The secret of TED: there is no secret

The secret of TED: there is no secret

Chris Anderson the curator of shared a great video with his opinion about the secrets of a TED(x) talk. Some people think that there’s a TED Talk formula:

“Give a talk on a round, red rug.”
“Share a childhood story.”

“Divulge a personal secret.”
“End with an inspiring call to action.”

No. That’s not how to think of a TED Talk. In fact, if you overuse those devices, you’re just going to come across as clichéd or emotionally manipulative.

But there is one thing that all great TED Talks have in common, and I would like to share that thing with you…

Over the last couple of weeks I coached with my business partner Lars Ros 15 TEDx speakers for #TEDxTwenteU.
Over the years I coached about hundred speakers worldwide. I’ve been in juries, boards and adviser. I’m so pleased to notice we did exactly what Chris Anderson revealed in his video.

So what’s the secret?
When I first started coaching for TEDx I thought the ‘script’ was:
1. great opening
2. make your point
3. illustrate
4. summarise
5. end even stronger then you started

Will Stephen gives one of my favourite talks in: How to sound smart at your TEDxtalk. He follows this script to the lettre and make a fool out of all of us who think they know the secret. There is no secret. There shouldn’t be a secret.

The tagline of TED is  ‘ideas worth spreading’. That’s the only thing that counts. I get a lot of requests: ‘I have something important to share, can you get me on a TED-stage?’ The first question in return I’ll give is: ‘In one sentence; what is your idea worth spreading?’
I dare to say: 90% of these request are about self-branding, ego and hunger to become famous in the line-up of famous speakers.
Many of the Dutch pronounce idea as ID. I always think that’s exactly the difference.  It’s not about your own identity, share your idea worth spreading.

Chris Anderson says it perfectly:
Ask yourself the question: “Who does this idea benefit?” And I need you to be honest with the answer. If the idea only serves you or your organization, then, I’m sorry to say, it’s probably not worth sharing. The audience will see right through you. But if you believe that the idea has the potential to brighten up someone else’s day or change someone else’s perspective for the better or inspire someone to do something differently, then you have the core ingredient to a truly great talk, one that can be a gift to them and to all of us.

Apart from that: the TED-formula forces you to condense your message down to the pure essence. That goes beyond TED(x)
That’s what you need in your company message, your business message and every time you share what matters to be shared. That’s Presentation-Master’s Method. That’s what we do with all our clients. That’s not for everybody…
Don’t care about your ID, share your idea!

Compassion For Mark Rutte

Compassion For Mark Rutte

Compassion For Mark Rutte

Mark Rutte Prime minister of the Netherlands had the cover story of every newspaper and news broadcast with his Correspondents Dinner speech.

The last few days we have been bombarded by analyses of his performance. Of course, I have professionally watched as well. De Beurs van Berlage has a nice setting, a nice attempt to copy ‘the look and feel’ of Rutte’s much respected colleague Barack Obama. And that’s exactly how it looked: an exact copy with Dutch values. It was nice to watch, as far as I’m concerned.

Public Speaking is a profession. Just like being a comedian is. We could see Dolf Jansen do what he does best. Where Mark Rutte was struggling not to look on his notes and was visibly clutching onto his safe and comfortable surroundings: the lectern, energetic Dolf was struggling to blend in and was clearly constrained.

His physical movements made me think of a dog that was tied down, but wanted nothing more than to go for a run on the beach. Desperately, he cried out to the directors: ”can I have more light here please? I can’t read my notes”. Poor Dolf. Dolf, if you get invited to speak at such a lovely convention again, don’t let your head down. Don’t let your notes tie you down. The best comedians speak freely. The King’s jester never needed a note. The fact that Rutte can’t crack a joke spontaneously, doesn’t mean that you, king of hilarious jokes that come from the heart, should be tied down and held back by something as a simple note? You were clearly suffering.

What can these two men learn from each other? I want Rutte to be free. I pledge for a general ban of lectern, pulpits and other side tables for speakers. The times of pulpits and rostrums are over. Congress organizers, Conference conveners: Stop it! Let us see the authentic speaker and release the tiger from its cage; free to move around.

Rutte finally reveals himself, was an overall remark at the CD. I don’t agree.
‘The body speaks so loud, I can hardly hear a word you say’
What we witnessed was lifeline behaviour. Leaders of The Netherlands, show yourself! Step away from your lectern and show us your true self. Doing so, will make your message clearer and it will come across as being more honest.

Comedians: claim your freedom. Don’t let commerce or politics tell you what to do when it comes to your profession.
A moment of silence in your speech, doesn’t mean you have to tie yourself up and cling onto the lectern. Your warm-up act can learn a lot from you.

I am all for humour and politics. I am all for self-mocking of politicians, business leaders, parents, teachers, and every one that is an example or role model for others.

It puts things in perspective. It makes the speaker more powerful.

I call upon all Dutch leaders M/F. Exile all lecterns from the work field as a place to hide. Stand up for what you stand for and let us see what you stand up for.

Who’s in?

In the meantime: compassion for Rutte. We all have our own profession in which we excel. He did the best he could do. Organizing a successful Correspondents Dinner takes time. No one walked up and took the stand before him. At least he tried. Congrats!

How to do a TED Talk

How to do a TED Talk

How to do a TED Talk?
Are you the one who is making a difference into the world?

  • Did you know: you already have all the ingredients to be an awesome public speaker?
  • Did you know: a 100% success presentation boosts your business?
  • Did you know: good presentation-skills will help you to support your people?

Can you give the ripple effect by your outstanding presentation?
Can you create your own TED Talk?

With Presentation Master you get the real results of a perfect presentation at the exclusive masterclass: Presenting with Charisma

In just one day you will be prepared for the future:

  1. How to get YOUR message across
  2. How to present with impact and create a WoW! experience for your audience
  3. How to influence by using the right bodylanguage
  4. How to get results by using the right words and voice tone
  5. How to master the 5 secrets of solid leadership and expert position

We will take only 10 contributors per Masterclass in order to give you all attention you deserve to improve massively and gain the results straight away. The Masters this day are Nienke van Bezooijen en Lars Ros

Still asking yourself how to do a TED Talk? Please see our FAQ video:

Executive Success

Executive Success

Executive Success is now to Master. Why?

Think about this:
Are you completely satisfied about your presentations, visibility and personal performance?
Do you show the real you or are you clever in using the 101 presentation-tricks?
Use your influence by speaking, improve you image by giving the best version of you.
Inspire your people by who you really are, create the impact of your whole performance!

Stop thinking, start doing, if you want to stand out of your competition
Straight from where you are to where you want to be.

Our approach is very different in the public speaking field. Whether you need authentic, clear and effective public speaking for your profession or if you want to become a great speaker in your field of expertise, there is a solution that last for a lifetime.  Part of the solution you can read  in Nienke’s new book. Every Master works  with CEO’s, CFO’s and other executives.
The Masters can work with you in English and Dutch.

Nienke is the founder of Presentation Master. She is an established international (TEDx) Speaker coach in the Netherlands, ACE-Mentor for the Professional Speakers University in London and developed her own Speaker Success Solution. It’s a step by step solution to be successful as a speaker.

The first book was handed over to the CEO of the Beurs van Berlage mr. Marcel Schonenberg, during the Amsterdam Business Inspiration 2015, December 2nd 2015.

Want to know more about presenting at EASE?

Why do politicians speak so strangely

Why do politicians speak so strangely

Seldom have I so often heard about the ‘40+ generation’ who are now finding each other in the Dutch political arena. Rutte, Samsom, Dijsselbloem, Willem-Alexander… Young at heart… They also often have the same style of speaking, style 40+…

I ask myself why politicians often speak so strangely (Managers are also pretty good at it too!) From a speaking technique point of view there is a big difference between smooth talk, and talking clearly.

The whole of the Netherlands had something to say about Willem-Alexander’s performance. #troonrede was the trending topic on Tuesday afternoon. How did Willem-Alexander do on his first Princes Day, as King? Did he speak clearly; too fast; too slowly; convincingly?

Erwin Wijman journalist, writer and linguist wrote an article in the Volkskrant newspaper ‘Willem-Alexander ruilt morgen zijn barkruk in’ -Tomorrow Willem-Alexander trades in his bar stool-
‘I found that Willem-Alexander was remarkably relaxed and pretty up-beat – in contrast to the actual content. He spoke really smoothly, linguists will have to study in further depth but I think he went about 1.3 times faster than his mother. Whereas Beatrix in her 33 years speaking from the throne favoured the somewhat forced synopsis, I didn’t hear her son doing the same.

That’s true Erwin, but I question if that is an improvement. With the announcement of the abdication of Beatrix, I compared the ways in which Beatrix and Rutte speak. However ‘smooth’ Rutte tries to be it does not help his comprehensibility.
Sometimes it is necessary for a text to land with the public, managers and politicians seem to so often hang on to ‘smooth talking’ the message is forgotten. They also often get stuck in the rut of using technical jargon which just leaves the public cold. I often hear it asked ‘why can’t they just explain it simply?’ the personnel of managers, or the ‘voters’ for a political party can be heard saying again and again; “I just don’t understand what they mean”.  It takes a lot more effort to get people to really engage with you, than if you stay in your own little bubble and make no effort to put yourself in the listener’s shoes! You will often hear said of popular leaders and politicians that they are straightforward….

Personally I am for a combination of both ways of speaking, Beatrix who liked her subtle nuances, but was understandable for all generations, and Willem-Alexander who is doing his best to move with the times.

I think that politicians/managers speak strangely in the eyes of the public, but not in the eyes of their direct peer group. Why are so many of them unable to adapt? That is a question that I will have to get back to you on.  Harry Starren the old director of de Baak said in 2012: “Managers bezigen vaak clichés en onbegrijpelijke taal. Zo houden ze leken buiten … – “Managers often overuse clichés and confusing language. That keeps others firmly on the outside…”

That may well be! Next time I meet one I will ask them, – deal?