The TED Commandments



Who has not been inspired by a TED Talk? TED is a small nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. While attending the conference is by application and costs $5,000, the 18-minute talks travel the internet and are available to all at

Listen to some of the talks to behold the richness and wisdom that can be communicated in just 18-minutes. A few of my favorites are Jill Bolte Taylor’s Stroke of Insight, novelist Isabel Allende on creativity, and Elizabeth Gilbert on recognizing the muse. Check them out!

Speakers are given ten rules, known as the TED Commandments:

1. Be personal.
2. Be vulnerable.
3. Make people laugh/cry.
4. Do something the audience will remember forever.
5. Say something you’ve never said before.
6. Share an idea that could change the world.
7. Do not pitch for your company or organization.
8. Do not go over your allotted time.
9. Do not read.
10. Rehearse and be spontaneous.

So simple! So real!

In Real Speaking, the “rules” are much the same, embedded in an organic process to move you into the presentation you were born to give to the audience you are destined to serve. This three-day intensive for just six “important strangers” is a rich exploration of your best ideas, the stories that bring them to life, and your own distinctive way to share them, all with ongoing coaching and videotaping. Gretrude Stein said, “If you already knew it, it would not be creation but dictation.” I find that most of us are caught in jet lag about who we’ve become and typically don’t know our own best material,so in Real Speaking we are reaching for creation of the new expression rather than dictation from an old mindset. On the final day you distill what you have to say into a 15-20 minute presentation integrating all you’ve learned.

Join us! And when TED calls – TEDx conferences are springing up around the country – you’ll be ready!

© Gail Larsen 2009

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