5 TED Talks That Show TED Has Jumped The Shark

TED Talks are more popular then ever. Maybe too popular. Here are 5 recent talks that show TED has jumped the shark.

Inspirational Huge Lawn Christmas Decorations – Hightop Ellison shares the secrets of creating the largest, most gawdy Christmas decoration on your lawn every year. He connects Christmas lights to the Illuminati, Duke Elligton, and discount coupons on baked beans.

Don’t Muffle My Harley – As a former Hells Angel, Skip “Little Rascal” Byfort uses motorcycles as a metaphor for growth hacking in the world of tech.

Parking In San Francisco Without Getting Tickets – Captain Billy “Ticket King” Wasabi tells audience members how to avoid high-priced parking tickets in San Francisco. That’s it. Many audience members have been getting upset with Mr. Wasabi’s talk, expecting more. “I thought it was going to be about existentialism and not parking your soul,” said one participant. “It was just about avoiding parking tickets. Thumbs down!”

Phablet Fabulous – Dottie “Tech Diva” Dotterson tells how the new phablets, large phones that are a hybrid of smartphones and tablets allowed her to run her escort service on the go.

Geek Food King – Chef Ted “Rep Tie” Ryers shares his latest recipes targeting geeks and nerds. His latest cookbook, “Food for Programmers,” shows how to serve fast food, junk food and potato chips to programmers on a 72 hour coding binge. “When you have to ship, use these recipes to stay way less than fit,” he said.

There’s a point at which every cool thing become overblown, overcooked and overdone. It’s not a mark of shame. It’s just natural. People want more cool stuff until their desire kills it. These talks show TED is awful close.

Keynote Speaker Explained

What is a keynote speaker, anyway? In public speaking, the keynote is the speech that sets the theme for the rest of the convention or meeting. It often addresses greater truths and broader concepts than the sessions to follow. Those sessions give convention-goers more nuts-and-bolts practical training.

The phrase “key note” is from the music world. Singing groups often sang a key note they would then use for the following song.

Long Tradition

Keynote speeches have a long tradition in the United States. Many people can remember keynote speeches from the party conventions over the years. One of the most dramatic was Barack Obama’s keynote at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. He not only set the tone for the convention, he demonstrated his speaking ability and charisma to a broad national audience. Four years later, he was elected President of the United States.

In the speech, he explained the meaning behind his name Barack, saying it means “blessed”:

I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents’ dreams live on in my two precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

Wide Variety

High-profile keynote speakers are often used as a drawing card to encourage attendance by company employees or association members. These celebrity and near-celebrity speakers are ofter represented by professional speakers bureaus who receive a commission on each speech.

There is a wide variety of keynote speakers. Some are serious, others humorous. Whatever angle a keynote speaker takes, usually there is a motivational or inspirational element, often expressed near the end of the speech. The goal is to provide convention-goers with a burst of energy and enthusiasm to start the convention with a bang.

Hiring Corporate Entertainment: Four Different Types of Comedy Performers

If you are looking for some clean corporate comedy for your company or association event, there are several different types of performers to choose from. Four common ones to review for your convention are comedians, humorists, magicians, or jugglers.


A clean comedian is usually a single performer whose act is designed for pure laughs. There is often a message behind the mirth but on the laughs/content scale, a comedian is targeting for more laughs. Some comedians are ideal for award banquets, celebration dinners, after dinner keynotes and other events where good times are the number one priority.

Humorist (or Humorous Speaker)

A humorist also brings a tremendous amount of humor to the platform. Generally a humorist will have more of a message or overall theme than a pure comedian. Often they will have a motivational quality to their speech. In fact, several of these speakers are billed as ‘motivational humorists.’ They are great as after-dinner or opening keynote speakers. They can be used to wrap up a convention for the main keynote if they are able to incorporate the convention theme and client message into their talk.


Jugglers are great entertainment for after-dinner or cabaret situations. Many have a comedy patter that is clean and hilarious. Expect to see balls, hoops, clubs, bowling pins and more flying through the air. Keep in mind that if your event is indoors fire cannot be used. Some events get around this by having the juggler outside the meeting hall juggling fire as people come in. Many popular jugglers ar booked up to 6 months in advance so make sure to plan ahead.


Magicians are always a favorite for people of all backgrounds and often work comedy and motivational messages into their routine. Remember that there are several different kinds of magicians–you can view online demos to get a flavor of their act. You could even have a close-up magician walking through the crowd performing for small groups at a time. Be sure to check liablility insurance in all cases and especially if a magician involves audience members in large tricks.

Recent trends indicate audiences want more than laughter when listening to a corporate speaker. For that reason make sure any humorists or comedians filling that role also work in solid content that the audience can put to work in their daily life.

For pure entertainment you could get a comedian or magician or juggler. All three are time tested audience favorites. With the right planning you’ll put together a convention to remember.