beliefs
  • Signal key statements
  • Tell stories
  • Use humor
  • Use rhetorical questions

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

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This article reviews a thought-provoking speech by Dan Pink about the surprising science of motivation, which was delivered at TED in 2009.

Pink delivers a masterful speech which demonstrates many strong speech techniques, including:

  • A powerful opening, which establishes a framework utilized throughout;
  • Building of ethos and logos;
  • Well-timed use of humor;
  • Employing contrast and the rule of three;
  • Powerful conclusion; and
  • Superb delivery.

The strength of this speech isn’t surprising at all, given Pink’s former role as chief speechwriter for Al Gore.

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

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One of my favorite TED Talks is that by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. In her talk, Gilbert speaks about the fears and frustrations of those who pursue a creative life, especially during those moments of angst when the creative juices are not flowing, and offers some advice and encouragement.

It is a touching performance. Even though I have seen it numerous times – I use it as part of one of the courses that I teach on public speaking – I never tire of it. Although there is room for improvement, the positive aspects of Gilbert’s talk make it moving and memorable.

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

I encourage you to:

  1. Watch the video;
  2. Read the analysis in this speech critique; and
  3. Share your thoughts on this presentation in the comment section.

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This article reviews a wonderful speech by Jacqueline Novogratz about escaping poverty, which was delivered at TED in 2009.

In this speech, Novogratz demonstrates several strong speech techniques, including:

  • A direct opening which immediately captures interest and provokes curiosity;
  • Contrast as a rhetorical device;
  • Relating to the audience;
  • Complementary visuals; and
  • Masterful delivery.

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

I encourage you to:

  1. Watch the video;
  2. Read the analysis in this speech critique; and
  3. Share your thoughts on this presentation in the comment section.

Continue Reading »

Ed: A few weeks ago, Becky Blanton wrote to me saying: “I used your site to help me prepare for my TEDGlobal 2009 talk! It was a godsend literally. [...] I would love to ‘give back’ by writing about what I learned from other TED talkers and my TED experience.” This is Becky’s educational and inspirational story.

As a speaker, one major milestone you face is your first highly public speech. Most of you won’t have to give that first talk at a TED conference as I did. However, if you do, it helps to remember that the things which make TED talks great can make all talks great.

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This article reviews a fantastic talk by Majora Carter titled “Greening the Ghetto” at TED. I loved this emotionally charged talk detailing her fight for environmental justice and her efforts as director of Sustainable South Bronx.

Majora Carter’s TED talk has both incredible strengths — passion, energy, authenticity — and one unfortunate weakness — rapid speaking rate. Both extremes are worthy of public speaking analysis.

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Hans Rosling presented a fantastic talk at TED. The delivery was inspiring, the mood was electric, and it was all about statistics. Yes, statistics – a topic most often associated with dry and boring presentations.

Hans Rosling uses six simple techniques for presenting data which transform a run-of-the-mill presentation into a must-see presentation.

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This article examines Al Gore’s presentation from TED in 2006. My aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation, not to express scientific or political opinion on the content of the message.

This was a fantastic presentation worthy of study. There is much to be learned from analyzing what Gore did well, and what he could have done better.

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