Friday, 20 May 2016

May 20, 2016 Chautauqua

Beth's Ponderings
   Ever noticed how many self-help books there are that have a title with a number followed by the word “rule” or “secret” or “tips?”

   I recently started reading the book “Talk like TED: the 9 public speaking secrets of the world's top minds” by Carmine Gallo.  

Basically the book analyzes the best (most popular/most viewed) TED Talks ( and uses them to come up with nine secrets, or rules, for effective public speaking.

   What I found interesting - and I haven't gotten very far into the book yet - is that the author explains that a particular talk was popular because the speaker didn’t follow established rules, or the speaker did something completely out of the ordinary to shake up the audience, or even, the speaker presented the material in a completely different manner than anyone ever has.

   But then, the author attempts to pigeonhole the talk and/or speaker into a narrow set of “rules.”

   The precise factor that made the difference is then overlooked in order to apply a label so that they are all uniform, and the average person can have a set of rules to follow to achieve the same result.
   Life isn’t like that.  We can’t all follow a set of rules or steps and achieve the same result.

   Give five cooks the same ingredients, same recipe, same equipment, and even the same oven and you won’t get five perfectly identical dishes.  It just doesn’t happen. 


   Because each of us is unique, and brings that into whatever we do.  While each dish the cooks bake may end up very similar, they won’t be  exactly identical.  While anyone can follow the nine secrets to becoming a better public speaker, it won’t guarantee that they will be the best speaker that THEY can be. 

   And that is the secret that tends to get ignored.  We shouldn’t be striving to do something exactly the same way as everyone else.  We should be striving to do it the best way for us because then we’ll really shine. 


Read the complete issue of The Chautauqua here.

Contact The Chautauqua via email: or Facebook: