Every seventeen seconds, someone, somewhere in the world, is watching a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk. If you have access to the Internet, it’s likely you’ve either heard of or watched one.
In my first book, A Climb to the Top, I introduce the components of TED talks to help readers understand what makes those speeches so successful and how those same elements could help in their public speaking efforts. The thing is, those some elements are just as applicable in the smaller, more intimate settings we find ourselves in – like team meetings or lunch with your superiors.
Yes, most TED speakers are subject matter experts with something fresh, and often provocative, to deliver – you may not always feel like that is you. However, the elements that make up the “TED Formula” are adaptive beyond the stage-to-audience-format. There are three main things you’ll notice in a TED talk: speakers are hands free, there are no barriers between them and the audience, and they seem to be natural in how they interact with those who are listening. These elements result in a speaker who is building rapport and connecting with their audience.
These same three elements are just as important in your own office with team members. Keeping yourself free from distractions (i.e. phones, notebooks, etc.), removing physical barriers and finding ways to connect.
As the cognitive neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman pointed out in his book Social, our need to connect with others is as basic as our need for food and water. While many experts proclaim that individuals are driven by self-interest, Lieberman implies that we suffer a great deal when our social bonds are threatened or severed. He asserts that the existence of social pain is a sign that evolution has made social connections a necessity not a luxury.
Your primary goal as a leader or a speaker is to connect with others. Begin with that goal in mind, and you’ll find that everything else flows organically from there. Don’t allow yourself to distract or hide behind electronic devices or other physical items that could get in the way of your connection with others.
Remember what makes TED Talks so successful and apply that to your basic day-to-day communication. Draw others in with exceptional stories and make your audience feel important—with minimal distance, color, and energy to spare. The goal is to inspire, persuade, and provoke change in the moments you have with others…and you don’t need a stage or cameras to do it. To learn more, visit Chuckgarcia.com.