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Most job interviews and most presentations are… well, flat! They are about conveying facts and expectations, not passions and possibilities. And because people delivering these are trying to convince people to like them, they tend to be cautious not just in what they say, but in how they say it.

Instead, try taking a page out of the TED talk movement for your next job interview.

  • TED-style talks are personal. The only reason to givea TED talk is that you feel passionately about something, and your sense of purpose creates an energy boost for both you and your audience.

TIP: Spend time reflecting on what is it about dentistry that you feel personally passionate about.

  • TED talks often take us on a journey. As the speaker shares their transition from ignorance to understanding of some important truth, we follow along in their footsteps. Where clinical speeches generally focus on a desired outcome, TED talks are more about the process of how you are going to get there.

TIP: Prepare a story that teaches your future boss who you are and how you became this person. People are hard wired to remember more about how you made them feel than what you told them, so dont be afraid to be vulnerable.

  • TED talks areconcise. Because their time is short (generally, 5-18 minutes), TED speakers have generally done the hard work of cutting out any extraneous ideas. Ideally, every word of a TED talk counts  and thats very different from the public speaking most of us are used to!

TIP: Role play various questions you might be asked so you know exactly how you want to respond. Make sure each answer has just the right amount of detail to tell your story without rambling. And then practice practice PRACTICE!

And last but not least,

  • TED-style talks feel important. Almost every speech presents an ah-hah! moment (the TED organization uses that phrase), and recounts with great intensity what it feels like to break through a problem in your mind. The problems themselves are often weighty but even when theyre not, hearing about a breakthrough moment makes you feel that something big is at stake.

A job interview IS important. We want to convey passion and possibilities. And at the end, we want our future boss to have that ah-hah moment that we are the answer to their problems.

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