I wrote last week about how speakers need to move deeper into authenticity to achieve intimacy with their audiences. I see this new demand as part of the increasingly blurred working and home world that our always-on, Twitter and Facebook-saturated culture brings.
The question is, how do you create intimacy? I think you have to reveal a little bit of yourself, your real self, to the audience. You get to choose which part, but you have to be able to connect to it authentically, so it’s best if it’s not made up.
And it has to be related to your topic, of course. It can’t be gratuitous revelation; you can’t assume that the audience will be interested just because you’re standing in front of it.
TED talks have learned this need, and the best ones supply a bit of the speaker’s personal journey and a dose of their expertise, and we feel like we’re privileged to see into the world of someone remarkable.
That’s when it works well. A good example of getting the balance right is Andrew Stanton’s compelling TED talk on storytelling, the movie business, and a certain man he met in a bar. WARNING: there’s a very vulgar phrase in this talk. Do not watch with your pre-teen.
By sharing a little of his own journey to understanding great storytelling, Andrew not only teaches us something about that essential art, but he also makes us feel an intimate connection with him. Enjoy!