The why of the TED Circle

Have you ever wondered why speakers at the TED Conferences are standing in a circle? It’s about more than just the design. It’s helpful as well. And we can learn from it!

Find below the transcript of the video:

When I started speaking at conferences, I didn’t feel comfortable standing behind a desk. Some events have a desk on stage. I felt off I couldn’t really no-show what I had to show and I couldn’t really be myself.

Other people do like to desk because it makes them feel more secure. Everybody feels comfortable in a different way, in different settings. What’s important though, is that you don’t take it to extremes.

When I did get on stage that gave me more space, for example, I started moving around because it felt right. One day I showed a recording of one of my talks, which was on YouTube, to my dad. My dad emailed me back when he had seen the video on YouTube.

He said: “well I love the way you talk, but maybe you should walk around a little bit less. It’s not like you’re performing in a tennis match tennis match.”

I looked at the video again and I saw my dad was right. I was pacing too much. Moving from left to right and back. Trying to be in touch with everyone in the audience. But because I move so much, it was distracting. From that point on I started moving less. But I still moved around and I still do.

When I learned about the TED circle, I understood what I needed to do properly. The TED circle you see when speakers are speaking at the TED conference. What you will see is that there often is on stage a circle. A red circle which is also part of the logo of TED. But one thing that I never realized up until that point, is that that it also has a functional purpose. Which is that people are not allowed out of that circle. The speaker has to stay within the circle.

From that point on, I created virtual circles on stage. How can I move around but within a specific circle, not outside. When it’s a really big stage, I might create one or two or three circles. On different places on the stage. But I won’t move around too much. And the TED circle is one of the reasons of that.

And trust me…it works!

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