Learning from Great Speakers – Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

This is the first of what will be a regular series of posts looking at great speakers and Great speeches that are freely available on the internet.  I strongly recommend that if you want to improve your speaking you take the time to look at and analyse great speeches.

So what makes a great speech.  I expect three things from a great speech

  1. I know the name of the speaker.
  2. I remember the message of the speech
  3. I take action as a result of hearing it.

I have heard lots of good speeches that were instantly forgettable – I have listened to far too many poor speeches where I could not even tell you who the speaker was – but not many speeches make it to Great Speeches – which is sad really – because those three goals are not that difficult to achieve.

This is a video of Seth Godin speaking at the TED conference in 2003 over 10 years ago so some of the examples he uses are out of date, and in a way that adds to the value of the speech now because it illustrates just how transient marketing messages are today. You have to keep reinventing yourself – you have to keep on creating new remarkable messages and products.

I hope that you will find the content of this speech really interesting.  if you don’t then its not a great speech – for you – because it is unlikely that you will remember the message, if you even get it, and you certainly are unlikely to take immediate action and that alone is a great lesson for any speaker – you have to think about the audience and make sure that your speech if right for your audience.

So what I would like you to do is to watch the video as a speaker and make notes about what you can learn from watching Seth at work and answer these questions.

  1. What was the primary message of the talk in one sentence?
  2. How many slides did he use in a 19 minute presentation?
  3. How many stories did Seth tell in 19 minutes?
  4. How can you use what you have learned in improving your next speech?


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