Much is being made of a TED talk by Richard, a 13 year old boy from Nairobi. He had an idea that reduced lion kills of domestic livestock without the need to kill the lions.

I’d like to share some thoughts about why the presentation generated so much heat.

Obviously it’s probably enough of an achievement for young boy from the African savannah simply to be invited onto ‘the’ TED stage to warrant interest; but Richard went further. He embodied the spirit of what we need more of in the centuries to come… creativity and innovation. Not only did he create and innovate, he was able to communicate that to an audience in a fully integrated 4 dimensional 18 min presentation and achieved a standing ovation.


Ok; he’s a young boy, so points for that. He’s from the so called ‘third world’, more points for that, but TED audiences don’t give standing ovations lightly. Richard got his because of several reasons in my opinion.

Firstly he gave us a ‘why’. As a previous TED talker once said, people buy the ‘why’ before ‘what’ you sell.

Next he had a story to tell, and I know its old hat, but just because the hat’s old it doesn’t make it any less powerful. Story is the key element that makes a presentation memorable.

Thirdly he was absolutely connected to his message. Even if you’re delivering the quarterly figures and you’re feeling uninspired you somehow have to find a way to connect to the meaning of your content. Find the connection between the content and what it means to your audience and you stand a chance of keeping them awake, engaged and informed… in that order.

Back to Richard…

He smiled. Never underestimate the power of human connection. If all you are as a presenter is an ‘organic email’, full of information, why not just send an actual email and save everybody’s time.

Lastly, he wanted to be there and to share his whole self with the audience. If, as a presenter, you don’t want to be there either through fear or loathing, why should your audience want to be there?

Richard was a pretty good example of a human ‘being’, not a human ‘doing’. He was, I believe, unconsciously, integrated in all four dimensions of human expression; physically, emotionally, intellectually and intentionally.

His and your next step would be to consciously create the impact you choose by understanding your four dimensions and using them to increase the your skills so you can present with even more clarity, passion and impact.


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