Excellence in public speaking is something a number of my clients strive for. And when it comes to developing executive presence having great public speaking skills certainly shows you to be a great communicator. Delivering any kind of presentations can be terrifying for many, as it involves conveying an idea or ideas to an astute audience.
To be on the TED stage means to be ready to show your executive presence. Yes, nerves will hit you and you in that moment have to tap into your emotional wisdom to pass through them. The TED Talks format gave me the opportunity to up my game in the art of public speaking. It was the perfect scenario to stretch my comfort zone and that meant I had to be flexible, adaptable and versatile in my passion for public speaking.
So, it came to me as a surprise and more of a shock that a number of people who saw and listened to my TEDx Talk recording said to me on the lines of “Rohit you are stupid. Who does a talk on compassion? You lost a great opportunity to showcase your business and your services. No one cares about compassion. It is about making money and you messed up." That was a polite version of some of the conversations people had with me about my talk.
In addition, certain professional speakers/ trainers/ coaches said things such as:
- “Your talk was from the brain to the arse. There was no point of your talk”
- “What crap is this compassion you spoke of? Your talk made no sense at all”
- “You think people care about compassion? Well, you are in cuckoo land. You need to come back to this dirty world's reality.”
- “You need to learn how to speak. I know someone who will teach you, he costs x, yes it’s a high price. Stop having a mind of scarcity and invest in speaking like a professional”
As a Global Professional Speaker with 24+ years of experience, engaging 51+ nationalities and covering 21+ countries I have inspired a countless number of people to success. Through my talks, people develop an executive presence that leads to their own unique formula of success mastery. Thus advancing in their careers, businesses and lives. And one of the key elements of executive presence is to evolve in your public speaking delivery.
I agree with the Andrew Bryant, one of my mentors, who describes a TEDx Talk being "Like a Pro-tennis player, playing a championship squash match. Now I’m not a pro-tennis player but I imagine that the fitness, hand-eye co-ordination and timing would help a such a player in a game of squash. But the confined space, rapid returns, and the need to flick the wrist would feel awkward."
March 31, 2018, a dream comes true. I have the honour, pleasure and joy to finally speak on a TED stage. The story does not start on that day. It actually began on June 9, 2012. A day I never knew would bring amazing abundance into my life. I run my first ever Feel the Fear ...and Do It Anyway® workshop in Dubai. A charming, beautiful and fragile persona is one of the participants. For her, that day was a transformational one as to date she still showers me with gratitude for being her guide.
Years pass by and December 14, 2017, the amazing lady connects with me and requests me to apply for a TEDx Talk. I am ecstatic and apply, the submission of the talk I title as "The Miracle of Compassion". On my birthday February 2, 2018, at 16:03 (Dubai time) I receive a TEDx acceptance letter.
Yes, I am over the moon and struck with joy. I inform my loved ones and a few dear friends of mine the wonderful news. To be a part of TED world is truly an amazing feeling because for me this a platform of emotional wisdom that touches many peoples brain, heart and mind. It breaks down the barriers between people and instead builds bridges for human development, sustainability, respect and wisdom.
TED and TEDx tagline is “ideas worth spreading.” To help speakers have a sense of whether an idea is worth spreading or not, they give them guidelines to help develop a great talk. The intention is to provide the speaker with a practical set of standards that can ensure that every audience member can trust the ideas they’re hearing. In this way, they preserve the integrity and value of the TED and TEDx brands throughout the world. The four simple guidelines being:
- No selling from the stage.
- No political agendas.
- No religious proselytizing (including new age beliefs).
- Only good science.
Talks are a showcase for speakers presenting well-formed ideas in under 18 minutes. TED Curator Chris Anderson says there are four things you need to be aware to develop a TED talk, these being:
- Focus on one major idea.
- Give people a reason to care.
- Build your idea with familiar concepts.
- Make your idea worth sharing.
In other words, it is all about the listener, a talk that everyone could connect to in one way or the other. It is about entering into the listeners' mind and the world. So, taking all of this and reviewing a number TED Talks I was able to develop my TEDx Talk on "The Miracle of Compassion".
As with all my talks for me, the focus for TEDx Talk was to add value to the listeners. The listeners could be anywhere in the world and they would take that moment to look at compassion with a greater insight.
When given feedback such it was my stupidity to do a talk about compassion, that my talk made no sense and that my talk was from the arse it got me wondering. And that is do these people know
- How unaware are they of their own self-sabotaging mental state?
- What is the purpose of TED and TEDx Talks?
- How would it be for them to have a sense of self-compassion?
Words are extremely powerful which can lead to creating, developing and growing a relationship. On the other hand, words can be destructive and can easily sabotage and kill a relationship.
As a speaker, the ideas we share through our words with the audience have the ability to inspire them to great heights or damage them to the core. TED and TEDx Talks realise this and focus on the simple yet powerful notion of “ideas worth spreading”, give people a reason to care.