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DEAD. Full of clichés, this title doesn't really mean anything. Too conceptual.
2. What we learn before we're born.
TED! Science writer Annie Murphy Paul talks through new research that shows how much we learn in the womb — from the lilt of our native language to our soon-to-be-favorite foods. It's weird, interesting and promises to answer a question that I haven't asked myself before.
3. Working in Partnership to Make a Difference for Schools
DEAD. Blerg. No passion, no idealism, just the same-old-same old. I imagine a bunch of suited policy makers and head teachers being bored for an hour.
4. What do babies think?
TED! Ok, I'm interested again. It's simple, fascinating and has human interest. Excellent. "Babies and young children are like the R&D division of the human species," says psychologist Alison Gopnik. Her research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play.
5. Towards Collaborative Leadership of a Learning Community
DEAD. I want to poke my eyes out thinking about this talk. I can't see anything, it's just long, jargonny, conceptual words. Where's the life?!
6. 5 Dangerous things you should let your kids do
TED! Here's the life. This title is great, it creates tingles and also resistance - 'yikes, wait, what do you want me to do with my kids'? And it gives permission for an incredible, brave talk. Unfortunately Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School's TED U talk doesn't quite live up to the promise. If you're talking about danger, you should model it a little with your talk, which he doesn't quite manage to do.
1. How to start a movement
TED! With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.) This great little title is deceptively simple and also interesting enough to click on. Great 'click bait' without being pushy or overly dramatic.
2. Your 6 figure business
DEAD. It might be simple, but it's been done to death. The speaker needs to find a more unique or personal way to speak about this subject in language that is theirs rather than someone else's.
3. Selling condoms in the Congo
TED! HIV is a serious problem in the DR Congo, and aid agencies have flooded the country with free and cheap condoms. But few people are using them. Why? "Reformed marketer" Amy Lockwood offers a surprising answer that upends a traditional model of philanthropy. This TED title immediately points to a story and a problem. It evokes a time and a place with colour - and possibly danger. Interesting.
4. How to get more clients
DEAD. No, no, please, no more! Whilst this title is simple, it's utterly devoid of personality, innovation, or anything to recommend the speaker. You can do MUCH better than this if you just take a risk or two.
5. The tribes we lead
TED! Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. This title gives an interesting spin on the jargon-filled territory of marketing and reinforces the language Seth Godin has claimed as his own. Popular and interesting sounding, though of course many people will be drawn to this title because of Seth Godin being the speaker.
6. What physics taught me about marketing
TED! Physics and marketing don't seem to have much in common, but that's precisely why Dan Cobley's talk is enticing. Weird combos are often great. He brings these unlikely bedfellows together using Newton's second law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the scientific method and the second law of thermodynamics to explain the fundamental theories of branding.
Just by looking at the titles you can see what is "same-old-same-old" and "WOW". In order to be an innovative public speaker, these examples show us that you have to have some "teeth" to be cutting edge.
'Dead' talks are boring, unadventurous, cliched, impersonal, laboured, uninspiring, long, convoluted and full of jargon.
In contrast TED titles are daring, weird, risque, curious, specific, provocative, human, simple, appealing and playful.
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