Phil Waknell founded the company Ideas on Stage with designer Pierre Morsa (see entire team here) just a few years ago. Before making a splash in the presentation space, Phil was an experienced manager at Procter & Gamble and at Hewlett-Packard. I met Phil three years ago when he and Pierre invited me over for an event in Paris. Since then they have hosted three seminars for me in Paris and in London. Today we were chatting about WikiStage events and that's when I learned that Phil made a great presentation entitled "Secrets of a Great WikiTalk." It's excellent and full of good advice in just 15 minutes. Watch it below.
I recorded most of our conversation today in this 39-minute video. If I had more time I'd make it much shorter. But here it is below in all it's raw, unedited glory.
An interview with Phil Waknell. Recorded June 24, 2013.
I asked Patrick Newell below for an example of a Japanese presenter he had worked with who greatly improved over the years. His answer was BLACK, a former salaryman and engineer turned professional yo-yo performance artist whose talent was impressive enough to pass the auditions for Cirque du Soleil, and got him an invitation to perform and tell his story at TED in Long Beach earlier this year. BLACK has a great story of personal transformation to tell, but telling it on the TED stage — let alone telling it in a foreign language — took some work. Before auditioning for TED at the Worldwide Talent Search in Tokyo, BLACK had presented for TEDxYouthDay and TEDxTokyo.
The point of his story at TED is not about the yo-yo. His story should resonate with anyone who is in a situation where they feel deeply disastified — "I felt my passion, heart and soul, had left my body. I felt I was not alive anymore," said BLACK. "What I learned from the yo-yo is, if I make enough effort with huge passion, there is no 'impossible'." There's the lesson right there.
I have spoken with BLACK a few times while in Tokyo and he is one of the nicest and most humble young men you'll ever meet. A real gentleman...who found his passion. Checkout his performance at TED below.
The TED organization provides many lessons in 21st-century presentation approaches. I first featured TED Talks on the presentationzen website way back in 2006, just after TED made some of its talks available on line for the first time. I attended my first TED Conference in 2009 in Long Beach and have learned a great deal from my involvement with TED/TEDx over the years. Many people have been inspired and influenced by TED since the organization broadened its reach in 2006. One of those people is Patrick Newell, founder of the Tokyo International School. Patrick is a TEDster and cofounder of TEDxTokyo, the first TEDx event ever held outside of the USA. As someone heavily involved in the TED community who has worked with hundreds of people aspiring to give talks on the TED/TEDx stage, Patrick is a good person to turn to for advice on presenting a TED-style talk.
Last Friday I spoke via Skype with Patrick who was in Edinburgh, Scotland for TEDGlobal 2013 at the time. Below I include the audio track on YouTube from our short conversation (the video was buggy and out of sync). Here are some of the questions I asked Patrick in our 12-min interview. If any of these questions seem interesting, you may want to watch listen to the interview.
• What makes for a good TED talk? • Do you have an example of a TEDster who greatly improved their talk? • What makes for a really bad TED talk? • How do you deal with someone who does not think they need to improve? • Do you think there is a real value to the short-form, "TED Style" talk? • Any advice for someone who wants to organize a TEDx event? • Any tips from Chris Anderson's presentation seminar at TEDGlobal 2013?