Tim Washer. Keynote Speaker + Event Emcee


Tagged ‘public speaking‘

9 Steps for Writing an Audience-Flattering TED Talk

The TED-O-Matic, by Bruce Feirstein, in Vanity Fair.


Last year The Onion debuted its TED satire.

If the TED-O-Matic doesn’t give you the help you need, try Nick Morgan’s article, How to Prepare a 20 -Minute TED-like Talk, and Nancy Duarte’s TEDx speech: The Secret Structure of Great Talks.  Her analysis of speeches from Dr. Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs  are compelling.

FastCompany Interview: Corporate Comedy Video


After speaking at NYU’s B2B social communications leadership conference, I had the chance to visit with FastCompany’s Drew Neisser about how corporations can help use  humor to build online audiences.    Check out the article here, and an extended discussion on Drew’s blog.

VisibleGains B2B Video Roundtable

Ames Pond Cisco office, Tewksbury, MA

I spent some time this week at our Tewksbury, MA office  meeting our mobile networking team, headed up by Ash Dahod, recently profiled in the Boston Globe. What a fun group.  I filmed an into for a video travel blog we’ll be producing when one of my colleagues Angela Singhal-Whiteford treks to Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai and Delhi to visit with customers.

David Meerman Scott invited me to speak Friday afternoon at the VisibleGains B2B video roundtable, along with Steve Garfield and others.   I shared a funny video and talked about some of the interesting things we’re doing with video, including the upcoming Doobie Brothers Cisco TelePresence event.

Update:  Here’s a comprehensive review of the Doobie Brothers concert from Howard Lichtman.

A Comedian’s Perspective on Improving PowerPoint

I put together a few tips on engaging with your audience in your powerpoint presentation… republished from the McCombs alumni newsletter:

  • Do your homework: Reach out to a handful of people before your presentation and ask what is the most important question on this topic that they would like answered. Not only will your material be more relevant, but you’ve let a few audience members know their opinion counts. It will have a positive influence on the energy in the room.
  • Less is more. One executive I’ve worked with, let’s call him “Charlie,” used to introduce cluttered slides with the useless disclaimer, “I know not everyone in the room can read this….” He failed to discern subtle nonverbal cues from audience members like squinting—or exiting.   The most influential slides I’ve seen deliver their message with only three to five words. It allows for an easy-to-read slide and keeps the focus on you. I never use a font smaller than 30-point, unless I’m presenting to a very small group or negotiating with my wife.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. Although my English literature professor assured me this ratio doesn’t apply for a midterm essay, it holds true for PowerPoint. Since our minds absorb visual information faster, it’s a much more powerful way to convey your point. Impress your audience with a classic from Corbis.com, ShutterStock.com or even Flickr.com. My friend Charlie made the exchange and still had a few words left over.
  • Tell stories. Everyone loves a good story. Use client examples, or find a relevant reference through WSJ.com, NYTimes.com or an industry trade publication. Simplify the tale with the narrative formula: a) problem, b) solution, c) results. For a good story, those are the only elements you need. And possibly a dragon.
  • Schedule 20 minutes, and finish early. People love to get time back.

And finally, the most important rule bears repeating: always avoid redundancy.