The TED Commandments – rules every speaker needs to know

The TED Commandments – rules every speaker needs to know February 19, 2010

I’m a huge fan of TED.  I don’t mean my brother (though I am a fan of his).  I mean TED Talks.  (If you live under a rock, TED stands for technology, entertainment, design.)

Not long ago, the 10 Commandments of TED Talks was posted at one of their events, and an intrepid scribe wrote them down and subsequently posted them.  As someone who frequently speaks to groups, they are a brilliant list of Shalts and Shalt Nots.

  1. Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick
  2. Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before
  3. Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion
  4. Thou Shalt Tell a Story
  5. Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Skae of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy
  6. Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.
  7. Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desparate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
  8. Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
  9. Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech.
  10. Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee

via The TED Commandments – rules every speaker needs to know.

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  • But you forgot the 11th Commandment:

    11. Thou shalt tweet about the speaker to your 1,162,982 followers if you don’t like their content – and call them “god-awful.”

    More info here..

  • Man, I love TED. The Ken Robinson “Schools Killing Creativity” talk still probably my favorite.

  • Right on! I like the “shalt not sell” commandment. I’m guilty…I sell trips for youth group kids all the time! I believe in the transformation that happens in kids when they’re out of their comfort zone. So, I will become a better speaker. TED rocks–Ocean Wonders is still my favorite, though Bill Gates releasing mosquitos was great…

  • what’s funny is that Ken Robinson broke a number of the rules last week during his talk (the penultimate talk of the last session). Chris (TED’s curator) commented afterward, saying “Ken is the only person who can get away with that.” as for my own TEDTalk, I tried to be curious and passionate while showing forth a wondrous new thing. and kudos to TED’s brilliant video editor who miraculously corrected a statistical mistake I made.

  • TED is awesome, and these are excellent commandments for everything. Certainly for religious gatherings. Certainly for life.

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