What makes for a great speech?
These days, one need only log onto Ted.com to see examples of the leading lights in our culture speaking with passion on everything from art to business to science to you name it! In fact, in my class, I assigned my students to watch Ben Zander’s TED Talk on Music and Passion to show them the excitement that music can generate to tap into new possibilities, new experiences and new connections.
TED talks are wildly popular. According to TED’s own records, TEDTalks have been viewed more than 500 million times by people around the world (as of July 2011).
Is it merely an accident that these speeches are so good? Or is there some method to guide these talented people?
It turns out that TED’s organizer’s indeed issue guidelines, called the TED Commandments, which are apparently engraved on a stone tablet and sent to their invited speakers! I am indebted to Tim Longhurst for transcribing the engraved commandments from a photograph and typing then up. Here they are: