Resources  >> What Makes a Good Rant

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  January 16, 2014

What Makes a Good Rant

Wow.  I love a good rant.  And this one about speaking at TEDx presses a lot of hot buttons.

The upshot:  Frank Swain at Futures Exchange turns down a TEDx speaking invite because it’s pro bono.  He outlines the reasons why in simple (and very direct) terms.  He also pokes some holes in the TED brand.

While I see both sides of this issue, this post is a great example of a good rant.  The benchmarks:

  • Start off with the good.  Frank acknowledges that TED has done right.  This makes what he says next more palatable.  You don’t question his motives as a general TED-hater.
  • Be respectful.  Check out the second paragraph about the person who approached Frank to speak.  Notice that Frank cut them a lot of slack.  This focuses the attack on the broad idea of not paying speakers, not the person making the request.
  • Answer the obvious responses with even better questions.  Frank makes a great point about  how TED’s non-profit status still allows payment for catering, the venue, and other expenses.  He then points out his biggest beef:  well-funded organizations using the “exposure” excuse.

This is the difference between creating provocative content and sounding like a jerk.  While you may disagree with his view (and tone), Frank makes some valid points.  A great rant is a conversation starter, not a one-person gripe session.

 

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Comments:

  • Author : Bob Bevard

    Published: 2014-01-21 11:49:08

    Exactly right. This is why I don't accept TED or TEDx bs and stand up for FREE!

  • Author : Vickie Sullivan

    Published: 2014-01-20 16:32:03

    Amen Bonnie! There's some talk out there about making conferences a more "educational" experience. And one way to do that is to ditch the free speakers and use folks with adult learning experience. Stay tuned....

  • Author : Bonnie Marcus

    Published: 2014-01-16 07:11:36

    I applaud Frank for his honesty and for expressing what many of us feel every day when approached to speak for free in exchange for "exposure". The message is valued but the messenger is not.

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.