Know how to TED?

TED is driving communications.  Are you ready to be TEDified?  You could do worse.

If you feel a little under-a-rock about TED, have a look.  TED conference presentations are one of the current darlings of social media, forwarded and shared like crazy, garnering millions of views.

Why?  Because 18 minutes turns out to be an almost ideal time frame to deliver stories and ideas–even complex ones.    And it’s significant what types of stories are most popular on TED: they’re the ones that follow a pretty standard arc of Here’s who I am, Here’s something I tried, Here were the results.  In most cases, the results are surprising or delightful and almost always inspiring.

TED presenters are also allowed to use slides and videos, but not to distraction; the clear focus is on the presenter on an open stage, no notes or script prompts, showing that they are open, responsive and knowledgeable.

Business presentations should take a page from TED.  If you say there are some corporate messages that don’t fit the TED arc, I would ask: why not?  Are you really resigned to the belief that certain messages must, by nature, be a big bore?

The laws of good storytelling are as ancient as our race.  What’s the next presentation you need to make — and how could you take it from okay to great?