The TED Commandments of Speaking

You’d think that because you do something all the time that you actually know what you are doing? Actually, repetition doesn’t always make you better at something and it’s quite easy to lose your way.

I used to make a living by crafting a sermon and preaching every week much in a format that my friend Doug calls “speeching.” Despite the frequency of my practice, coming up with an inspired sermon week after week was often a struggle. It was easy to lose site and drift from the whole point of what I was doing. For those of you that have an interest in public speaking, whether you be a pastor, a teacher or candlestick maker here’s help from the geniuses at TED.

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a non profit organization whose goal is to gather the most cutting edge ideas and performances from the brightest people in the world. These are presented at TED conferences where the speakers have a limited time frame to communicate regardless of their topic or their prominence. They are then disseminated for free via the internet for the edification of the whole world. You could spend hours trolling around their site watching mind blowing presentations.

In his blog, Tony Jones recounts the 10 commandments of TED talks that were seen posted at one their conferences. These are 10 commandments that would benefit every public speaker:

  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 Desperate 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

Learn ’em, Live ’em, Love ’em.




About johnmusick

revealist, writer, speaker, consultant, life-coach, polymath
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One Response to The TED Commandments of Speaking

  1. Jeff says:

    Great stuff. I started watching TED talks recently, fun stuff. Turns out corn is taking over the world.

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