What’s your ‘impact per minute’?

21260390-grunge-rubber-stamp-with-word-impact-inside-illustrationWe recently concluded a phenomenally successful series, training speakers on how to craft and deliver a TED talk.  During the process Jon Yeo, the curator of TEDx Melbourne, challenged the speakers to think about their impact per minute.  Impact is the cognitive or emotional ‘a-ha’ moments you create as a speaker.  Without impact points, a presentation is dead in the water and you could just send an email.  (Tough love.)

So how do you create impact points?

Be yourself: The starting point is authenticity.  As this quote advises: “Be yourself, unless you can be Batman.  Then always be Batman”.

Paint a picture: Words can be weapons or bouquets.  Seldom has impact been made using corporate jargon or clichés.

Humour me: People love to laugh.  Even the most serious topic can be lifted (not diminished) through the right shade of funny.

Pack an image punch: We can have an emotional reaction to a carefully selected personal photo.  Impact is never created using stock images.

Tell a story: One of TED’s commandments is thou shall tell a story.  Purposeful, authentic storytelling is the most powerful way to move people and create impact.

Here’s a talk, that is a lesson in impact points by musician-turned-businessman Derek Sivers.  He is able to do this in just 2.5 minutes.  Spot all the impact points (hint: they are when the audience is laughing and clapping).  At the end you might also have a new view of the world!  It’s the ultimate impact to make.

Please comment, I love hearing from you.

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  • Lars

    Making Impact …

    Derek Sivers speech nails one of the reasons for living abroad for a while … to see and understand things differently ! Not only to change perspective for a short moment … but to twist and turn on your set perceptions. To challenge yourself … and open your mind for new insights. Small details … and big social and cultural differences. Can be frustrating at moments … but, over time, extremely rewarding !

  • Jane

    Hi Yamini – thisi s a great post. Very useful. Many thanks!

    Interestingly I was hearing from another speaker recently that telling stories is the way many women communicate, and that many men prefer a bullet point list of facts (“just the facts”). I think you make the case well for the story approach!

    • Yamini Naidu

      Thanks Jane – notice no gender bias in the my audience. Highly recommend the story approach for both genders! We are all after all human.

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