Articles & research papers

Communication skills

The TED Commandments – rules every speaker needs to know

The organizers of TED send upcoming speakers a stone tablet, engraved with the ‘TED Commandments’ which are as follows:

  1. Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick
  2. Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou
  3. Hast Never Shared Before
  4. Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion
  5. Thou Shalt Tell a Story
  6. Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Skae of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy
  7. Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success
  8. Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desparate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness
  9. Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good
  10. Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech
  11. Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee

The TED Commandments – rules every speaker needs to know

27 things to do before a conference- a conference preparation list

A quick conference preparation list that might help you better accomplish your goals, in context of more modern conferences and/or events where people might be even vaguely connected to the Internet.

27 things to do before a conference

Download key tools from ‘The Back of a Napkin’

Download key tools from ‘The Back of a Napkin’

Edward R. Tufte’s Presentation Tips

  • Show up early
  • Clearly tell the audience what the problem is, who cares, and what your solution is
  • Write out your own introduction
  • Never apologize
  • For complex information use: Particular, General, Particular
  • Always provide a handout
  • Match your presentation to the level of The New York Times or Wall Street Journal
  • Audiences are precious: respect them
  • Humor—make sure it’s on point, not nasty or gratuitous
  • Do not use masculine pronouns—use plurals
  • Questions need to be treated very carefully
  • There must be a better way than using the overhead projector
  • Show your enthusiasm!
  • Finish early
  • Work hard
  • Innovate
  • Drink enormous amounts of water

Read the full article at Edward R. Tufte’s Presentation Tips