Monday, March 24, 2008

Public Speaking

Here are 3 ideas you can use to make your big audience presentations more…..WOW!

  • Obsess about your message
  • Design a process for the speech
  • Create a conversation

Let me explain:

Obsess about your message
Anyone can tell you about the person who impressed them on stage but broke all the rules. They didn’t move from the lectern, they didn’t have a modulated voice and they jingled keys in their pocket whilst they spoke. They broke all the rules! AND YET they were totally compelling….why? It’s because they had something to say that you wanted to hear. Do not get up to speak until you have first spent some time thinking. Obviously this is what THOUGHT LEADERS is all about. Forgive me for the plug but we know how to teach you how to do that better than anyone on the planet.

Design a process for the speech
Once you are clear about WHAT you want to say then start thinking through HOW you will say it. Don’t think about techniques like where you will stand and how loud you will speak but rather ‘What is the emotional or story journey that the audience will travel along?’ Make sure that at least every 7 minutes there is a major energy shift. Highs and lows, ups and downs, fast and slow.

Create a conversation
The best public speakers make you feel like they wrote the speech just for you. The key to making this happen is to be in conversation with your audience. Three ways you can do this:

  • Interview a few people before you turn up to understand what they are going through and use these examples in your speech
  • Ask rhetorical questions that demonstrate an understanding of their world
  • Start you presentation in the room and walk into the audience throughout your presentation

Work harder on speaking better in public and take your message to a new level.

Friday, March 7, 2008

TED - Diary Account

3:38 pm

In a moment of madness or a brain seizure, Matt Church sends an exploratory email to TED. Sharonne Phillips takes the batton and through persistence and charm, gets a set of personal contacts going with TED USA. Before you know it, she has facilitated a personal dialogue between Thought Leaders creator Matt Church and Chris Anderson, the curator of TED. Game on!!

7:12 pm

Three months later a two personal delegation is sent to the USA to attend the 2008 conference. Michael Henderson goes directly to Monterey, the main destination. Sharonne Phillips travels north to Aspen to observe the simulcast. What follows is their diary account and advice on the project.

Wednesday, 27 February - ASPEN

Hi Matt - Just registered for TED this afternoon.
The gift bag is tremendous. All items are quality and add something - each organisation donating items, supports people, learning, cutting edge technology or are ecologically and environmentally responsible. I can list them if you want - but it’s a l-o-n-g list. Key tech stuff you would love is a Zune and a Jawbone (bluetooth ‘earpiece’). The conference centre is lovely - light and airy in public spaces with light colours, light timber floors and large windows giving views over snow fields.

They have a book store on the premises run by a local bookstore - selling books, CD’s & DVD’s about, or by the presenters. UPS is supplying free shipping to anywhere in the world! (So I have spent up very very big). Aspen of course is beautiful and the snow just happens to be fantastic - a real bumper year with something like 21 feet of snow!......... (as they say here, Camelot days - snow at night, sun during the day).

So in a word or two, TED is very high quality. I have been told that there are 8 Aussies here. Having fun!


Thursday, 28 February - MONTEREY

Day One TED.
How do you find a contact for BMW at Ted amongst 1000 people? Easy. You attend your first TED university session, turn to the guy next to you and say ‘G’day mate. What do you do?’ and he says “I’m at BMW events.” Ha Ha Ha... So he’s happy to help make contact with BMW Oz for a relationship for TED Oz in May. Coca Cola, is also a significant sponsor here, which is good because I’ve got contacts in NZ who want to find out who to talk to in Coke OZ for possible support for TED OZ.

So how was today ? Attended my first live TED talks session to hear Wade Evans, as much poet as anthropologist, amazing. Then Loiuse Leakey, Paleoanthroplogist whose dig site I visited in Oldavi Gorge. Jill Bolte Taylor brought the house down, describing as a Neuroanatomist how she got to study her own brain when she got a brain siezure. She described how her left hemisphere ceased functioning and how with only a right hemisphere she connected energetically with the cosmos and consciousness.

She was in tears for over five minutes (there’s hope for me yet) describing the bliss and peace she experienced. She received a never-ending standing ovation and the Indian Yoga Guru who spoke after her, acknowledged the truth of her descriptions.

I spent the rest of the day downstairs in the simulcast rooms watching a range of interesting , fantastic and at times, barely understandable speakers.

Celebrity spotting if your into that ; Robin William, Goldie Hawn, Tony Robbins, Cameron Diaz, Forrest Whitaker, Al Gore.

Surprises; a delayed telecast interview with Stephen Hawkins. Wheeew!

And a live BBC panel interview by Matt Fry of the BBC on the role of media on our world views! What a topic for me to witness! Limited seating so I was lucky ( maybe ) to get in.

Being interviewed; Sergy Brin founder of Google (I sat near him at the Uni that morning not realising who he was!); Carl Bernstein of the Washing Post; Prof. Dan Gilbert; Her Majesty Queen Nora of Jordan; and Ugandan Journalist, Andrew Muenda.

Met Chris Anderson for a very brief 28 seconds. He’s pleased we are here and pleased about the OZ opportunity. He ‘reckons it’s going to be a real challenge cutting back to 50 % of the speakers, to package for us.

Long day. Good day. More tommorow.
Michael H.

Friday, 29 February - MONTEREY
7:22 pm

TED Day Two.
Slower day today for everybody.

Entree; It was the day for the genetic scientists and physicists to talk, and the general consensus from most people I talked to, was that these guys are ‘off-the-chart’ smart, which is really saying something at TED. We sort of got the general idea of what they were talking about, but the details were in Astrophisicistology,.......... a little known language in this universe.

I met and talked with Seth Godin and thanked him for such an awesome contribution to the Thought Leaders Conference. He asked if the water showed, because apparently he had been caught in a downpour just before arriving in the studio and didn’t have time to dry off before going live. He sends his best regards Matt.

Mains; Dr Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist who worked with the convicted soldiers accused and prosecuted for the tortures at the Abu Ghraib jail. The pictures he showed were horrific and I hope we don’t get the footage on the DVD's. His topic was ‘The Lucifer Effect - How good people turn evil. He coined a phrase "Heroic Imagination" which nearly every following speaker referred to, for the remainder of the day. He meant there are three responses to any circumstance where evil can arise.

1. Become Evil

2. Passive inaction wills evil unfolds before our eyes.

3. Adopt heroic imagination and become a hero to do what is right.

The highlight for me was Doris Kearns Goodwin, the eminent historian who wrote ‘The Genius of Abraham Lincoln’ and the ‘Lyndon Johnson Biography’ along with books on Eleanor Roosevelt and The Kennedys. Poetic, elegant, vivid and respectful. If only every history teacher had her power of language. Wow.

A fascinating and for many Americans in the audience, very confronting session by Public health doctor Irwin Redlener, on how unprepared the USA is for the consequences of a nuclear terrorist attack. He said they are vulnerable beyond belief.

Samantha Power Barrack Obama, advisor of Human rights foreign policy for the USA. Many Americans were saying in the corridor, it’s worth voting Obama just to have her influencing Foreign policy.

Karen Armstrong on comparative religions, said in a cool bumper sticker statement, "Its time for all religions to move beyond toleration to appreciation, but unfortunately many of them prefer to be right than compassionate" Hallalluya Sister

Dessert; Vusi Mahlasela playing Acoustic guitar and singing in ZULU! Not French, German, Swahili, or Dutch. ZULU..............deep, gutteral, haunting, pleaful, soaring, hearty, ageless, rythmic, ZULU!!! How good does it get??

By the time they got to Ted prize winners for 2008, most of the people around me (25- 30 people) were asleep or heading that way. They need Immersion to toughen them up in my humble opinion.

Matt you have to be at TED 2009 - Long Beach, ‘cos everyone is saying it’s the 25th anniversary of TED and they will go all out.

Check out May tenth, global film phenomenon. TED is promoting the hell out of it. Keeping on Tedding on.

Michael H

Sunday, March 2 - MONTEREY

Another amazing day and a half at TED.

I could rave on about too may speakers to remember, including Al Gores’ speech, or Bob Geldof’s - some incredible musicians and work being done by the various speakers ...........OR get a feel for the emotions experienced here, you could go to YOU Tube and watch the Obama "YES WE CAN” music clip they showed at TED and allow the goose bumps to rise and the throat to tighten like the 1000 people in the Ted Audience did. It was like watching a Martin Luther King event.

So suddenly it’s all over, which is probably just as well, as so many people were saying their heads were about to explode.

Hope your all OK.

Michael H

Wednesday, March 5 - ASPEN

Now for a brief TED report.

TED finished in Aspen last night with a party for 30 at a private home for the remainders – most TED attendees had left, but the beauty was that some of the senior TED people from NY and LA were there. It was a great opportunity to talk some things through...

I have now made contact and personal connections with Tom Rielly (Partnership Director), Kelly Stoetzel (Content Producer and body in-charge of TED Aspen), Jason Wishnow (Director Film + Video), Janet & Katherine McCartney (Director of Events and Director of Operations, respectively), June Cohen (Director of TED Media), Carla Felicella (Operations Team) and Amy Novogratz (TED Prize Director).

I have outlined TL to them, with background regarding some of your conferences and events (tailored around the way they do things)...

I have given Kelly Stoetzel a copy of Ideas I and II.

They are very, very excited and interested in Best of TED in May, wanting as much feedback and info we can give them. Many other attendees and people who have been in support of TED for years, are very excited as well – e.g. Taylor Milsal, whom I believe helps with the selection of speakers.

I believe we will need to have some live events (speakers) and some entertainment. Both Jill Sobule (TED singer) and Rives (TED poet and comedian) have expressed interest in coming to Best of TED in Sydney.

The main differences seem to be that the simulcast was a more intimate group (300 v/s 1300).
The TED in Monterey had main hall sitting 500 and simulcast lounge(s) for 800. We had one main room with many alcoves, main foyer and extra chill out room downstairs. Monterey had many more events and displays than Aspen and at times we felt like the poor second cousins... I noticed that when Monterey main hall audience gave a standing ovation we did not, and rarely gave a standing ovation (apart from some individuals)...... And we tended not to applaud the speakers (although many people did)..

It would be interesting to compare notes with Michael ....

I wrote thank you cards to all speakers and many of the TED staff (so thank you for “training” me with the applause cards). These were appreciated and it is not something that is done at TED in general...

I have bought many, many, many books from the “TED Bookshop” = FedEx shipment was FOC courtesy of Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine (yes, I did write a thank you to him as well).

BTW – There were a total of nine Australians attending TED@Aspen, one of whom (Domonique) is joining TL via Craig Rispin, and I think another (Ash Donaldson) would be ideal for TL...

Talk on my return...


Sunday, March 2, 2008

The power of suggestion

I love the saying that a mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions.

To me, this is about the power of suggestion.

Once an idea lands in your mind, if it has merit, then it kind of sticks. You then go about making it true or not.

Here is what I know… Don’t let those thoughts be accidental, or worse, be the thoughts that others choose for you. You do get what you choose to think about and as a result, you choose what turns up in your life.

  • Witness your thinking
  • Choose new thoughts
  • React to opportunities
  • Get help and gain new perspectives
  • Do different things to create different results

Simple stuff – not so easy to do.

It’s your life, live it by your rules.