Let's analyze a presentation by Malcolm Gladwell, the New Yorker columnist and best-selling writer who is widely renowned both as a master storyteller and presenter. This is a speech he gave at a TED conference in 2004. I first saw it in 2006 and fell in love with it instantly. I watched it dozens of times and even reproduced it on a number of occasions (giving full credit to Mr. Gladwell) in order to understand how it feels to give a presentation like this. It influenced both my speaking style and my story design style profoundly. It's about 17 minutes long. So, without any further ado … Malcolm Gladwell.
Gladwell starts by talking about what he is going to talk about. He states that he thought of talking about his then-new book Blink! but since it had nothing to do with the overall theme of the event (which was happiness), he decided to change the subject and talk about his “great personal hero,” a guy named Howard Moskowitz. (Time: About one minute.)
He then describes Moskowitz's appearance in great detail and explains that he is psychophysicist and that his job has to do with measuring people's perceptions of different foods. (Time: About one minute.)
Next, he gives his hero a problem. Or, rather, Pepsi, Inc. gives Moskowitz ...