Effective TED or TEDx Talk Study: Joe Smith’s Paper Towel presentation

Jul 17, 2012 | High Performance, Influence/Persuasion, Leadership, Modeling Excellence, Public Speaking, Training Insights | 0 comments

What do we believe makes for an Effective TED or TEDx Talk?

A multitude of factors contribute to whether or not a speaker gives a compellingly effective TED or TEDx Talk.  Periodically when the mood strikes, I’ll post a talk with a review of how well (or not?) any givenJonathan Altfeld speaker did.

In today’s entry, I’ll start by sharing examples of effective NLP techniques used in presentations.

TED is an organization that hosts extraordinary conferences wherein extraordinary people give short presentations about amazing ideas & results.  They come from all walks of life, in the worlds of art, science, music, performance, and more.  TED’s tagline/slogan is “Ideas worth spreading.”

Remember that NLP is primarily about the replication of excellence.  And some NLP classes teach more empowered ways of being, some, more empowered ways of communicating.  So my comments here will be amongst the easiest to share via text.  There is MUCH more than can be shown and then trained and tuned, in person.  This is, in my opinion, by far the most valuable coaching, but… we’re limited to one way communication here.

The speakers whose talks I share here and comment on, aren’t necessarily aware of NLP at all.  Sometimes they are, and its obvious.  Sometimes not.  That’s not the point, though.  I’m suggesting we observe examples of communication and behavior that contribute to an effective TED or TEDx Talk.  From my perspective, I’ll be focusing on that which either IS an NLP technique, or that which mimics such.  So, it may simply either be or look like a good example of an NLP technique, whether or not it was intended as such.

So, on to the first of my video comments.

Here’s attorney Joe Smith delivering a highly effective TED Talk:

I think you’ll enjoy this compelling speech!  Joe teaches us a highly efficient way of using paper towels to dry our hands, for minimal paper waste!

I don’t know how long this video will be visible on the web and thus embeddable here, but for now… here we go:

This is fabulous, even aside from the great environmental value.   If you sort primarily by content, you’ll be wowed by the simplicity and power of the specific message.  You’re wowed by the what.  But that doesn’t and won’t EVER help you to elevate above the message, and learn from the specific methods the speaker is using.

As an NLP Modeler and trainer, and as a coach of public speakers, I’m sorting for process.  I’m wow’ed by the process.  What is process?  Process is the how.  Content is the what.

Did you get wrapped up in Content (the “what“)?  Instead of the how?

Trainers, speakers, and NLP enthusiasts of all kinds can study this 3 minute video to see & hear excellent examples of these process distinctions:

  • Anchoring
  • Building an anchor chain
  • Embedded Commands
  • Repetition for Somatic Learning
  • Future Pacing and Post-Hypnotic Suggestion
  • amongst other things.

Joe’s presentation isn’t perfect, but it’s *extremely* effective.  And it makes really good use of the above process distinctions!  All of that adds up to a compelling talk, highly memorable, and likely to lead to people taking action in the best way afterwards.

Perfectionists should watch this and realize… you don’t have to be perfect to be great, or to create an effective TED or TEDx Talk!

There’s still more than could have been done to make it more effective…

This presentation is missing at least one important thing:  We’d love it if Joe delivered a values-based headline that gets us deeply curiosity for the right reasons, BEFORE the demonstration.  A values-based headline also “opens the right box” in listeners’ minds.  This ensures maximal audience retention and adoption of the message, as well as ensuring action is taken later.

Are you fascinated by my comments above, and would you want to become gifted and flexible speakers and trainers for any context?  I teach all of these skills and more, for public speakers with every level of existing background from newbie up to keynote speakers.  You’d experience these at my 5-day SpeakerGenius course, applying NLP to getting awesome at Speaking in front of others.

If you’re planning to give a highly targeted TED/TEDx Talk, I always highly recommend Kimberlee Weil’s Storytelling School.  She’s awesome at helping people prepare short-form, high-stakes talks — from concept to delivery!

Author: Jonathan Altfeld