Leading Out Loud: The TED Guide’s Public Speaking Skill Set

In a recent blog, I introduced the book TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson, the “Head of TED.” In this inspiring and practical guide, Chris makes a persuasive case about the importance of public speaking for anyone with a message to share. Brand leaders, innovators, artists – all have a story worth telling and can benefit from creating an active, engaged audience for their brand, their products, or their message.

In Chris’s case, the message is that presentation literacy (the ability to present effectively in public) is not an innate power that only a few of us are born with, it’s a teachable skill that anyone can learn. That means that, with a bit of practice, all of us have the ability to make our mark and share our story with the world. I want to take a closer look at the public speaking skill set Anderson identifies and how we can put it into practice for compelling, impactful storytelling.
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Leading Out Loud: TED Talks & the Case for Public Speaking

I’ve written a lot recently about the importance of empowering employees to publicly represent your brand. The authenticity and unexpected insight that results from giving employees a platform to discuss their experiences is reason enough to share their voices. While we often turn to seasoned PR professionals to deliver our brand messages, the truth is that our audience wants to hear from us.

Consider the TED Talk, which has emerged as a leading platform for incredible insights and viral videos over the past several years. While these talks are given by subject matter experts who are generally polished in their presentation, every TED speaker has a firsthand experience to share. The humanity and relatability of these speakers is what makes their message so compelling.
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Talking Points: Empowering Employees to Represent Your Brand

Who is your spokesperson? Why does it matter? What makes a spokesperson great?

When it comes to putting a face on our brands, employees aren’t usually the first people we think of. However, while professional PR figures or social media influencers are masters of polish and presentation, the very lack of pretense is what makes an employee such a compelling representative. As “outsiders” of the traditional public relations field, employee’s “boots on the ground” experience and insight can make a powerful impact.

So, if you haven’t yet empowered employees to represent your brand to customers, investors, or the world at large, it’s time to give it some serious thought. If your first question is, “But how do I prepare them to spread our message?”, you aren’t alone. Luckily, the answer is simple and aligned with your existing employee engagement and development efforts.
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Leadership & Continuity: The Peaceful Transition of Power

This past Saturday, March 4th, 2017, was the 220th anniversary of the first transition of presidential power in the United States. I first became aware of this historic significance through the email newsletter of Rev. Tom Are, Jr., the pastor at Village Presbyterian Church. Shortly after the conclusion of our long and combative 2016 presidential campaign and election, Tom thoughtfully wrote,

“On March 4, 1797, a remarkable thing occurred in human history. John Adams became the second president of the United States. What was noteworthy on that day was the lack of violence. It was not a coup. It was not a violent overthrow. It was the peaceful transition of power. The peaceful transition of power remains a rare and beautiful thing in this world. It also means that whether grateful or grieving, we do not need to be afraid. Whether you are relieved or grieved, we are in this together. Be grateful for the peaceful transition of power and as always continue living toward God’s promised day.”

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Talking Points: The Power of Outsiders

Who is your spokesperson? Why does it matter? What makes a spokesperson great?

In my recent post, Who Is Your Brand’s Spokesperson?, I examined the various types of brand spokespeople. While we’ve all encountered “Charismatic Leader” types such as Steve Jobs, who serve as both c-suite executives and the public face of their brand, there’s an underrecognized and underutilized voice that we don’t often hear – that of the “Outsider.”
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Who is your spokesperson?

Talking Points: Who Is Your Brand’s Spokesperson?

Who is your spokesperson? Why does it matter? What makes a spokesperson great?

Over the last decade, Eidson & Partners has trained more than 1,200 speakers across multiple industries to represent their brands. Throughout this process, we’ve noticed that there are some clear patterns to what works and why. In this series, I’ll be examining different approaches to developing great spokespeople and delivering impactful messaging.

The PR field has rapidly evolved as the social media era has taken hold. New platforms for public engagement have redefined both who is thought of as a spokesperson or influencer and how they spread their brand’s message to their audience. When everyone within a company or brand has a public profile, there are countless opportunities to tell a brand’s story to the public. Who can make the greatest impact?
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What Kickstarter Helped Startups Achieve in 2016

Innovators and startups take many different paths on their journey from idea to execution. As a founder of SparkLabKC, an accelerator program in Kansas City, MO, I was privileged to witness many of the ways in which scrappy startup founders pursued funding. These entrepreneurs, driven by their unique vision for the future, work tirelessly to share that vision with the rest of us.

Of course, they can’t do it without funding. While the current investment climate makes it possible for many young companies to achieve the dream of landing venture capital or other major investments, not all startups are in a position to avail themselves of traditional methods. Where can they turn?
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