Communication allows you to express yourself. Mastering this art is an important skill for any individual. We communicate from the moment that we are born. The child cries to express hunger, we interact with people and express ourselves. However, something so omnipresent can sometimes be such a challenge for some folks. Having a great idea is not enough. We should be able to communicate that idea clearly and coherently in a way that is understood by others.
When we talk of Communication, people mostly focus on grammar and language. However, communication is not only about language. It is about expression. It is about presenting your thoughts in a way that others understand.
TED Talks is a great example of how folks communicate an idea. At NimbleQ our focus is on helping children develop a problem-solving mindset. Communication is an important aspect of building this mindset. So, we hosted a six-day workshop that encouraged our NimbleQers to come up with an idea and then build it into a TEDx style talk.
It was interesting to see the host of ideas that the children came up with. They started out a little rough, but through constant iteration and mentoring, NimbleQers were able to tell strong and powerful stories. It was a learning process for all of us and below are some key takeaways that anyone will find useful when drafting any type of communication.
So what does it take to design a TEDx style talk?
1. You should have an idea worth spreading
Coming up with an idea is perhaps the toughest. Look into your life experiences – personal or professional to come up with an idea. Always choose something that you are most passionate about. NimbleQers scanned through their life experiences and spoke about a variety of topics such as Expressing through Art, Body Shaming and Dance, Using Computer Games to Benefit People, Could There be One Universal Language, Lessons Learnt from Being the Only Girl On The Soccer Field.
2. Seek Inspiration
Listen to others, observe how they communicate, watch, and learn. Don’t imitate someone but analyze what worked well in their presentation and try and see how you can apply those learnings to your talk.
3. How do you develop the idea?
Once you know what you are talking about, you may have several directions that you can take the talk in. So, in order to streamline your thoughts storyboard your idea. Take small Post-it notes and put your ideas down. Club them together based on similarities and build a storyline.
4. It is All About the Receiver
One very important aspect of communication is focusing on the person who is receiving the message. It is just not enough for you to share your idea. It is equally important for your idea to be received as you intended. So, when designing a communication be sure to look at what will hook the receiver. What will grab their attention and keep them engaged? Your idea has to go from one to many and this is why you need to tell it in a way that people understand it.
5. Make it personal, but not about yourself
While it is important to make your communication personal. The talk is not about you. So, use a few examples but then move to the bigger point that you are making. Something that will resonate with others and is beyond your personal story.
6. Use Data to Build Your Story
Data and numbers lend credibility to your story. Use them wisely in a way that it adds value to the point that you are making
7. Iterate, Iterate, Iterate…..and Be Open To Feedback
You must work through two or three drafts before you arrive at your final talk. Be open to feedback. Do not defend the feedback that you get. Listen and incorporate the feedback that helps strengthen your story
8. Use visual aids to support your story
A picture is worth a thousand words and using a powerful image to tell your story will make it easier for folks to understand your point.
Follow these simple steps and just like our NimbleQers, you too can develop your idea and make it worth sharing.