Benjamin Zander at Pop!Tech 2008: How Fascinating!
December 10, 2008
I've talked about Benjamin Zander and his inspiring presentations before (such as here and here), but I stumbled on another one today on the Pop!Tech website. (Pop!Tech is a wonderful resource for short presentations by some very smart and interesting people doing some amazing things; you can even see a nice talk by our buddy Daniel Pink at Pop!Tech.) This talk below has some similarities to Zander's TED talk (and the content is found in his book too), but there is a bit of a twist in this talk as he brings a very bright young musician on the stage to help illustrate his point about transformation, being in the moment, contribution, etc. If you have never seen Zander present before, then you owe yourself 20 minutes to take this in; the lessons are applicable to your work no matter what your field.
Above: Watch Benjamin Zander present at Pop!Tech 2008
The Zander method
Below are a few shots of Zander in action.
Benjamin Zander may start his presentation on stage, even using a visual or two.
But he does not stay on stage very long. Zander likes to get down and mix it up with the audience.
Back on stage: One minute he may be making a point at the piano about playing "on one buttock" and the next moment...
Zander returns closer to the audience and works the room again, engaged, passionate.
Working with a young student on stage: Make a mistake? "How fascinating!"
Zander brings his student down so that he may make a better connection with an audience member to show that music (and many other things) is not about technique only but about connection, and contribution, and full engagement with the moment.
The conclusion: Zander returns to the stage and the same visuals to make his case again.
Benjamin Zander is the Zen master of presentation. See more presentations on the Pop!Tech "Pop!Cast" site. This is a great resources, especially for classroom instructors. Fascinating!
Awesome presentation, I love how he is jumping around all over the show. One might think that it is a potentially distracting technique, but in context it works so well. I occasionally give wine tastings and moving around a bit in the venue keeps people on their toes. Zander was in South Africa earlier this year and I gave the talk a miss, but now I am kicking myself!
Posted by: Simon Back | December 10, 2008 at 10:28 PM
Wow! I challenge anyone to sit down and watch this presentation and not smile. This is the most uplifting and interesting presentation I've seen in a long time. It's the kind of moving presentation that keeps you smiling the next day as well.
I've watched a lot of the TED presentations but had never seen the POP!Tech ones - so I checked out a few others as well. One person who I think is a fantastic presenter that I don't hear mentioned very often (as a presenter, that is) is Thomas Friedman. I recommend checking out that presentation on POP!Tech as well.
Posted by: Adam | December 12, 2008 at 12:05 AM
Garr! Fantastic! I am a possibility thinker, but this gave even me a jump start. Thanks for highlighting this. The mechanics of the presentation were just amazing, but the content was the real star! To be a excellent presenter we must have both.
I am for sure passing this along to my staff and others in my community. Thanks!
Posted by: Michael Lowstetter | December 12, 2008 at 02:53 AM
I love this man...I have studied his work and brought his ideas into my classroom...Thanks to this site, I have become a better teacher...
Posted by: Mike Fladlien | December 12, 2008 at 07:35 PM
Zander makes connections with his audience and we as teachers have to make connections with our students. You have presented so much that will act as a springboard to more learning. You give a little and yet inspire so many to continue learning. Lucky I have the summer vacation to investigate the many links you provide and then take this back next year to share with my peers. Yes you feed like a bird and poop like and an elephant. Thankyou!
Posted by: Jenny Ashby | December 14, 2008 at 01:41 PM
I have watched this video numerous times to gain insight into Dr. Zander's style. I teach business classes and I have found that these techniques can be used in a business discipline.
Posted by: Mike Fladlien | December 14, 2008 at 09:29 PM