Christian Long

Sebastian Wernicke: Lies and Statistics about TED Talks

In TED Talks on May 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Extra credit reflection by HAGEN F.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Sebastian Wernicke: Lies and Statistics about TED Talks

Sebastian Wernicke, in his video, talks about how to engineer the ultimate TED Talk by advocating things you should and should not do. He divided his statistics into three main groups, which are: topic, delivery, and visual. By finding the flaws and benefits of certain talks, Wernicke can tell us the way to create a well-received TED Talk.

The topic is the starting point for all talks, and has to be chosen carefully in order to attain people’s attention for your idea. Most well received ideas are those that the audience can connect with personally and they can do. The video cannot be specific to a certain group because then the rest of the population that you are speaking to becomes bored. Topics that not all the people can connect to are ones that get pushed aside in people’s minds. Unfortunately, one of the most unpopular topics to talk about is Architecture. Now this is bad for me personally because all my required TED Talks are about architecture and design; apparently I did not chose well. If the audience can connect to your talk then they can agree or disagree with the information that you provide. They can actually formulate an opinion on your topic other than boring because they have actually had a slight if not complete experience with what you are talking about. This becomes important when wanting to become memorable.

Delivery is the second key ‘ingredient’ that Wernicke talks about in his video. He displays statistics that show that the longer talks are actually the better taken and audience revered talks. This is most likely because the speakers have a topic that is genuine and has a lot of meaning of what the idea can do for our future and us. Yet, the time that you speak again depends on the topic of which you are speaking. Most funny talks should be shorter and to the point because the audience will lose focus real quick. You could make them laugh for twenty minutes, but they would walk out of the presentation not knowing anything more than the already did. As for more informative, jaw-dropping talks, they need to be for as long as you can drag them out. According to the statistics, this is better, as long as you have your audience’s attention. If you do not have their attention, then the audience will become bored and will not focus on your talk. Now this statistic could be false because the stats are based off of viewer feedback. If your video is shorter, then there is less information to comment about and therefore that video would receive fewer comments. In addition to the time of the delivery, there are certain things that one must do to keep the focus of the audience. One of these is to offer a service to the audience. The speaker should not say the things that cannot be done, but rather the advancements that the idea provides. Then the speaker should at least act smart because if the speaker is uncertain about only one topic in his entire speech, then the audience will question he credibility, and therefore lose their focus.

Lastly we come to the visual aspect of the greatest TED Talk, and first if the appearance of the speaker. Dress is important when giving any type of presentation and TED is no different. Nice attire is necessary to have a better-rated TED talk because people base their first impressions of the first time that they see you. Next, is the color that your presentation has because color affects many people’s attitudes. With the right colors, one can convey feelings of happiness of sadness or of an evil sense.

Placing all of the recommended aspects of Wernicke’s ultimate TED Talk, one can create a lasting impression on people, their beliefs and their opinions about a certain topic. Simple aspects, like color can have quite large affects on audience members and your overall presentation. Through Wernicke’s advice, the ultimate TED can be created.


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