Follow The TED Commandments


The TED talks have become a cultural touchstone of creativity, passion, and innovation. Each TED event brings an opportunity to hear from extraordinary people who are up to extraordinary things. Each TED speaker, it has been said, receives a list of The TED Commandments to help them put together a speech that will be successful on the TED stage. (That’s them, in the picture. They come on a slab of rock. F’real.)

Being that these talks are often some of the most engaging, informative, and creative presentations going, I thought it would be good to cover each of The TED Commandments in detail. For the next few days, I’ll be running a series of posts, each featuring information on two or three of the ten TED Commandments. But first, a list of all of them:

  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 Hast Never Shared Before
  3. Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion
  4. Thou Shalt Tell a Story
  5. Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy
  6. Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.
  7. Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desperate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
  8. Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
  9. Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech.
  10. Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee.

We’ll talk about what makes each commandment important, and how to bring it to bear on any presentation you do.

What do you think? Let me hear it in the comments!