The TED Commandments - Rules Every Speaker Needs To Know

K, you know those dreams everyone has when they're growing up? Those dreams that you know might not come true but if you wish hard enough and if you just so happen to work hard enough you might just find yourself living your dream? Yeah..that's me and TED.

For those of you who aren't familiar with TED it stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and is an invitation-only event where the world's leading thinkers and do-gooders gather to find inspiration. Everyone's given a short period of time to talk (3, 6 or at max 18 min) where they share stories about their area of expertise, what inspired them or how they've reached a certain level of success.

TED’s organizers send upcoming speakers a stone tablet, engraved with the ‘TED Commandments” which has made its way to the interwebs where you and I can see what makes a great speaker. So here they are. Written out by Tim Longhurst:

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

Great advice for anyone giving a speech!

And if I ever make it to TED (God willing and able), I'll be able to cross that achievement off my bucket list!

{Via SwissMiss}

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Tags: commandments, speech, ted

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Comment by Mark Huckabee on May 13, 2009 at 12:34pm
I also saw these commandments on Presentation Zen. At that site they have links to quite a few very good presentations that illustrate these principles in action (link here). I give a LOT of presentations and really try to follow these ideals. I also learned a tremendous amount from Edward Tufte one of the world's greatest masters of information visualization.
Comment by Eugene on May 13, 2009 at 10:03am
TED talks rule. I think I learn more TED talks then I do in a classroom.
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