Tips from TEDx

By Lou Solomon

(Photo by TEDx photographer Deborah Triplett)

Congratulations to our good friends and clients Valaida Fullwood and Charles Thomas on their inspiring performance at TEDx Charlotte last week titled “Reframing Philanthropy.” Here are the focus areas we used in coaching them—and ones that can benefit you, too:

  1. Teach. It is your responsibility to develop an understanding and comprehension of your idea through illustrations, stories, and metaphors. Keep it simple.
  2. Be spontaneous. Know your stuff, but leave room to freewheel with your energy.  If your talk is too canned we can’t connect with you.
  3. It’s theatre. Go beyond the idea of a “talk.” Go for the theatre of the mind and heart. Use less content and richer pacing. After you’ve said something powerful, pause and let an instant of silence create more meaning.
  4. Be authentic. TEDx is about humanity and the precious stuff or our dreams and ideas.  Let go and be vulnerable. Show us your struggles and your passion.
  5. Do the leg work and prep. Spontaneity does not mean unpracticed–anything but. When the stakes are high, put in the practice time it takes to submerge your psyche in the material. When you know the content from there, you can slip into “the zone” and allow spontaneity to come naturally.

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