What We Learn Today
In this, the 6th episode of The Road To TED podcast, we look at not only what it takes to give a great TED talk, but how to give a successful talk of any kind. Whether you are giving a talk to thousands or one person; trying to make a sale, land a job, give a talk to a local group or just make a new friend, the preparation and execution is the same.
Our guest today is Maria Scileppi. She has spoken at Notre Dame, University of Oregan, Social Media Week and many other events, (inlcuding, of course, TEDx Venice Beach). Her TEDx talk, (which as of this publication has not yet been), was about connecting with people through art.
Making Friends Every Day
One of Maria’s philosophies, which she has in common with many, if not all, of our guests, is to have something amazing to talk about. For one year, Maria set out to make one new friend every single day. Many became very close friends that she still has today.
Not only did this connect her with many people, including the organizer of a TEDx event whom not only was the catalyst for getting her booked into a TEDx talk and someone she became great friends with, but it gave her a great topic for her future talk. As you’ll hear when you listen to this episode, making the right connections means everything. And it all starts with a real life, face to face friendship.
She embarked on this project in 2007, before social media became what it is today. Spending about an hour with each person, all of these new friends were acquired face to face and in person.
Maria accomplished all this while working full time. On Sunday she planned her week looking for local networking events and Meetups. Knowing that having one thing in common is a great ice breaker, she looked for affinity groups.
Doing something interesting and being passionate about it is the real secret to becoming a great speaker. In other words, you speak because you have something to say not saying something because you want to speak. Her philosophy is simple yet powerful:
- Be excited about what you’re speaking about.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Figure out the one thing you want people to be left with and think about.
- Know exactly why the audience should listen to this.
- Have only one theme through the talk and then make sure you are giving something to the audience. Make it about them.
My Two Cents
To me, being in the business of selling my company’s offerings, this interview speaks to what it takes to be successful period. Every person who achieves great success does it on the backs of others. Success doesn’t just happen in a vacuum. We are all lifted to success.
Whether you want to make the sale or give a great talk, the principle of connecting with people in a real way is at the core. In this world where it’s too easy to close ourselves off and learn about life through our friend’s status updates, I found this episode to personally be quite profound.
Maria’s (Current) Favorite TED Talk
Like many of us, Maria seems to have a new favorite talk each week. The week we spoke to her, this was he favorite:
Maria’s TEDx Talk
As of this podcast publication, Maria’s talk is not yet available for embedding. Please check back as we will add it here once available.
If you listened, you heard us having some fun with hashtags. This is the video that inspired this episode’s tomfoolery. I posted it despite Dino’s clear instruction not to #defiance… let’s see how long it stays up here… # powertothepeople #lololololo
What was your big take away from this episode? At the end of each episode; Dino, Mackenzie and I discuss what we learned. Tell us in the comments below what you learned.