You can watch thousands of videos on TED.com. Many of them fall into the great category. Some of them, however, don't. If it can happen with a TED talk it can happen anywhere.
So what is it about those killer talks. The ones that get 4 million views? It's the connection thing. It happens in those first few minutes. We either connect with the speaker or we don't.
The videos that make us want more involve speakers who touch our hearts. Simon Sinek does it with that simple, hand-drawn series of concentric circles. He does it by telling stories and by conveying his passion. Brené Brown, Ph.D does it by being herself. She's not slick or polished and you want her to succeed. Everyone sees a little bit of him or herself in the stories she shares. Chip Kidd totally disarms with his over the top attitude. A killer jacket helps too. Billy Collins does it with self-deprecating humor.
I have seen great and powerful keynote speakers fail. They have great stories but something is off. They appear too rehearsed or too polished and you just can't relate. There is something unapproachable about them that puts you off. I have watched videos with professionals who even shared a touching story but even that fell flat. What could have happened?
This is the confusing part for me as a speaker. What is the secret to success and is it something you can learn?
I don't think too much rehearsal is the problem. (Imagine how long Ellen Degeneres rehearses to sound that un-rehearsed in her delivery.) I think it might be that professional speakers who talk about the same thing over and over eventually get bored by their own subject. I think they lose their passion. And it shows on stage. It is impossible to fake your way through something like that. Or maybe once you get paid the big bucks it turns your passion into a job.
I would love to know what others think on this subject. What accounts for the difference between a great keynote and an okay one?