If you desire to inspire behavioural change within office culture, David Grady’s short TED Talk shows you how to poke fun at a universal problem and present a simple, do-able solution in 6.4 minutes.
David engages immediate attention with a visual story we can all relate to: wasted days of pointless, endless meetings at the office. He cleverly reframes the problem as “Stealing Your Time”. This reframe names the righteous indignation we feel but seem powerless to change.
The Importance of Purpose
David shares his simple solution: only attend meetings with a clear goal to make a productive outcome more likely. And assist meeting organisers to learn how to create meetings with purpose.
How To Save The World Or At Least Yourself From Bad Meetings strings together funny stories of shared frustration at the idiocy of meetings from hell. This bonds listeners through common experience and laughter. Who hasn’t attended a conference call constantly interrupted by incoming and outgoing attendees with a flummoxed facilitator? “Umm hello? Who just joined us? Oh, no one there? Ah, now where was I?”
David Grady’s speaking style is casual, down to earth and approachable. Which I think, makes his ideas less threatening to corporate culture and increases the likelihood of adoption. David’s talk taps into our sense of fair play and common sense. For more talks about “ideas worth spreading”, visit the home of TED Talks.
What I Learned From 100 Days Of Rejection is a 15 minute TED Talk which shows how to turn a great fear into a great gift. Jia Jiang offers powerful and poignant lessons about learning from rejection rather than running from it.
Jia begins with a 2 minute story of shameful rejection at age 6, something most of us can relate to. He explains how his fear of public rejection and humiliation undermined his bodacious plans for young entrepreneurship until he came across an online game called Rejection Therapy.
Similarly, avoidance of public speaking situations frequently stems from a fear of social rejection and the initial trigger doesn’t have to have anything to do with speaking in public. Our mind perceives a parallel and reacts to it. Generally, with fear we avoid and move away, with reward we approach and embrace.
At 10 minutes into What I Learned From 100 days of Rejection, Jia explains how he stopped running from potential rejection and changed his approach. There is a magic word (“Why”?) and a simple feeling (empathy and voicing the other’s fears and doubts). He sums it up: “Just ask”. Stay, hang around and talk to the person. Find out what’s behind the “rejection”. There can be good reasons why your request can not be fulfilled. And it’s nothing to do with whether you are good enough or likeable.
Take Jia’s insights and apply them to yourself when you feel like running away from a public speaking situation. Frequently what we perceive to be rejection is nothing of the sort. It’s our own fear stuffing us up. Embrace your greatest fear and receive your greatest gift. And that’s what Jia Jiang does with his hilarious and refreshing speech.
Handle tears when they start rolling down your face in the middle of a presentation,
Make sense of a personal sadness by channelling it into a powerful social movement,
Take one simple idea, link it with a universal story we all relate to, use visual examples to explain the concept and demonstrate the how and why it’s spread around the world,
And all in 6 minutes. The talk is elegant, clear and uncluttered and refreshingly natural. Candy advocates using public spaces, like the sides of unused buildings and bus shelters, to encourage people to anonymously talk about their greatest hopes, dreams and fears… it begins conversation between people, the community and, the world.
Spaces are set up for people to write their answers to big statements like: “Before I die I want to…” The spaces fill up quickly. Most people understand that “life is brief and tender” yet have few opportunities to explore the fears, hopes and ideas that this and other big questions, ask of us.
I like this speech for many reasons. I recommend it to clients who worry about breaking down with emotion in public. Candy’s feelings surface throughout her speech and it doesn’t detract, it enhances. It makes her message more powerful and sincere because she stands her ground and rides through the storm, letting it flow through her as she keeps going. If you are interested in more tips on how to handle strong emotions when you present, here’s another article I’ve written: “But What If I Cry?”