The One Thing I Don’t Love About TED Talks
TED is a treasure trove of extremely high quality presentations for an extraordinarily wide range of international public speakers (more usually, experts who have been invited to speak in public on a subject within their personal expertise).
Because TED is all about the talks, the stage is set for the best presentation possible.
Some speakers use slides to great effect. Others don’t use slides at all.
I have a problem with the people who use slides.
It has nothing to do with the quality of the slides or the way the slides are used to enhance the presentation.
No, my problem is with the slide clicker.
As you can see in this talk by Gary Slutkin, the speaker can see his or her own slides projected at the back of the room.
This is great (highly unusual, most venues you speak at will not have this facility) as it means the speaker doesn’t have to look behind nor down to a monitor to see the slides.
What isn’t so great is what the slide clicker forces the speaker to do with their hands.
I encourage the clients that I coach to keep BOTH hands free for as much of the time as possible, with palms visible in the classic ‘I’m open, I have nothing to hide’ gesture.
When forced to clutch a slide clicker the hand naturally forms a fist and makes two-handed gestures virtually impossible.
This is where public speaking needs to innovate.
We are ‘whole body’ communicators.
You wouldn’t put duct tape over the mouth of a public speaker, so why restrict our hand movements?
Our hands often say things in a way that words cannot. They must be free!
If you have seen or have an idea for an innovative way to move slides on that doesn’t necessitate clutching a clicker or turning away from the audience, I’d love to hear about it.