Since 2013, I’ve had the honor to serve on the leadership team for TEDxGreensboro as presentation coach for our selected speakers. It’s one of the most rewarding roles I’ve ever experienced; working beside these presenters is meaningful and moving. At the conclusion of our full-day event, I reflected upon what made their diverse messages so powerful. It became clear that two key traits are critical for moving an audience from distracted to engaged.
All of our presenters are experts in their fields. Left alone, expertise can be boring and unappealing. By itself it rarely causes an audience to laugh, cry, gasp, and cheer. Another ingredient is needed to make expertise engaging: Passion. Passion is hard to define; yet, we know it when we see it. On Thursday May 7, 2015, at The Triad Stage in Greensboro, NC, over three hundred attendees experienced the collision of expertise and passion. See for yourself. Click on the presenter’s name to watch each inspiring presentation:
- Omar Hamid Ali: What’s in a name? Islam, History, and Identity
- Sean Aggarwal: Three Simple Behaviors Drive Incredible Innovation
- Taylor Mabe: Nanoscience and Drug Delivery—Small Particles for Big Problems
- Jennifer Thomas: Getting the Last Word with Apology
- Emilio Salinas: Your Brain at 10,000 Choices an Hour
- Scott Silknitter: From Personal Need to Helping All Caregivers
- Laura Gonzo: Volunteering and Animal Rescue Impacts People and Communities
- A. J. Tata: My Friendship with Jake Mahegan—Creating the Lead Character
- Naeemah Clark: Does the Media Tell Us Who We Should Be
There you have it. Expertise and passion—a powerful and engaging duo. At the end of this long and inspiring day these messengers caused me to want to take action, to change, and make a difference. Ultimately, isn’t that why we speak to any audience in the first place?
Leave your comments: What message must you spread?