Adventures on the Dark Side of TED ® Talks
Everyone knows TED® (Technology, Entertainment and Design). The organization devoted to spreading ideas exploded into society, starting in 1984 with a single conference and moving into those YouTube videos we all watch for inspiration. Local organizations can license the TED name and host TEDx conferences.
TED talks inspire, educate, and amuse us. There’s also a growing list of books to help you speak like a TED speaker. This is the story of one such conference, held in the town where I live, and how one speaker’s experience went horribly wrong.
You can read the whole sordid tale, as told by the speaker, Peter Sandbach, in his new book, ‘How to Get Your TED Talk Banned.’
Peter is well known as a speaker and trainer in the Basel area; he has a wicked sense of humour and gives practical advice. TEDx Basel invited him to speak, based on his stellar reputation. He spoke the ridiculousness of corporate jargon. Peter’s talk was widely noted as the best talk of the session. But he used the word bullshit once, and the trouble began. Peter had to fight for control of his own talk, and to this day you cannot find it on the TED You Tube channel.
Peter’s book tells the story of one of Basel’s ugliest social media battles. In a small city, home to the headquarters of several multinationals, that’s saying a lot. He’s refreshingly honest about his own actions, reactions, and occasional over-reactions. Like the novel Peyton Place or the song Harper Valley PTA, it takes you behind the scenes, where the dirt and skeletons are hidden.
All That and More
But then Peter does more.
After sharing his experiences and the lessons he learned, Peter shares simple, straightforward advice for public speaking. From being yourself, to learning about your audience before you write the talk, to how to rehears, he shares the tricks that make him such a well-loved speaker, and now a sought-after independent coach. This half of the book is almost as entertaining as the first half, and useful in your day-to-day life.
A juicy story. Life lessons about brand ownership gone overboard, the perils of sub- licensing and managing your words under stress. And useful public speaking tips from a respected trainer. All in one short and funny book. What more can you ask for?
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