I loved this book for two reasons. Reason 1: it offers practical, executable advice for delivering better presentations and holding better meetings. Reason 2: it summarizes numerous TED talks, highlights why they are successful, and stimulates the reader to want to know more. I personally came up with a list of 10 videos that I want to watch just from reading this book. Aside from adding more content to my “Pursuit of Thought” the topics are fascinating. The brain releases dopamine when it experiences new and novel information. From beginning to end of this book, I felt that excitement through every chapter. Love riding that dopamine rush.
- “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking,” Jobs told the graduates. “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They someone already know what you truly want to become.” ~Steve Jobs.
- Dale Carnegie wrote the first mass market public-speaking and self-help book in 1915, The Art of Public Speaking. Carnegie’s intuition was impeccable. He recommended that speakers keep their talks short. He said stories were powerful ways of connecting emotionally with your audience. He suggested the use of rhetorical devices such as metaphors and analogies. Three-quarters of a century before PowerPoint was invented Carnegie was talking about using visual aids. He understood the importance of enthusiasm, practice, and strong delivery to move people. Everything Carnegie recommended in 1915 remains the foundation of effective communication to this day.
- If you can’t inspire anyone else with you ideas, it won’t matter how great those ideas are.
- The most engaging presentations are:
Emotional: they touch my heart.
Novel: they teach me something new.
Memorable: they present content in ways I’ll never forget.
- Novelty is the single most effective way to capture a person’s attention.
- Secret #1: Unleash the Master Within
Dig deep to identify your unique and meaningful connection to your presentation topic. Passion leads to mastery and your presentation is nothing without it, but keep in mind that what fires you up might not be the obvious.
Science shows that passion is contagious, literally. You cannot inspire others unless you are inspired yourself. You stand a much greater chance of persuading and inspiring your listeners if you express an enthusiastic, passionate, and meaningful connection to your topic.
- People cannot inspire others unless and until they are inspired themselves. “In our culture we tend to equate thinking and intellectual powers with success and achievement. In many ways, however, it is an emotional quality that separates those who master a field from the man who simply work at a job,” writes Robert Green in Mastery. “Our levels of desire, patience, persistence, and confidence end up playing a much larger role in success than sheer reasoning powers. Feeling motivated and energized, we can overcome almost anything. Feeling bored and restless, our minds shut off and we become increasingly passive.”
- What makes your heart sing? Identify it and share it with others.
You passion is not a passing interest or even a hobby. A passion is something that is intensely meaningful and core to your identity. Once you identify what your passion is, can you say it influences your daily activities? Can you incorporate it into what you do professionally? Your true passion should be the subject of your communications and will serve to truly inspire your audience.
- “Authentic happiness can only come from the long-term cultivation of wisdom, altruism, and compassion, and from the complete eradication of mental toxins, such as hatred, grasping, and ignorance.” ~Matthieu Ricard
- “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll now when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” ~Steve Jobs
- ACCEPT HAPPINESS AS A CHOICE: What is one challenge you have been faced with recently? After identifying your challenge, list three reasons why this challenge is an opportunity. You see, happiness is a choice, an attitude that is contagious, and your listeners perceive you. Matthieu Ricard told me, “Our natural state of mind, when it is not misconstrued under the power of negative thoughts, is perfection. It is essential to inspire hope and confidence, since it is what we lack most and need most in our times.”
- “When you are passionate about something you can’t help yourself from thinking about it, acting on it, and talking about it with other people.” ~Cardon
- “Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
- It’s been said that success doesn’t lead to happiness; happiness creates success.
- The passion that the person has for her own growth is the most important thing. The passion that that man has for his own personal growth is the most important thing. And then we help them to go and find the knowledge, because nobody in the world can succeed alone.
- Storytelling is the ultimate tool of persuasion.
- The Greek philosopher Aristotle is one of the founding fathers of communication theory. He believed that persuasion occurs when three components are represented: ethos, logos, and pathos.
Ethos is credibility. We tend to agree with people whom we respect for their achievements, title, experience, etc.
Logos is the means of persuasion through logic, data, and statistics.
Pathos is the act of appealing to emotions.
- Inspiring communicators and the best TED presenters stick to one of the three types of stories. The first are personal stories that relate directly to the theme of the conversation or presentation; second are stories about other people who have learned a lesson the audience can relate to; third are stories involving the success or failure of products or brands.
- Your audience wants someone or something to cheer for. They want to be inspired. Give them a hero. Captivate their imagination with stories about yourself, other people, or successful brands.
- Stories make concepts and ideas real and tangible.
- INTRODUCE HEROES AND VILLAINS: Whether it’s a movie or a novel, every great story has a hero and a villain. A strong business presentation has the same cast of characters. A spokesperson reveals a challenge (villain) facing a business or industry. The protagonist (brand hero) rises to meet the challenge. Finally, the townspeople (customers) are freed from the villain, the struggle is over, and everyone lives happily ever after.
- “Nice people with common sense do not make interesting characters. They only make good former spouses,” Allende said to a roomful of laughter. “Passion live her,” she continued. “Heart is what drives us and determines our fate. That is what I need for my characters in my books: a passionate heart. I need mavericks, dissidents, adventurers, outsiders, and rebels, who ask questions, bend the rules and take risks.”