Parodies offer great small business marketing insights

Find fun with paradies that offer great small business marketing tips at

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!

6 responses to “Parodies offer great small business marketing insights”

  1. I am blown away by this. He nails it. Absolutely nails it. Haven’t seen it before, so I do thank you.
    One of the best speakers I’ve seen was an English prof who taught the works of Chaucer. Had me riveted every class. He was witty and engaging and relatable.

    • So glad you enjoyed this brief video tutorial, Kelly. I will be taking a closer look at This is That too. How funny and special you found someone who was able to make Chaucer engaging. I have a few teachers/professors in my past too who made a big difference in my life because they were so talented at teaching in a way I could relate to – including an English teacher in high school. They’re special.

  2. Oh how funny – he indeed is a masterful presenter of the scoff. Isn’t it interesting that we seem to have had so few experiences with really fabulous presentations/presenters that they stand out in our minds so vividly? I remember one which was about dream research that had me literally on the edge of my seat the whole time, totally absorbed and fascinated.

    • It’s that rarity that makes the great ones so special, though, isn’t Deborah? I can only imagine what was shared – and how – in this dream research presentation to make it so memorable to you.

  3. Wow, how interesting. Goes to show we can be persuaded by a lack of content if other factors are present. The art of B.S. On the flip side, very legitimate information, poorly presented can miss its mark. Call me skeptical, but the whole thing more than kind of bothers me.

    • What an interesting perspective – and cogent one, Michelle. Frankly I hadn’t considered that viewpoint. Clearly, deception wasn’t the aim of this speaker – his intent was humor – but can now see how the effect could translate as manipulative. Then again, isn’t most of what we do in communicating designed to persuade?