Tim Longhurst's Blog

The TED Commandments – rules every speaker needs to know

May 16th, 2008 · 87 Comments

TED CommandmentsTED Talks are some of the best speeches I watch. The speakers are innovators and leaders, dreamers and doers. The talks are recorded at the annual TED Conference and many of them are available to download free from ted.com.

Recently, I discovered one of the reasons the speeches are so good… TED’s organisers send upcoming speakers a stone tablet, engraved with the ‘TED Commandments”. Amy Tan in her TED Talk described the arrival of the TED Commandments as “something that creates a near-death experience; but near-death is good for creativity…”.

So I went in search of the TED Commandments. Thankfully Sue Pelletier points out that Rives was good enough to post a photo of the TED Commandments on his blog, shopliftwindchimes (scroll to 20 Feb). But you don’t need to settle for a photo, because I’ve typed them below:

  1. Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick
  2. Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before
  3. Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion
  4. Thou Shalt Tell a Story
  5. Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Skae of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy
  6. Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.
  7. Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desparate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
  8. Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
  9. Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech.
  10. Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee

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Category: Communication and connection


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