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. 

 

Mind Map screen cap

Screen Capture from my SimpleMind+ tool

 

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.

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About Mark L. Sheppard

learning geek, lifelong learner, terminally curious, recovering blogger and Ed Tech explorer.

Posted on March 1, 2015, in Insiders, personal development, reflection and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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