Don’t Get Lost in Translation Right Now

Stepping into times of extreme and rapid change means we lose the one luxury speakers and great communicators love – time. Whether it is the 60 minute time slot on stage, the 30 minute executive lunch spot, the ad hoc conversations with our teams our peers and colleagues, or simply the luxury of taking the time to craft a single presentation.   

We love to indulge in the spoken word; to weave threads together; to share stories that entrance and delight, shock and activate. 

Yet when we fall into the swirling mess of extreme chaos, it is those that can master messaging in the shortest amount of time, convey certainty and surety, and bring immediate relevance into the stories they tell that are able to lead others well, who are able to hold the line for themselves and others, who are able to communicate clearly where we now and our next best step to make.

So many skilled speakers and communicators lose the ability to translate well when time is ripped from them and bandwidth in their audience so stretched that strong, brief, messages of certainty are the only things they are capable of absorbing.

And it is in the most viral speaking format on the planet that the key to any success as a speaker lies. The Ted Talk, the structure of which is:

  1. No more than 18 minutes, an average of 13 minutes
  2. Opening with one bold idea that could change our world
  3. Supported well through story, data sets, & proof points, or a combination of
  4. No more than 7 of those stories, data sets & proof points, to ensure absorbability
  5. That ends by wrapping back to a view of the world that is possible were that one idea to be true

We can rapidly adapt this in our ability to communicate well – as leaders in our worlds, as speakers with virtual stages, as educators through the lens of zoom.

  1. Strip our message back to 13 minutes, aim for 7 
  2. Opening with one bold idea, one key message, and no more 
  3. 3 Key points, with each key point supported by one story, data set, proof point, or step to take
  4. Close with a resolution, a solution, the logical next step, when next we meet 

Build this muscle, challenge yourself to do it faster and better every time, and you will never find yourself speechless.