Best of 2011: Thom Singer on TED Envy

November 29, 2011, 8:45 AM EST

PepsiCo C.E.O. Indra Nooyi at TED in Long Beach, California, in March

Photo: James Duncan Davidson / TED

I’ve seen a large number of meetings announce they wanted to be “just like a TED conference.” Their desire was to have short talks that were just content. The problem is that TED and TEDx are about more than 18-minute presentations. But the tug-of-war between content and style—as in speaking skills—should not exist. It is not too much to ask speakers to have quality content and to be able to connect with an audience. My mantra is, “Just because someone is smart or has done something cool, it does not mean they belong onstage.” It is not too much to demand content and style. —Thom Singer, NYP Speakers, Austin, Texas, @thomsinger

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