Be Remarkable

I am gradually becoming a fan of TED. TED is all about “ideas worth spreading” to use their own tagline.

Free videos and talks, from people at the top of their game, talking you through topics, many of which you probably never heard of. I know I hadn’t.

Why though? Why watch this? The old WIIFM question (whats in it for me).

The range of topics is quite breathtaking for one. And no matter how good we think we are, we can always learn from others. Particularly when those people are experts and engaging too.

For me, there are several reasons.

First up, I don’t feel comfortable presenting. I get nervous as everyone does, but over time I have improved. And I know that when I am presenting something I am passionate about, I can draw people in and carry them with me. Usually with the aid of an adhoc diagram or two. So watching the body language of these people, and learning from them, is good.

Really though, that is a secondary benefit. It’s the content that I find really interesting. Take this video from Seth Godin. I challenge you to watch all 18 minutes and not come away feeling upbeat and thinking of ways that you can “be remarkable”.


Guilty pleasure

I have a confession. A secret. It’s pretty shocking really…..I love watching X Factor!

Now normally, I don’t watch much TV, if I want to watch something, it’s normally something on demand, like Netflix or recorded with the Tivo. And I most definitely don’t watch reality TV. It seems a cheap way to make TV shows and plays on the less pleasant aspects of human nature. X Factor though, it draws me in.

There are people you see and listen to you and think wow. Amazing voice, difficult life, your heart goes out to them and their singing sends tingles down your spine. And there are people who audition and I cannot understand what they were thinking. Did family and friends really convince them that they could sing? Simply delusional. Maybe they just want their five seconds of fame.

As the weeks progress, the emotional connection (or disconnect) becomes greater. This is perhaps the shows draw. For anyone who hasn’t watched it, here are some of the top people from this years show. If nothing else, watch the first video of young Ella, simply amazing.

Ella Henderson – Wow, can you believe the voice on this young girl, it sent shiver’s down my spine when she sang a Cher song, “Believe” and reduced Nicole Scherzinger to tears. Watch the video and tell me you weren’t affected by it. She is one to watch.

Jahmene Douglas – a dimunitive young lad who works at Asda, very shy and he has this annoying nervous laugh after he speaks, then he began to sing and became someone else completely –  he has an amazingly big voice. Skip to about 2 minutes to hear him sing.

Lucy Spraggan – I’m not sure she is the type of star the producers of the show are looking for, her style is very different, really funny, you could see the lack of confidence and yet she has something very endearing.

Robbie Hance – gutted he walked away. Living rough, he needed this break. He has an amazing voice, but lost the plot and gave up on himself this week. It’s going to be hard for him to recover from that. I hope he pulls it together and comes back next year.

There were many others worth mentioning, but time is tight and I have things to do.

What are your guilty pleasures?