Threading beads, crafting talks

I’ve given presentations. I’ve delivered training. I’ve even been the official opener for our village mining memorial. But I’ve never given a TED talk before and this is something different and new that I’ve been working on.

I’ve learned that creating a TED talk is a craft that is like threading beads onto string.

The beads are the ideas for the audience to engage with – these need to be assembled in the right order. The opening bead needs to sparkle and shine to gain the audience’s attention. The final bead needs to be memorable, something that will finish off the creation in a distinctive way. And in between the rest of the beads need to be threaded in a coherent order.

But the beads are not enough. The thread is essential to hold the talk together, for without this, the beads are just a sequence of interesting things that will fall apart when handled. The thread is the theme that connects the ideas in the talk into a narrative flow.

To craft my talk, I am currently assembling and reassembling beads and making sure I have a strong thread. The end result will be at TEDxDerby on Saturday April 18th.


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