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How to wing it when you need to make a speech
June 23, 2019 | Financial Times | Pilita Clark.

Mr Vine one night witnessed the wang-like magnificence of Mr Johnson, who hurtled in hopelessly late to a bankers’ awards ceremony at a fancy London hotel, only to learn he was due on stage in minutes to give the after-dinner speech.

As stressed organisers looked on, the MP frantically ascertained what the awards were for, demanded a biro, scribbled some notes on the back of a menu and, to Mr Vine’s astonishment, delivered a paralysingly funny speech — despite having left his scrawled notes on the table.

First he told a story about a sheep, then another about a shark and a third about a drunk, to which he completely forgot the punchline. He ended by observing that a glass trophy Mr Vine was there to hand out looked like “a sort of elongated lozenge”. The crowd was in fits.....Mr Johnson’s performance was also a masterclass in three great truths of public speaking, starting with a lesson that is obvious yet too often overlooked: don’t be afraid to be funny. Not every speech needs to be crammed with gags and not every speaker can deliver one as deftly as Mr Johnson. But most talks are immeasurably improved by at least one attempt at a well-chosen joke, and preferably two.

Mr Johnson also deployed what is known as the rule of three. Too many speeches are littered with a torrent of information that makes them hard to deliver and digest. The best are often broken up into just three points, or at least have a beginning, a middle and an end. A sheep, a shark and a drunk will not suit every occasion, but the principle still applies.

Finally, and most importantly, there is the need for preparation. Mr Johnson’s contrived bluster concealed a man who was fantastically well prepared. The best speakers usually are. For most of us, the only way to look as if you are winging it is to practice so ferociously that you eventually sound spontaneous.

As the speaker guide for the ubiquitous TED talks puts it: “Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!”
Boris_Johnson  Communicating_&_Connecting  howto  humour  practice  preparation  public_speaking  rehearsals  speeches  TED  think_threes  Toastmasters 
june 2019 by jerryking
TED talks without the ego
August 14, 2017| Financial Times | Harriet Fitch Little.

Sincerely X is a new podcast from TED that leaves no space for grandstanding.
Here, speakers are anonymous. They deliver their talks in a studio with only Cohen, the host, as audience....Whatever the mind game at play, it may be time to ditch the adage that hard stories need a "human face" -- an anonymous voce can apparently do the same job, and better.....But ultimately, this podcast is distinguished by a seriousness that sometimes seems to elude speakers on the TED stage, for whom viral fame is so tantalizingly close at hand.....ideas worth spreading.
TED  conferences  anonymity  listening  podcasts  ideas  curators  intimacy  audio  seriousness 
august 2017 by jerryking
The virtual challenge usurping the traditional conference market
CONFERENCES bring money to their host cities. In the case of Liverpool's awardwinning venue, the BT Convention Centre, the economic impact has been greater thanks to the simultaneous arrival of its n...
TED  ideacity  conferences  disruption 
september 2013 by jerryking
Ideas Conferences as Brand Builders
11/19/2012 | Forbes | Marian Salzman, Contributor.

Smart talk is today’s hot commodity, whether you’re speaking, listening or, perhaps most important, hobnobbing after the formal sessions...But what do they say about your personal brand? Are Davos people different from TED people different from SXSW people? What about the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and Renaissance Weekend? Is there a big half-dozen in conference-going that lets you borrow for your brand (today’s equivalent of name-dropping) and build it up? And if there is, do you have to attend all of them (who has time?), or do you need to decide what each stands for and how it helps make a person a brand? Does your choice of conference send a message about what generation you see yourself in?...I’d argue that some conferences are becoming so ubiquitous and trendy that their velvet ropes are being pulled back.
personal_branding  trends  trend_spotting  public_discourse  Clinton_Global_Initiative  Davos  SXSW  ideacity  TED  Renaissance_Weekend 
september 2013 by jerryking
TEDx: The Observer's festival of ideas - where inspiration meets action | Technology | The Observer
23 January 2011 | The Observer| John Mulholland.

TED has brought a passion to the spreading of ideas. It's not alone, either: over the past decade, festivals and websites dedicated to discourse and debate have blossomed. In Britain alone, there's the Do Lectures (the Welsh "TED in a tent" in Pembrokeshire), Alain de Botton's School of Life, the Bristol Festival of Ideas, the Battle of Ideas, Editorial Intelligence's Names Not Numbers, Interesting North, Interesting South, the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, the Derby Festival of Ideas… and further afield there's PopTech, the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas or try Google's Zeitgeist, or the Skoll World Forum, or DoSomething.org… and so on. That's a lot of ideas. Mating and breeding and bringing forth other ideas.
conferences  events  TED  ideacity  Aspen_Ideas_Festival  Google_Zeitgeist  zeitgeist 
september 2013 by jerryking
How an endangered Walrus was saved - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT.

The Walrus is no longer just a magazine published 10 times a year; it is a multiplatform brand that finds expression in a tablet edition, a blog, podcasts, e-books, a series of short non-fiction films, speaking events and sometimes even a cruise through the Northwest Passage.

Each feeds the other, sometimes in spirit and promotional force (a podcast may offer a reporter’s reminiscences of grappling with a particular interview subject), and sometimes even financially: The events business, which will present about 30 live events this year, is now one of the primary sources of revenue.

(While other publications, such as The New Yorker, produce live events, those are usually brand-building exercises rather than major sources of revenue.)

The Walrus Foundation, the education-oriented charitable non-profit that publishes the magazine, procures corporate sponsorship, such as the one from RBC for an evening dedicated to conversation about philanthropy.
brands  conferences  content  conversations  endangered  events  Ideacity  magazines  multiplatforms  nonprofit  Simon_Houpt  sponsorships  TED  Walrus 
september 2013 by jerryking
An invitation to eat, think and be wary -
Sep. 07 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT
The Grano Speakers Series brought the world to Toronto. Launched in the fall of 2004 with a season of discussions about The American Empire – William Kristol was its opening speaker – it quickly became one of the hottest tickets in town....The idea was hatched in the summer of 2004. Rudyard Griffiths, then the executive director of the Dominion Institute, and Patrick Luciani, a former executive director of the Donner Canadian Foundation, were chatting with Roberto Martella, the proprietor of the North Toronto trattoria Grano, when they began commiserating over a shared frustration of modern life.

Rudyard Griffiths: All of us were tired of the hotel ballroom speech: the Cornish hen and the not-so-great wine, and 500 or 800 people packed into these horrible tables of 10. The idea the three of us came up with was, let’s really blow up that model and try to do something different that gets back to the insight of the salon in the 19th century, which was: good conversation, intimate group, intimate setting.
Simon_Houpt  restaurants  Toronto  Rudyard_Griffiths  speeches  salons  ideacity  TED  conversations  19th_century 
september 2013 by jerryking
TED Spreads Ideas Beyond the Elite Few - WSJ.com
March 7, 2012 | WSJ | By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO.

"TED has become a media company," says June Cohen, executive director of TED Media, noting that some of the new efforts are designed to reach people in parts of the world without high-speed Internet access.

The moves are risky. While TED has become better known through an increasingly global series of TEDx spinoff events in recent years, it is still best known in the relatively clubby worlds of technology and design. How broadly its content—which ranges from hyper-intellectual talks about philosophy to demonstrations of lifelike robots—can appeal remains unclear. Some attendees wonder whether it can maintain the same quality of content while feeding so many outlets. At least one previous media effort, a project for delivering TED talks through a handful of television broadcasters, is on hold....TED says it isn't earning any revenue from the new NPR and Netflix deals, and declined to say how much the new media ventures will cost. The nonprofit—owned by a foundation established in 1996 by Mr. Anderson, a former journalist—is supported by conference tickets, patrons like the family of Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos and sponsors who pay as much as $1 million a year or more. This year's sponsors include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Google Inc.
conferences  TED  growth  ideacity  Jessica_E._Vascellaro  ideas  virality 
september 2013 by jerryking
New breed of pirates challenges television’s old guard
Apr. 11 2013 | The Globe and Mail | SIMON HOUPT.

For Jean-Philippe Vergne, this is just another turn of capitalism’s screw. An assistant professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business, he recently co-authored a provocative book arguing that, far from being dangerous to business and society, piracy should be recognized as a major element in the evolution of capitalism.

In The Pirate Organization, which he adapted for a talk last Friday at Western University's own TEDx conference, Mr. Vergne and Rodolphe Durand note that, throughout history, the development of an industry has tended to follow a predictable pattern: “It is not all about competition. It occurs in waves, it expands into new territories using monopolistic controls – then free trade kicks in,” he said. “One big important actor that contributes to shaping the rules of the game in those new territories (is) pirates.”... “Everybody’s scared, because we lack the tools – the conceptual tools, the legal tools – to understand what (piracy) means and what’s going on.”

But as the incumbent companies wait for the development of suitable definitions, pirate firms are blithely pushing the boundaries of acceptable behaviour: This week, the CEO of Aereo, Chet Kanojia, was in Washington, pressing his case with U.S. lawmakers.

For the moment, Canadian broadcasters are safe from the threat posed by Aereo and the dozens of others disrupting the U.S. TV landscape. But a little fear would do them well. At an industry conference last month, the chair of the CRTC asked TV executives and producers whether they had a “healthy discontent with the way things are.” He was telling them, really, to think like pirates, to disrupt their own businesses – for their own good, and the good of the country. Because he knows that, if they don’t, the real pirates are going to wreak hell when they get here. It’s just a matter of time.
Simon_Houpt  piracy  disruption  CATV  television  Ivey  TED  Aereo 
july 2013 by jerryking
With its entrepreneurial spirit, Alberta is no one-trick hydrocarbon pony - The Globe and Mail
Jun. 19 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by TODD HIRSCH.

The Albertan economy is about: Capitalizing on what works today, and quickly shifting gears if it doesn’t work tomorrow. This young man farmed with his dad in the 1990s at a time when farming made little sense or money. But he realized the farm’s backhoe was making him big bucks. So farming became secondary to construction machinery, and a decade and a half later he owns a thriving construction company in central Alberta. And now (cue the Circle of Life theme song) he’s shifting back into farming to capitalize on today’s good crop prices.
Alberta  wealth_creation  entrepreneurship  TED  oil_industry  Todd_Hirsch  construction 
june 2013 by jerryking
TED2012 and Why conferences will never be the same | engineers don't blog
March 8, 2012

1. Perfect your speed pitch/introduction — a laser focus introduction of who you are, and why this person may be interested in connecting with you. I really thought I had a good speed pitch prior to TED. But the first day of TED, I attended a session of speed meetings. Each speed meeting was three minutes in duration. Each time I met someone, I learned how to adjust my pitch based on the questions people asked. I learned from their questions that there were certain things in my pitch that weren’t clear or didn’t convey the heart of my mission. It really took about an hour of speed meetings, before I felt as if my pitch was clear. During the second hour of speed meeting, I realized there weren’t nearly as many questions. I took this to mean that either my pitch was better, or people were just tired of meeting. Either way practice your speed pitch, and learn to adjust it based on the feedback you receive from of questions or reactions.

2. Attend a conference with a purpose — I find it helpful when conferences or events publish their list of attendees. Its worth it to do a little ‘research’ on those in attendance and make an effort to meet people of interest. Often the person of interest is not the ‘celebrity’ of the conference. But someone who may be more accessible, but you can still learn their experience and their connections. It also helps to set goals before attending a conference. What are you trying to accomplish from attending the conference? Be specific in your goals. ‘Meet people’ is not a specific goal, plus you can meet people at the supermarket. One of my goals from TED was to ‘Connect with developers working with Big Data.’

3. Be present in conversation and listen (i.e. living_in_the_moment)

4. Become a connector — Everyone you meet at a conference may not be in direct alignment with your current goals. However, networking in its purist form is actually just building a network. You become a node in the network and have the ability to connect others and align goals. Plus its just good networking karma.
TED  African-Americans  women  entrepreneur  conferences  productivity  howto  Communicating_&_Connecting  preparation  networking  goal-setting  living_in_the_moment  aligned_interests 
june 2013 by jerryking
How can I get the most out of attending TED in Long Beach?
Q: I've been fortunate enough to be able to attend TED in Long Beach this year (2013), and would love to hear from anyone who's gone before: how do I get the most out of it? Looking at the schedule, i...
TED  conferences  productivity  howto  goal-setting  Communicating_&_Connecting  networking 
june 2013 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: The TED imperatives
Posted by Seth Godin on January 13, 2012

Be interested.
Be generous.
Be interesting.
Connect.
Seth_Godin  TED  rules_of_the_game  conferences 
february 2012 by jerryking
What's The Big Idea?
Mar 12, 2011 | Financial Times. pg. 28 | by James Crabtree. Forward to R. Mayot re. IdeaCity

From Davos, to Long Beach, to north Wales, 'ideas conferences' are burgeoning. But, asks James Crabtree, are they really the new crucibles for creative thinking - or just exclusive talking shops?

Aficionados of cult television know Portmeirion simply as "the village". Here, in the 1960s show The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan insists "I am not a number, I am a free man," and plots his escape from a mysterious captive community. But, last weekend, the town hosted a different sort of exclusive gathering - and one perhaps better known for those trying to get in, not out.

Against a backdrop of pastel-painted Italianate cliff-top villas, around 120 specially invited guests descended on the Welsh coastal village for what its organisers describe as a global "thought leadership symposium". Such self-selected elite groupings seem, at first glance, to be little more than a weekend break for an already-fortunate section of the chattering classes; what one Portmeirion participant dryly described as "a socially concerned Saga mini-break, dressed up as something more serious".

But such events are also part of a wider trend in the burgeoning market for "ideas conferences" - exclusive conflabs that bring together groups of leaders with the aim of sparking creative ideas, untethered from the niche subjects, academic specialisms or industry segments that have long dominated professional events.

Examples are not hard to find. The business summit in the secluded Swiss mountain resort of Davos is the most famous. But the first week of March also saw the latest TED conference, an exclusive annual USD7,500-a-ticket gathering in Long Beach, California, dedicated to "ideas worth spreading". Elsewhere Google runs an annual invite-only conference, known as Zeitgeist, while American internet evangelist Tim O'Reilly hosts excitable technology entrepreneurs at Foo Camp, which modestly stands for "Friends of O'Reilly".

Dozens of smaller meetings are popping up too, such as Portmeirion, now in its third year and with the FT as one of its sponsors. They represent a shift in the market for conferences, now forced to be more eye-catching to attract the attention of more demanding and distracted audiences. But their blossoming also illuminates a wider trend: the growing importance of unusual ideas and rich social networks, in an economy in which information is both increasingly valuable and confusingly abundant.

Those gathered at Portmeirion this year formed an eclectic group, ranging from polymathic finance expert Nassim Nicholas Taleb to actress Miriam Margolyes and rock concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith. Elsewhere the resort's narrow streets were thronged with a mixture of senior bankers, newspaper columnists, politicians, entrepreneurs, authors and think-tank boffins.

Portmeirion itself used to be something of a salon for London's recuperating elite, hosting guests such as Noel Coward and Bertrand Russell. The idea of hosting a contemporary event there stems from this: it is the brainchild of British public relations guru Julia Hobsbawm, whose father (the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm) brought their family to the town for summer holidays.

Top-level gatherings have long been a feature of politics and international affairs. Historian Simon Schama points to The Poker Club, a distinguished salon at the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment of the late 1700s, which counted David Hume and Adam Smith among its members.

Today's ideas conferences are less serious affairs than their antecedents, with agendas that go well beyond the straitjacketed worlds of politics, foreign affairs and business. Videos, jazzy graphics and blaring music between sessions all help keep participants engaged. Informal, unscripted agenda-less "unconferences", are also popular.

A defiantly cross-disciplinary ethic marks out this new class of events, whose programmes are seemingly incomplete without sculptors, comedians and bioethicists to balance out the economists and business gurus. Portmeirion's two most memorable sessions were its most eclectic: a plea to save the seas from oceanographer Sylvia Earle, and a moving film about Indian prostitution from filmmaker Beeban Kidron.

The flipside of this variety is a certain intellectual vagueness, as organisers try to hold together a programme full of clashing insights. The gnomic theme of the most recent TED, for instance, was "the rediscovery of wonder" - featuring a live talk from an astronaut in an orbiting space station, and a demonstration of a machine that "printed" human body parts. The theme of Portmeirion, meanwhile, was simply "community and values", into which one could read just about anything.

Certainly, it isn't always clear what these conferences are meant to be about. The ideal speaker, therefore, is someone able to cross many intellectual boundaries at once [jk: does this meet the definition of "transgressive"??] - as with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan, who kicked off the Portmeirion gathering with a magisterial address on the topic of "anti-fragility" in complex social and economic systems. His remarks ranged from mathematics and economics to political theory and Greek history, leaving attendees at once stimulated and more than a little perplexed.

There is an underlying economic rationale too. Delegates often work in professions that place a premium on finding and exploiting the ideas central to processes of innovation in modern businesses. This makes the events business-friendly too - a fact compounded by their need to win extensive corporate sponsorship, which in turn pays for the meals and accommodation that non-paying guests and speakers enjoy.

Yet if the ideas are a little fuzzy, and the business jargon a little too prevalent, this is because, more than anything, these conferences are meant as a celebration, and a test, of the individuals picked to attend - those high-powered, busy, professionally successful types who make a living telling others what they should watch, read or buy.

RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor notes the importance of intellectual cross-dressing at such events: "They allow people to throw off their professional persona for 48 hours: journalists become social theorists, businesspeople become green warriors, and academics become showmen. But on Monday morning - perhaps to everyone's secret relief - it's back to work."

Although their easygoing participants would tend to deny this, these events are a new form of elitism: a novel way of marking out a social and professional hierarchy, in which sensibility and interestingness replaces class or creed. What follows is stimulating, but also reflects the similar outlooks of the media and intellectual elite in a post-ideological world: an ersatz form of intellectualism, which might have raised an eyebrow in Eric Hobsbawm's day.

Even so, such ideas events prosper because they solve a problem faced by many at the top of their professions. The much-discussed "death of distance" never happened; globalisation and the profusion of technology makes place more important. Similarly, a world of abundant, instantly accessible information seems to make personal connection more vital. This puts a premium on private events, which force their participants to spend time developing ideas without distraction. The ideas conference is here to stay.

The Polymath

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

As the guru credited with spotting the unexpected "black swan" events behind the global financial meltdown, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (illustration above) has a track record for spotting unusual ideas. He worries that we have still not learnt the lessons of the crisis, identifying ongoing major threats arising from "expert problems". The risk, he notes, is that "a pseudo-expert astrologist doesn't have many damaging side- effects, but a pseudo-expert economist certainly does".

Taleb is sceptical of some ideas gatherings. Davos is a particular bugbear; he turns down the annual invitation on the grounds that it is "too big, on the wrong topics, and with the wrong people". Other events have their problems too - in particular their tendency to turn "scientists into entertainers and circus performers".

Taleb is currently developing his thinking for a forthcoming book, which he describes as a deeper "volume two" of the themes he explored in The Black Swan. His new big idea is "anti-fragility", or the stability that comes from decentralised, complex systems - such as those found in nature (i.e. biomimicry), or artisan industries - which allow regular small acts of self-destruction, but adapt to keep the system as a whole stable. He contrasts this with fragile, centralised systems - such as the post-crisis banking industry - which prop up their failing parts.

The Agent

Caroline Michel

It is the books with the "big themes" that sell well nowadays, explains Caroline Michel (below), one of London's leading literary agents. Her job, she says, is one in which "amazing people come to me with brilliant ideas, and it is my job to work out what to do with them". In this role she styles herself as part of a new class of "professional mediators", a cadre of ideas professionals whose role it is to weed out "Pot-Noodle knowledge", and give the public new ways to find the valuable information they need.

Consequently, she is a confirmed ideas conference fan, citing book gatherings such as the annual Hay Festival as a source of inspiration. But when facing "an extraordinary spaghetti of knowledge and information", she says, even knowledge professionals find themselves struggling to "to pull through strands" they can understand. A world in which "we have access to this huge mass of information, and in which we are all instant doctors and instant reporters" therefore only increases the importance of those few "people you trust to show you the way through it" - and makes doubly important the chance to listen to them, and to interact with them, in person.

The Entrepreneur

Will … [more]
antifragility  conferences  cross-disciplinary  cross-pollination  David_Hume  Davos  fragility  hierarchies  ideas  ideaCity  invitation-only  Nassim_Taleb  self-destructive  TED  Tim_O'Reilly  thinking_big  trend_spotting  Zeitgeist 
march 2011 by jerryking
The Conference Board Review - The Conference Board
A Bright Conflagration. . .

. . .of ideas and clout and commitment is TED, the intellectual circus
ringmastered by the somewhat impossible Richard Saul Wurman.

Anthony Liversidge is a New York-based magazine writer on leading
figures in science and technology
TED 
may 2009 by jerryking
Pursuing Big Ideas
October 22, 2008 | NYTimes.com |

Innovators at the 2008 IdeaFestival offered the following suggestions on how to come up with new ideas:
ideas  inspiration  NYT  innovation  conferences  TED  ideacity  creative_renewal 
april 2009 by jerryking
Practically Speaking - Creative People Say Inspiration Isn’t All Luck - NYTimes.com
Published: October 22, 2008 | New York Times | By MICKEY MEECE

Serendipity often plays a role in generating big ideas...inspiration,
but equally as important is having an open mind — especially in
tumultuous times like these. Big and small ideas are out there--if you
are looking for them.

2008 IdeaFestival was created by Kris Kimel whose own “Aha!” moment
occurred after attending the Sundance Film Festival and wondering about
hosting a diverse festival that celebrates ideas. In 2000, he helped
create the IdeaFestival, which brings together creative thinkers from
different disciplines to connect ideas in science, the arts, design,
business, film, technology and education. The goal is to promote
“out-of-the-box thinking and cross-fertilization as a means toward the
development of innovative ideas, products and creative endeavors.”
Aha!_moments  chance  conferences  contingency  creativity  creative_types  cross-pollination  entrepreneurship  ideas  idea_generation  ideacity  inspiration  luck  Mickey_Meece  open_mind  out-of-the-box  science_&_technology  serendipity  small_business  TED  thinking_big 
april 2009 by jerryking
L. Gordon Crovitz Says Technological Creativity Could Help Wall Street Make Sense of Data - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 9, 2009 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ reports on
the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design conference. TED as an
antidote to recessionary pessimism. Reminder that other industries,
especially Wall Street, need to embrace the technologist ethos of
constant creativity and innovation. "Raw data, now!" Find new
relationships among data and new answers to problems in ways we haven't
been able to imagine
analytics  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  Web  data  Wall_Street  TED  unimaginable  sense-making  pattern_recognition  patterns  data_mining  problems 
february 2009 by jerryking

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