Talk Prep – Out Loud
I promised that I would share part of the journey to my talk in Australia in June. I do this because it will help me make more sense of what I am trying to accomplish and it will also let me share the prep that goes into making a TED-style talk; something totally new for me.
As a side note, I was very happy to learn that Harold Jarche will also be speaking on the Workplace Learning track, as will Joyce Seitzinger. It will be nice to see Harold again, and I look forward to meeting Joyce.
There’s a pretty good raft of resources available to tell you how to prep for a TED-style talk, to say nothing of having a lot of TED talks to watch and follow. The thing is, you need to dig deeper into the structure of the talk to get a better sense of how they work. I’m here to tell ya: its more complicated than it looks.
I started by sharing out a few thoughts and sketched out some ideas for what I wanted to convey. The challenge on my end is that I’m trying to weave together two disparate work scenarios into a single, cohesive talk. But after listening to some aloud narration (while driving) of the bits I had assembled, it was clear that I needed to go back to basics.
As much as I like things like rapid prototyping or successive approximation, it wasn’t working for the talk. That was one of the dangers of seeing what “done” looked like; I wanted to start replicating various elements of what I was seeing and hearing in many of these talks. To that end I was using Evernote to draft and re-draft, and edit the speech, but it wasn’t working. Mural.ly was a tool I really liked for its replication of a post-it framework for brainstorming, but they changed their pricing model since I used it last and the cost was too hard to justify. I didn’t see any similar tools that would connect to Evernote, so I went back to a tried-and true approach: mind mapping.
Somewhat chastened at not going this route in the first place, I took the 5 key take-always from my talk and used them as the major points from which to add and link ideas. I am going to keep building these ideas and start to connect them. In some ways this goes back to what I did in grad school with the rubric and assignment outlines. I would use the questions from there to form the main headings in a paper and that kept me on track. Simple and formulaic, sure, but it kept me on-task and focused on what I was doing.
I am hopeful this approach for my talk will have similar results.
More to come as the talk evolves.