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E13. What’s Behind A Popular Talk, and Why You (Probably) Shouldn't Do One with César Gómez-Mora



Below is an AI-generated transcript and therefore it may contain errors.


Francisco Mahfuz 0:00

Hi everyone, Francisco here. Just before we get started, I wanted to share something I'm really excited about. I recently launched the story powers bootcamp, a course that teaches you everything you need to know about how to find craft and tell stories that work. But it's not just an online course, because you get personalised feedback from me for all the practical activities in three hours of life coaching to work through any challenges, or focus on specific projects. So it's like if you bought a cookbook, but the chef came along with it. So go to story powers.com and click on Course, all the information you need will be there. So please check it out. And if you love the show, and would like to support us, you can go to buy me a coffee.com forward slash story powers. I drink about five coffees a day, so any support would be much appreciated. All right on with the show. Welcome to the story powers podcast, a show about the power of stories that people who tell them and why you should be doing it too. I'm your host Francisco foods. My guest today is Sarah Gomez. Maura, one of the godfathers of public speaking in Spain says organises both the DAX and ignite events in Valencia. But he also coaches most of the participating speakers says he runs his own coaching company, saving the world from boring presentations, one speech at a time, he was also a National Champion of Public Speaking. Luckily for me, he mostly completed in Spanish, or I'll probably have a few less things to brag about. There are lots of takeaways from this conversation. If you like it, please leave us an iTunes review. It really helps me to justify to my daughter why I'm spending so long locked in her room, surrounded by pillows and talking funny. Ladies and gentlemen. Cezar. Gomez Mora says a welcome to the show. Hi, Francisco.


César Gomez-Mora 1:56

Thank you. Thank you for inviting me, says it.


Francisco Mahfuz 1:59

Many people inspire us in life by the great things they do. So I have to thank you, because watching you organise a TEDx event has inspired me never to do one myself, and stick to coaching and speaking, when those are so much work. How did you get into that? And why the hell do you keep doing it?


César Gomez-Mora 2:22

So let's start with with how did I get into it? I, I came back from a sabbatical in 2011 came back to Valencia, my hometown. And I just didn't have work at the start. So I'm a freelancer. And I just had to put my energy to use doing something. So at the time, I was a TED fun TED Talks. And I thought, Oh, is there something like this in Valencia, and then I found TEDx Valencia. And I started volunteering. So for three years, I started as a volunteer coordinator. So volunteer coordinator was my first assignment. And then the other two years, I was project manager, so like assistant to the general coordinator, and speaker coordinator. So in charge of the selection, which is one bit, or the curation, as we call it, and the preparation of the speakers. So that's how I started out of pure, I need an outlet for my for my energy. And I transitioned into speaker coaching, because I was starting my Toastmasters story in a way. So that's how it went.


Francisco Mahfuz 3:38

So that was how you got into it. That's how


César Gomez-Mora 3:41

I got into it. And then how did that how do I manage to to have the energy to coordinate a ride? That was a


Francisco Mahfuz 3:47

the lesson? Yes.


César Gomez-Mora 3:49

It. So here's the thing, a lot of times, we think we don't have it in ourselves to do things, but those mental breaks are handbrakes our inner head. So it's like that we I mean, you talk about the power of story, the power of the stories we tell to ourselves, that that is that is some power, some power to stop us doing things or to or to help us do anything. So a lot of times we think this is not something I could do, but you never try it. So the question is trying. So I actually tried being the project coordinator and I tried getting my own event and I could do it. And it is a lot of work. But the the the idea here is to surround yourself with the people who are going to, to to help you and who are going to enjoy helping you get there. So in the end is really about about how much work you put into into having others do work and have fun and grow. What while doing the project. So yes, it is a lot of effort. It takes a lot of mental energy. But it's also a question of us thinking well, I mean I'm just going to try and think I can do it before telling myself I cannot do it.


Francisco Mahfuz 5:06

Ted Talks and TEDx talks have become the gold standard of public speaking and everybody that has any interest in almost anything wants to do one. But the question I have for you is, who shouldn't do a TED talk?


César Gomez-Mora 5:21

So there's there's that that that's interesting, let me let me sort of flip it a little bit. I'm going to tell you what, what I'm going to start with, we have some content guidelines from Ted as TEDx organisers. If you actually Google TEDx content guidelines, you'll find them. And it's mostly about what type of political content you, if you've seen a lot of TED talks, you'll see that there's not a lot of, we could ask versus them political content, there's not a lot of unscientific content. So content that does not, that makes claims that are not scientifically backed by research. And there's not a lot of religious content, as well. So those are like the main topics. That's sort of like the no go zones. And there's recommendations, recommendations like do not sell from the stage. And do not try to pitch a product or anything. And the advice here is make the talk the product itself, not a talk about your product. So the talk should be the product. Those are the generic Ted guidelines. That's what Ted handles down. And then each TEDx event will have their own guidelines have their own editorial line, if you want to call it like that. So we are very, very, very strict with the science, for example, here in TEDx Valencia. And we tried to do we call it the three eyes, I think that got this one from TEDx Cambridge, in Massachusetts. This one, what they do is they call it three eyes, which is it has to be interesting for the audience, or what you're telling, in terms of it has to be something new, or something old, in a new perspective has to be interesting, has to be individual, which means that you must be the right person to tell the story. Or at least you should be explaining why you are, why you are there in the first place. Right? So interesting, we had individual and we have important important means that it has to change something, and it has to be a topic, or at least you have to try to show the audience, why what you're telling is important for them or for the world, which in the end is important for them. So those are that those are the things we try to look for. So answering your question, who shouldn't try to give a TED talk, I'm going to give you the because I get I get me in the deep with the team here we get every week we get one or two requests to to do a talk. As we get closer to the event, we even get request like three days before the event like, Hey, I think you have an event in three days, can we give it setup? Okay, maybe you want to prepare in three days, as you know, it takes it takes a long time. So we have what we call the readers, readers or people who take content from someone else. And then reheated in the microwave oven, which is like they just read some awesome self help book. And they're like, talking about someone else's ideas. There's a tonne of these people that do this. So those are the readers then we have heard just before, which is sort of like a version of the readers. There's certain topics that are not new. So the readers we they don't match the individuality. I so the it's not an individual type of content, then we have the people who bring back the same content over and over and over. So emotional intelligence, optimism, positive psychology, if you will, it, it's no dream, etc, etc. So those are the same ideas over and over and over. And those are not interesting because they're not new, or they're they don't bring anything new on the table. And then of course, we have the people who just don't read the manual. Those are the third game and then they will send it like Hey, I wanted to give a talk about this bio neuro dancing thing that I just invented that really opens up your chakras and helps you share the goodness in the world and then there's no science back to whatever it's all anecdotes and but we actually have it on our form request form like please check the science behind what you trying to propose is good. They just don't read it and they send it anyway. Oh, and I have one more which we call it the repeat offenders who are people who email every single TEDx event. Now, what they don't know is that we have a Slack channel. So like a, like a WhatsApp group of all organisers. And when when you suspect somebody is emailing everyone, we just say like,


Francisco mahfuz, is Francisco mahfuz, emailing everyone, and then you can get like, yes, yes, yes. No,


Francisco Mahfuz 10:31

I asked you to keep that quiet. It's very interesting that that you mentioned TEDx Cambridge, because just yesterday, I was listening to a podcast called the free noter. And it's a couple and one of the one of the two people there is Tamsin Webster, who is the hero think she used to be the curator. Now she's the director of TEDx Cambridge. And she said something that I hadn't heard before. And is I hadn't heard it in that way. So there was this conversation about how people who are professional speakers are not usually the type of people who do TED talks, and I had heard many reasons of why professional speakers are not usually the ones who do TED talks, but they were typically around, you know, it's not about selling a product or selling yourself, it's about something different. But she said something that I hadn't heard before, which was, the reason professional speakers, in theory shouldn't do a TED talk, is because they already have a platform. If they are speakers, they already have a platform for spreading whatever ideas they have. So they don't need TED or TEDx. As a venue for spreading their ideas. I hadn't heard that before, I thought it was pretty interesting in a much better excuse for me to use when someone asks me, so have you done a TED talk, I've already got a platform. That's not what TED is for.


César Gomez-Mora 11:51

So let me let me give you my my view on this. I like to have on my event, I like to have a good mix of people who can communicate well, or people never communicate, but could use the help of a speaker to a platform as you call it. And people communicate well, but just don't do it to a good mix of people that the reason why, for me, the real reason behind not having a lot of professional speakers, is because a lot of times it feels like a menu. So we get a request from a professional speaker and say like, what do you want me to talk about like that? That's not the area. So I can talk about receipts? These are my videos, these are the links to my talks, like, Okay, you prepared all that material. But that's not the idea, because we want to hear something new, although there may be something new there. So that's, that's one reason there's this menu of like they're offering you this the menu of toxin, this big one, right? Wait, we try to be a little more focused on what the idea is behind this. So I would not per se discard a professional speaker. But I'm more interested in what the idea is behind this talk. So what are you trying to? To Sell me? So do not tell me I have 10 ideas, pick one, because that means probably none of them are really good. There's very, very few people who have more than one TED talk on TED, and a few people who have a lot of Ted TEDx talks. But that's another story. Because there's different, like the criteria for selecting speakers are different. So I would say, Do not discard professional speakers. But be more interested in what the idea is behind behind this. And a good example is this mathematician called as one of the scientific Python, who is a mathematician. And it's a I mean, by now he is a professional speaker, because he does stand up comedy and all these things. And he's done, I think, four or five, that TEDx talks, and, and he is good. He said he has a good because the idea is good. So it's not really about salary, but being professional or not, or are you already having a platform? Because I mean, a TEDx or TED Talk could be a step to the creation of the platform, or so I've heard. I heard Yes. I have to tell you and that the I think and it made this shooting my own foot sound. You could say in English.


Francisco Mahfuz 14:32

You're shooting yourself in the foot. Yeah, it just happened.


César Gomez-Mora 14:34

Yeah, there. It's doing a TEDx that or 10 o'clock is overrated. A lot of times. One of my potential speakers is it's a really famous architect here in Valencia. And I was talking to him and I was telling him like, but you don't have a good idea. And he told me, thank you for telling me that. Because I don't want to do a talk. If the idea is not brilliant. Is not up there. I don't want Do you just do a talk because I can do a talk? If I come to you, I'll have a fantastic idea that I think I can do a great talk on, and not just an idea, or just have me there because, well, I'm My name is up there and people would come to your conference. So I have to say, yes, it opens doors, but it opens less doors than people think.


Francisco Mahfuz 15:24

And yeah, and I've seen that before, where it's obviously a good branding thing, you know, if you can put on your, on your CV, and people do, every single person has ever done a TEDx or, or a TED, we all have that very clear on their CV, or the social media or whatever I would expect that does open doors. But I do have doubts about if you've done a TEDx talk, any has 1000 views, how if someone actually looks into it has that now helped you or hurt you. And I don't know. And the vast majority of professional speakers who make a living out of this, don't have TED talks or TEDx talks. But there are a lot of people who then won and then became a speaker, which is a very different thing, you know, that the Brene Browns of this world, that she wasn't a professional speaker. And now she is a very sought after professional speaker. But that's a very different criteria, I think, than the guy or the person who has been doing this for a few years. And once a boost. And then I've seen quite a few good people do TEDx talks, and then you look them up and goes, Oh, hold on. 500 people have seen, I've seen this. Alright, so So in that those case, I'm not sure how much it helps them. Really,


César Gomez-Mora 16:38

I think the difference with Brene Brown, for example, here is that the the law, she went on to give a TED talk. So Ted mainstage talk. And the difference here is that the idea is good. So if the idea is good, then it's like you have two things, if you have a good idea and a TEDx talk, then you can do the next step. If you just have a TED TEDx talk, and not a really great idea, it's not as difficult at work you need, you need both, both ingredients. So we put a lot of focus you mean you wouldn't believe at the the amount of training and, and, and talks we do around the concept of what is an idea what makes a good idea? What's different, how to look for good ideas, where to look for good ideas, how to check if an idea is good, etc, etc. There's a lot of content training content in in the tech platform.


Francisco Mahfuz 17:29

It shows you how, as much as I've been involved with public speaking for a long time, I was wasn't perhaps paying enough attention to Ted, that when I started writing my book last year, and I started figuring out, so what's my, what do I really believe about public speaking? And then at some point, I thought, I found this thing, and this is this is really unique, I need to get this message out. It's about the power of vulnerability. And that I told people, they're like, oh, yeah, the Brene Brown thing. I was like, Who?


César Gomez-Mora 18:01

Yes, or when you have the idea, and then somebody else has formulated it in a much better way. There's like the same idea, just a tonne that like really powerful and simple, just boom. Now I have this, I did a TEDx talk in TEDx. I'll call you went to her local Valencia TEDx event, about the power of action of doing things, not just learning about things or just listening, but actually learning by doing and actually doing, just because it's so much easier to do a podcast right now write a radio programme, like 20 years ago, like, yeah, my own radio programme? Well, there'll be a lot harder now. Now, it's easy. And it's relatively cheap. It's more accessible. But I had the stock and I had this idea they would open open tonne of doors, and no, no, no didn't. But also the then i Then I saw the same idea by someone else. And it was something like, there's nothing to it, but to do it. I was like, yes, yes. That's That's my idea. That's exactly what I wanted to say, No, I think it happens as well with the startup ideas, right? Or would you have this startup idea, and somebody else does the same thing with much better and you think, Oh, I had this idea five years ago, or the only thing is, you didn't make it happen? I think that's it. That's the difference. So So So yes, it happens. It happens in finding the right idea. And at the right time, you'd be amazed like the the ideas that are out there and TEDx, you've been one of those that circles protect violence. Yeah. Yeah. The last one we had was about a something called sortition. And sortition is what would happen if we replace politicians with random people. I've


Francisco Mahfuz 19:45

seen that talk. It's, it's, it's incredible. It's an amazing idea.


César Gomez-Mora 19:49

And it's a short talk, but the idea is, that's the idea. It's like, and then you come with all this things like oh, no, but then people would accept money to do things and I will just I What is happening now? See what I mean? Right? It's a powerful short idea. And, and, and, and it's, it makes you think things just perspective that that's what we're looking for more than the type of person. What was the idea behind all this?


Francisco Mahfuz 20:16

There's something I learned about TED Talks. And I originally learned that from Chris Anderson's book, which is, and this is, I think, new for most people, that what you actually see on a TED talk online, is sometimes very different than what actually happened in real life. So can you just talk a little about that?


César Gomez-Mora 20:35

So there's, there's a versions and versions, this extremes for this. But of course, we do edit the talks, if something happens, something unexpected, or there's some production problems, sometimes we have to restart talks, if if sound, for example, doesn't work, or there was a video problem, or somebody trips, which you know, happens. So we have that we have, we can edit that. And there's extreme examples. They say, one of the most respected TEDx events out there is TEDx Beacon Street, which is the MIT MIT TEDx. What they do is the whole event is like a, how could I call it like a, like you're attending the recording of the talks. So it's not a live event. So you if something bad happens, or the fact that the actual talk doesn't go as they expected, the director will just go on stage and go like, Alright, stop it. We're going to start over again, with with the audience with a live audience of whatever, 500 600 people. And then they start over again, and then they do it again. So that's, that's an extreme like, they'll do 123 takes to do the talk. So yeah, what you see is not is not what happened. And another example is Brene. Brown. I don't know if you know that she actually she talks about it on her second talk. On her first talk, she was talking about having a breakdown. Nervous breakdown, I see had a nervous breakdown on stage, which they edited out. So you don't Yes, you do not see all that went on producing that talk. I'm not sure if you're talking about that, or the preparation that goes before that.


Francisco Mahfuz 22:24

No, I was talking, I was talking about that, which I find is a very, very interesting concept. And I don't really know how I feel about it. Because on the one hand, great, I mean, by all means get the best talk you possibly can online, because I think that's the vehicle for really spreading the ideas is not the 500 people in the audience watching the best stock. At the same time, part of me wishes that they would let some of the imperfections come through. Because I think it perhaps gives a lot of people an idea of what those people's capacity as a speaker is, that is false. And it was surprising to me, because, as you know, we don't have do overs in anything we do as public speakers, if we're doing a conference or Keynote, if you're competing on something like Toastmasters, you just do it. And if you make a mistake, we just carry on and try to savage your mistakes. So to me, the idea that you would have do overs or anything along those lines, even know to heard about knows like what they check in notes in the middle of their talks. That just sounded crazy to me. So part of me kind of wishes that if this was more common knowledge, then then it is because it gives a lot of people an exaggerated idea of the quality of those speakers. When actually it's not about the quality of the speakers, it's about the quality of the idea.


César Gomez-Mora 23:43

Again, there's there's, there's flavours on this in, in TEDx Valencia, for example, we do not do record recordings, and we only will edit if there is something really serious. Like, somebody just goes blank for five minutes. So we're not put five minutes of somebody going. What was I say? So so we do, we will edit that. But we do not, we don't do not do what tech speaking street does. But the concept here is that the mission of both TED and TEDx events is create a platform for spreading good ideas. So think about this, what stays is the video. So there's a 15 minute 10 minute experience for the audience, which stays in their minds and then becomes a memory and then this sort of dissolves? And then there's a video and the videos forever? So if you think about it that way, I can see why some people say no, the video has to be perfect. And the idea has to be out there. Perfect. So maximum


Francisco Mahfuz 24:46

power. Yeah, I think I agree with that. I think we don't it's not about how good or not the speaker is about the idea. Give the idea the best chance to spread. I just think that is perhaps I can wear exactly who would say that. But but I think it's good that it becomes more more common knowledge that, that that's how it happened. Let's change gears a bit and talk about Ignite, which is a very different type of public speaking event, then Ted. So you can just describe what an Ignite event looks like.


César Gomez-Mora 25:17

Yes, Ignite is a different format. It's created around it clone or evolution, or an inspiration of Pecha Kucha talks which have a very similar format. And the format is, is like as it goes, if there's a five minute talk, it's five minutes, exactly. There's 20, slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds. So if you make them out, it adds up to 55 minutes, sorry. And the idea here is that by creating these restrictions, we first avoid what's called Death by PowerPoint, because well, the slide is only going to be there 15 seconds, which means that nobody will be able to read any text that you have on it, unless it's a word. So that's one thing you avoid. But then the other thing is that if it's five minutes, exactly, you're going to have to rehearse. And as you know, that is not common practice in the present presenting world. I mean, it isn't the professional presenting world, and it's not as common, but actually rehearsing your talk to the to the gesture to the act, the length of the past, that's not a common a common thing. But ignite will force you to do this, because you need to say something, and then you need to finish right when this next slide comes up, etc, etc. So that that's, that's what it's about and the actual event we normally have around 10 talks. And we do five talks. And then we do a little game with the audience. We do something called slideshow karaoke. And if you've heard about this one,


Francisco Mahfuz 26:53

I have I have experienced it. But can you describe it for the audience?


César Gomez-Mora 26:56

Yes. So the slideshow karaoke, what we do is we have six slides, where that advance automatically every 15 seconds, we try to create a little bit of narration with the slides. So we don't just do random slides. So try to make their life easier. And, and but whomever comes up there does not know what the presentation so the slides are going to be like. So they just have to improvise on a presentation, like a minute and a half presentation on top of slides they don't know about. So it's a lot of fun. And it's it very interesting to see what the improvising capabilities are of people and where it goes. And it's a way to relax, before we get another five, five presentations. So the event is like an hour and a half. But it's it goes quick. And then we do beers after and then it's it's fast. So it's a lot more fun, less serious than Ted at that TEDx event. Ideas can be a little bit silly. So we're playful. It's fun, it's fun to see. And it's fun to do, actually,


Francisco Mahfuz 28:02

there, I can imagine that the practice of that, for me would be would feel a lot harder than than most of the stuff I normally do. Because I I don't like slides. You know, very early on, I decided that I fell into the trap. Whenever I use slides. All of a sudden, I wanted to have a slide for every 30 seconds of what I was talking about. And I felt that everything I said needed a slide. And even when I got better with that, I still didn't think that they not normally added enough for the technical complication they brought into the talk. And again, as you know, a lot of Toastmaster meetings we don't have, there's not professional tech support. So if you go up there with something that should work normally in a normal environment, all of a sudden the computer doesn't work, all of a sudden the lighting is terrible. And then it says, You know what, for the sake of getting two or three good images into my talk, I'm just not going to bother. And I tend to prefer that approach anyway. But there are some talks that need slides, and you just have to get them and then it's just finding a way to use it. But to have it what is it 15 different? No enough is how many slides is that? 2020 slides.


César Gomez-Mora 29:09

But the most important thing here and it ties up with what you were saying is we need to ask ourselves, why do I have this slide up there? And how is it helping me to communicate better? So once you start thinking about this questions, and you, then it helps me, for example, what I do a lot of times is when I'm doing a presentation, I will have slides. If it's a presentation for a crass classroom type of like master class, I have slides that help the audience take notes. So like I'm on part one, part two, part three, part four, and I will tell them like this lively seeing will these are the headlines, the titles of the seconds. We're taking notes about what you say what I'm saying. So you can take better notes while I'm talking. So there's the purpose this improves communication is improved. The usage of your talk later on. But for a couple maps, maps, a lot of times are really good. videos help a lot. There's a TED presentation, check it out if you haven't seen it, which is by Derek Severs. And it's something cool about creation of a movement or something like this. And what he does is this video, if you haven't seen it,


Francisco Mahfuz 30:20

I know of the talk, because I know they're serious, but I haven't seen a talk now.


César Gomez-Mora 30:24

So it's really brief. It's like three minutes. And it's a video about a music festival. And then there's on the sides of the hill, sort of like a little bit off this, like outside of the stage, there's a hill and there's this one guy dancing crazy, like just really going like, and then everybody just filming the guy. And then there's just one other guy who just comes next to him and starts dancing. And so as this video is going Derek Severs is narrating what's happening. And in the end, what happens is that there's a huge like 300 people dancing crazy around the guy. And then the message. The idea behind this is that as important as the leader who dances, Gracie is the first follower who validates what the leader is doing. So because if there wasn't the first follower, there wouldn't be a second one or third one, the fourth one. So that was the idea. And the video is going on at the same time. So that, again, is good usage of visual support, it really enhances and makes the presentation grow. So I mean, we just need to ask ourselves, why am I doing this not just doing it without reflecting about? Well, you know, anything you do in your presentation when you getting down to the to the detail?


Francisco Mahfuz 31:39

Yeah, I guess it's just that people, things become a norm. And then people just do it without thinking twice about it. And we see this even whatever the case might be, you know, slides are the best example or the worst example of that. But there's plenty of other topics that people get in presentations. And another one that this has this has existed since presentations have existed is people start presentations introducing themselves, or they start presentations, chit chatting, you know, they want to get rid of their nerves. So they do a bit of small talk about the room and how's everybody good doing and whatever. And I think now that sort of thing has kind of fallen out of us. Most people realise that that's not the way to start the presentation. But slides are have been the thing that has taken over completely in our thinking everybody has heard of death by PowerPoint. They just haven't learned what it means and how to avoid it. But eventually, I think they'll fall out for a lot of use not as as a resource, but as the norm. I think nowadays, if anyone does a corporate presentation, he will assume you need a slide deck. And how could you possibly do one without a slide deck. And that's the problem. It's not how the slides complemented.


César Gomez-Mora 32:48

This happens. Also in the professional world, I don't know if you remember, I think it was 2011 1213. We at the Toastmasters contest, there was I think somebody gave it a name like a catchy name. I can't I can't remember. But it was something about like the death, divorce and cancer. So there's like, oh, here we go. And now they talk about, like, all the talks were overdramatic, they remember that, like they, you would get to the final stages of a contest. And there was always like somebody who lost their, their, their their father, or like just went through cancer or it was really like this, trying to be inspiring in this very dramatic, intense way. Which is fine. But if you see 10 talks, one after the other, which is what happens in contests, like you will see, it's emotionally draining. And so again, we see this things and then we just replicate it without thinking. And and then what happens is that you have someone who does a different talk, and that is the one that wins, just because it was different. And like the judges will have like this mental emotional relief from death, cancer and divorce.


Francisco Mahfuz 34:01

It might have been the year where there was a guy who won was a talk about changing a tire, basically Steyer blows up, and then he spends the whole talk, getting into all sorts of shenanigans about the tire. And at the very end his say, you know, I think he was he was not being nice to his partner or something at the beginning. And then he becomes nice at the end of the story. And he says, I was trying to change a tire, but the tire changed me. And viewer was like, oh, that's all right. So a bit of a message there. I can make this the winner without having to give it another sob story. So, but this was actually


César Gomez-Mora 34:35

this was a good talk. I think that we had, I mean, if you look at the content, I don't know what your opinion is on this. So it's good to Good to have you here to see what you think. The system itself has perverted the outcome. I don't know if you agree with this so that the system of public speaking contests itself has perverted the outcome and it's because there's this giant Gene sheets. But


Francisco Mahfuz 35:01

I think that I think that's always going to be the case, though, isn't it? I mean, you know, perhaps we should have explained a little more of those studies before. But you know, those must have been the largest organisation of public speaking in the world, the competitions will have rules, the rules are that judges decide who wins is not audience participation is not an audience choice. And some criteria seem to have gotten stronger over the years, I think that's always going to be an issue, which is why I tend to prefer audience selection, because you can't really argue with the audience selection, you know, unless someone is really trying to trick it by being super funny in a speech that is arguably not meant to be funny. But yeah, that's the problem with any type of competition where the criteria is subjective, and you have just a few people choosing whatever those judges decide is going to affect the outcome is the same thing that always happened with the Oscars. Right. So there's certain types of movies that win the Oscars. And it takes a few winners for people to go, Oh, hold on, maybe this type of movie actually has a chance. And it's worth investing in. I don't know if there is a way around that. Because you can even argue that audience, the audience's taste might not necessarily reveal reward quality, you might reward entertainment.


César Gomez-Mora 36:17

That's a that's I think in life, one of the dilemmas that doesn't have a solution. If you like music, for example, then you start listening to the media. That means there's on one extreme, this popular music, what everybody likes. And on the other extreme is what critics like. And there's even even further what musicians like. And I have a lot of contact with the Berklee School of Music. And if you listen to what they like, I can understand this is really good music. But I just can't digest it. It's not what I need in a specific mode. I cannot listen to this deep jazz with a tonne of people that I mean, I'm that's just me. So in the end, the end? Yes, I guess it's it's it's a dilemma without answer, like, what are you judging based on? How popular something is? Or how good? It is? Technically, I mean, that there's no solution. It Yeah, it's


Francisco Mahfuz 37:18

difficult. I think that I think that I can think that for public speaking, the audience's choice should have a heavier weight, because it's not as if the judges are, you know, technical connoisseurs, they're typically just more experienced members of the audience. Whereas if you take something like jazz, for example, or wine or whatever, whatever area of life you want to think about, if you study it a lot, if you look into the details, you will get catch nuance that other people won't. And I don't think there's any problem with that. But that's not to say that the wine that costs 1000 euros is better than the wine that costs 20. But if you have developed your palate, to a certain extent, the 1000 year old wine will taste better to you than the 20 year old wine. If you haven't, they won't. Right. And that's my experience with


César Gomez-Mora 38:11

I mean, totally different audiences, different situations, different objectives. But do you want, like I'm coming on a Tuesday back home, and I just need to unwind a bit. Let's open your 1000 Euro bottle of wine. Maybe you want to save that for a big celebration.


Francisco Mahfuz 38:28

Yeah, and we all know, we know anyone that has looked into this knows that the 1000 Euro bottle of wine is only better, really for one reason. And it's not that the judges or the tasters palette is that much more events. It's the story that goes with it because on blind tasting, they can never spot the wine that is supposedly better. So once you give someone the story that this wine was made in this place by this guy in this grapes, and whenever that story will always influence their taste. But with speaking, I think it's about the objective, you know, is if you are doing a humorous speech, that 100% should be an audience choice. Because why the hell would six judges be count more than the 300 people watching? If it's sent inspirational or or any other type of talk, then maybe the criteria is not so obvious. But for some things, I think that, you know, for talks, I can think that in the vast majority of cases, more people judging it will give you a better idea of what of how successful it's been, then six people judging it. And just one thing I wanted to get in before we run out of time, and both of our daughters start breaking down the doors. A lot has changed in public speaking, you know, you and I were trying to work together on a TEDx event that's on hold for the time being. So my question to you is, how do you think that the next say six months six to 12 months are going to be for public speaking events like TEDx or ignite in If you think that any of the things happening now we're going to change them permanently, once we're back in a position that we can have them the way we were having them before?


César Gomez-Mora 40:10

Oh, that's a deep question. The interesting, great question. I have personally, this what I wish because I'm an organiser myself, and then it sort of mixes with what I think is going to happen. So let me give you both. I wish we're back online after the summer. So let's say September, October backline, meaning that we can have events with 500 people, no limit to the closeness or whatever. But I think the 2020 We should scratch it out. That's what I that's what I think. So I wish we would have it after the summer. But I just don't think it's going to happen. Probably. I mean, hopefully after the summer, we're good to go. But there's so many things we don't know about this virus and about is there going to be like the flu, where that it's seasonal, in terms of like, our immunity goes down with time, and then we get the sickness, again, we just don't know all these things. So there's so many questions. So that's one. And I think it's going to change because we're going just like the way work is going to change a lot of people, you know, companies argued against working from home. And now well, it's been proved, in a way by force, that well, it can happen. So there's even companies just thinking about how they're going to get rid of their big office, and maybe move to smaller offices with floating desks where you can just go in, and maybe half the company can do half the days and all that. And in terms of events, I also think it's going to change the way audiences interact with an event. So if is, would it be possible? So this is these are questions I'm asking myself, will it be possible to have an an online track to an event, so you will have a mainstage event, but parallel, you can have an online event parallel to that. So you can have some of that live content on the on the online track, or you could package the content and then create a an online event later on, which means that your audience is not limited to the radius of influence of the venue where you're celebrating. But you could just have the world potentially, at least the world that speaks the language that the event is in. So in terms of can we interact with the audience virtually before the event? Or after the event? Can we create a community that interacts using platforms? So those are all the questions that I'm asking myself, and I think that will shape events in the future to come.


Francisco Mahfuz 42:50

Okay. What I wanted to ask you is what I asked everyone, when I remember is if people want to find you, what's the best place to do that.


César Gomez-Mora 43:02

I mean, LinkedIn, that's, that's one good place to first argument more on LinkedIn. And I have a website for my coaching services with fourth world dot s Fourth World rds. For you know what the fourth one is? I don't know what? Oh, yeah. So the fourth one is the fictitious wall that separates the speaker from the audience. It's a theatre term. So when, when an actor speaks to the camera, and is like, Hey, you directly to the audience that's breaking the fourth wall. So that's why


Francisco Mahfuz 43:35

the Marvel movie Deadpool was famous for, for breaking the fourth wall and him addressing the audience all the time. And Ryan Reynolds is actually very good at that. He's now launched a mobile company. And there was an ad going, going around on LinkedIn and YouTube, where he is doing this commercial for his mobile company, but half of it is him addressing the audience making fun of himself and his movies. So I think you know, he does. He's trying to make the fourth wall thing his own. There's another


César Gomez-Mora 44:02

one called The Last Action Hero where the fourth wall is basically broken with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes. Yeah, that's the idea like trying to avoid? Yes,


Francisco Mahfuz 44:13

I'll put the I'll put the links on the show notes. And thank you very much for your time. And let's hope we can get to this live TEDx thing sooner rather than later that your wish is more right than what you think should have been.


César Gomez-Mora 44:25

I hope so too, Francisco.


Francisco Mahfuz 44:28

Alright, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Take care of yourselves and until next time,



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