One of the most successful proponents of sharing ideas is TED (Technology, Education and Design). It’s a movement started by Richard Wurman in 1984 as a one-off event. Six years later it was reinvented as a four-day conference in California. By 2009 the organisation granted third parties a license to organise community events, TEDx. Today there are five TEDx events organised every day in more than 130 countries. The affiliated website TED.com, with the slogan ‘ideas worth spreading’ hosts all the TED talks and can boast 1.5 million views per day.
These talks are addictive because they tap into our emotions of wonder, admiration, shock – you can even search for talks based on the emotions they incite. Perhaps if we feel something – we are more likely to share it. There are rare moments when I have read a book and spontaneously bought it for my friends. I need them to read it so that I can share this feeling which is so powerful I have to act.
Master The Art Of Storytelling – Brain scans reveal that stories stimulate and engage the human brain helping the speaker connect with the audience. In his talk We Need to Talk Injustice, Bryan Stevenson spends 64% of his 18 minutes telling stories. He received the longest standing ovation ever for a TED talk.
Teach Me Something New – The human brain loves novelty; it can jolt us out of preconceived notions. See James Cameron Before Avatar: A Curious Boy
Deliver Jaw-Dropping Moments – In other words ‘an emotionally charged event’ which will make your audience remember your message and act on it. See Bill Gates – Mosquitos, Malaria and Education
Lighten Up – The brain loves humour – give the audience something to smile about. See Sir Ken Robinson – Schools Kill Creativity
Stick To Your Time – Researchers have found that ‘cognitive backlog,’ too much information, prevents the successful transmission of ideas. So is a day long INSET really a good idea?
Stay In Your Lane – Be authentic, open and transparent. We can all spot a fake. See Dr. Jill – My Stroke of Insight