Thou Shalt Tell a Story

Ted Talks were originally created for “ideas worth spreading” and have become a social phenomenon. The most impactful of these talks are viewed by tens of millions of people. The exceptional “How schools kill creativity“ by Ken Robinson is currently taking the top spot, followed by the fascinating “Your body language shapes who you are“ by Amy Cuddy.


Great Ted Talks give the audience goose bumps. What makes these performances so special? The ten commandments they are subject to:


  1. Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out Thy Usual Shtick

  2. Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before

  3. Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion

  4. Thou Shalt Tell a Story

  5. Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy

  6. Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as Thy Success

  7. 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

  8. Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good

  9. Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech

  10. Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee

With the exception of commandment #5 and, subject to debate, #7, these ten principles are all relevant to investor communication. In particular, they are worth some consideration for any investor/capital market days—since these events are there to spread great ideas.

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