Each speaker is challenged by TED to give “the talk of their lives.” To give that talk of their lives, each speaker is only given just 18 minutes to do so. If you can't say it within a short period of time, either you don't know what you are talking about or it's not worth talking about.
Before the speakers do their talk, the TED conference organizers provide them with ten guidelines. They refer to these as “The TED Commandments.” - pretty catchy.
These are helpful to any presenter in any situation:
- Thou shalt not simply trot out thy usual shtick.
- Thou shalt dream a great dream, or show forth a wondrous new thing, or share something thou hast never shared before.
- Thou shalt reveal thy curiosity and thy passion.
- Thou shalt tell a story.
- Thou shalt freely comment on the utterances of other speakers for the sake of blessed connection and exquisite controversy.
- Thou shalt not flaunt thine ego. Be thou vulnerable. Speak of thy failure as well as thy success.
- Thou shalt not sell from the stage: neither thy company, thy goods,
thy writings, nor thy desperate need for funding; lest thou be cast
aside into outer darkness.
- Thou shalt remember all the while: laughter is good.
- Thou shalt not read thy speech.
- Thou shalt not steal the time of them that follow thee.