Pat Kelly presented at the annual This is That Talks in Whistler, B.C. this April. It’s an obvious spoof on TED Talks (lasting 4 minutes instead of eighteen). What’s most interesting about this lampoon is, while he says, well, not much of import, he’s a captivating speaker.
Yes, Kelly is presenting satire, yet the techniques he’s illustrating work.
When you look at some of the most celebrated artists, you’ll see they adopted techniques to buck the norm after learning and demonstrating an ability to portray realism. Effective organic gardeners base much of their practice on old world tradition (after trial and error fails that prompt a taste for research). Actors study techniques others have proven effective prior to honing their style. Smart small business marketing strategists know what works and why before they get wildly creative with breakout ideas.
While this wasn’t likely an intended take-away from Kelly’s presentation, part of what I saw (beyond a talented presenter who’s taken the art of style to mastery level) is a formula breakdown – albeit staid – that’s proven extremely effective for speakers, particularly those participating in the esteemed TED Talks. He illustrates it in a way that’s fun and easy to digest, poking fun, of course, but it works even for him with content he purports to be meaningless. But is it?
Truly talented speakers are rare and a special treat. I’ve highlighted a couple in prior blog posts, including Bill Bradley in a short post and again in one where I spotlighted Roman Mar in a masterful TED Talk. The speech I witnessed by Bill Bradley as a United States Presidential candidate in a small college palestra at the University of Rochester in 2001 became the benchmark for all others. None have yet met his mark.
What do you think of this Pat Kelly presentation? Do you see the hidden beauty in how he scoffs? Have you seen a speaker present so well it’s become a memory you’ll never forget? Please comment below and look left to like and share if this post resonates with you. Thanks!