Look for the Shining Eyes

Inspiration for your Public Speaking

Last week in June, first week in July… Wimbledon fortnight, in the UK sales of tennis rackets go through the roof as people are inspired by their heroes.
The icy coolness of Borg, the grit and determination of Nadal, the sheer bloody mindedness of McEnroe and the balletic arrogance of Federer. Each of them transforms a simple game into an art form and provides inspiration along the way.

It’s the same in any area of life, you meet inspirational people who point your life in a completely new direction. That school teacher who inspired you to work towards getting to university, your first boss who showed you what could be achieved by sheer hard work and that good friend who showed you the value of real friendship.

Public Speaking is no different, we all need inspiration and this video will provide just that. It will move you, inspire you and take your Public Speaking to the next level.

This is a TED video, which I first saw on John Zimmer’s website, “Manner of Speaking“. John has some great material on his site so if you get a few minutes, head on over and take a look.

TED is a small non-profit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.”
From the TED website http://www.ted.com

The video is over 20 minutes long, but I guarantee that if you watch the first minute, you’ll watch it to the end. And believe me… this is one ending you won’t want to miss!

Don’t analyse just watch, learn and above all… enjoy.

Were you inspired?

What do you think?
What did you like most about the speech, the message, the humour, the interplay with the audience?
Has the video made you look at Public Speaking in a new way?
Leave me a comment and let me have your thoughts.

My thanks and gratitude to:

John Zimmer for posting the video on his website.
TED for providing such great material.

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  1. A great example of powerful motivational public speaking at its very best – worth the twenty minutes to watch. It shows how important it is to be enthusiastic and how if you demonstrate that you ‘like’ your audience (even if they are not on the same page as you) how powerful that can be in establishing rapport. Wonderful video and very moving at the end.

    • Great comment Roz
      Glad you watched the full video… I’ve watched it at least three times!

      Thanks for mentioning the ending. It really is stunning.

      Roz please let me know when your blog is up and running and I’ll pay you a visit.

  2. Hi Keith,

    What an inspiring video. Thanks for sharing it!

    I like the way it ended. Puts it all into perspective and really makes you stop and think.

    Ilka Flood´s last great post ..My Honest Thoughts About My Lead System ProMy Profile

  3. Hi Keith .. I thought I’d come back to it – & I will to listen again .. what an amazing video & so many wise words said .. lots to take in ..

    Thanks so much for posting .. I’ve sent your link out to a couple of people ..

    Cheers – loved it .. Hilary
    Hilary´s last great post ..Talli Roland a favourite and author The Hating GameMy Profile

    • Hi Hilary
      Thanks for your comment and thanks for passing on the link to your friends.

      As you say, an amazing video.
      I’ve watched it about three times so far and my wife has probably watched it more than that.

      The idea of what you say being your last words to someone is so powerful and haunting.

      BTW – how are you coping with the ice and snow?
      Nearly forgot – how are you doing at the Speakers Club? Have you done your B1 yet?

      • Hi Keith .. for some reason I don’t get your comments coming back to me .. maybe I didn’t tick the box – have done now!

        but to answer you .. snow and ice – we’ve had it lightly compared to you – I failed to get to Mum for 2 days .. but if I’d had to .. I’d have trogged there. Still cold – but again we’re having the easy time .. how about you?

        Re Speakers Club .. it all clashed with the Film Society that I love .. so will start in January! So no further .. other than intentional .. the lady who started ours, whom I know .. came 3rd in one of the Regional competitions .. and I was fortunate to meet the new President (UK) lady .. who lives in Norwich .. sorry can’t remember her name .. & the members seem supportive … which is great ..

        That’s me .. we keep going .. enjoy the pre Christmas build up and holiday .. cheers Hilary
        Hilary´s last great post ..What makes a great villainMy Profile

  4. Hi Keith

    I will have to listen at a later date as playing catchup over the weekend with all my blog hopping and the tasks I need to complete cos I took some time off yesterday and today.

    Thanks for putting it up to share with us. Sounds like it is well worth listening to.

    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia@lavenderuses´s last great post ..Lavenders- Small Niche Big IdeasMy Profile

  5. Hey Keith,

    Glad you enjoyed the video and many thanks for the nod to me and my blog. Zander’s TED Talk is truly inspirational and I am happy to play some small part in sharing it with others.


    John Zimmer´s last great post ..When a Wordsmith is PassionateMy Profile

    • Appreciate that John

      Most of the TED talks are very good but this one…. the best I’ve seen.

      Thanks for posting it on your blog and bringing it to my attention.

  6. Keith, Hilary sent me this link and yes, it is worth the 20 minutes. Definitely.

    I just finished watching it; part of me wants to reflect on what I learned, while another larger part just wants to feel how good the process felt and not think about it at all. He is a wonderful speaker; good humour — that’s what I enjoyed most. Thanks for posting this.

    • Hi Davina
      I know what you mean, this speaker provides information but also gets through on an emotional level.

      The humour – fantastic – “lift your eyebrows” and “one buttock playing” are great ideas and of course you can provide gestures to illustrate.

      Best thing about this video is that my wife can no longer tell me that I’m tone deaf. LOL

  7. Hi Keith! This video had me at hello when he started with the story of the two salesmen and how to embrace opportunity. It got me reflecting on how our perspectives or the way we see the world totally shape our experiences. The whole video was very entertaining and enlightening. Thanks for sharing this gem with us. Loving blessings!
    Andrea DeBell – britetalk´s last great post ..Kickstart an Abundant Life the Easy WayMy Profile

    • Welcome back Andrea

      The video is a great example of what can be achieved using humour.

      Did you watch it all the way through – what did you think of the ending?

      Appreciate your comment Andrea

  8. Hi Keith,

    the movie is so special and beautiful. It moved my heart and soul, also because was was told and done during the recording has so many meanings to lead better, happier life and to be successful in whatever you do.

    Chopin and Auschwitz are also very important part of my culture and country 🙂

    Thank you for sharing that exceptional movie.
    Justyna´s last great post ..Linkvama and AMA Backlink Service ReviewMy Profile

    • Justyna

      I think my heart and soul moved just like yours.
      That ending!

      “Chopin and Auschwitz are also very important part of my culture and country” – thanks for sharing that Justyna.

  9. Hi Keith,

    Thank you so much for sharing this video. What a wonderful speaker! I am a pianist and one of my early songs is the Chopin piece in the video. I’m mostly a blues player now, with some classic rock thrown in depending on my mood. I will definitely be pulling the Chopin piece out again and playing — on one buttock for the sheer joy of it… and without thinking about every note along the way 🙂

    Or perhaps a “B” with four sads. What an inspirational video, one I’ll remember well… probably forever!

    Oh, and I’m so glad you included a link to TED! A link worth following!

    Theresa Bradley-Banta´s last great post ..Shameless Self Promotion- Here’s Your OpportunityMy Profile

    • Welcome Theresa

      Thanks for a great comment.

      The “B” with four sads is one of my best bits.
      Pity this guy didn’t teach us all music at school… we would all have been classical pianists by now.

      Good luck with your “one buttock” playing and I hope you will be a regular visitor.

  10. The guy is really good. I reckon that’s my problem, I’m a two buttock blogger. Reckon I have to take one buttock off and then things may start to happen. 😉

    Honestly, he is really good. I love the way he get’s amongst the audience. You sure don’t see that very often.
    Sire´s last great post ..Procrastination And How It Can Cost You MoneyMy Profile

  11. Thank you, Keith. This was wonderful music and an astute way of making a point about public speaking. Yes, as you predicted, I was hooked from his opening words and his parting words were, indeed, inspiring.

    We can learn much from his engagement with the audience, all the way through his speaking and musical performance. Bravo!
    Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..How To Add Images To Your WordPress CommentsMy Profile

  12. Hi Keith,

    You were right, I was hooked from the first minute. I actually shared the video with a dear friend who teaches piano and we reminisced about our musical journey & the instructors/musicians who changed our lives.

    It’s fantastic when speakers like Ben light a fire in others to go forth and use their gifts in service. It begins with belief in one’s vision. Ben’s passion is contagious.

    Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Kin

      Good to hear that it brought back a few memories for you and your friend.

      As you say, this guy knows how to light a fire in his audience.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  13. Hi Keith,

    That guy is a total inspiration. I love that he brought music itself into the speech.–that was my favorite element.

    I got tears in my eyes twice, so I guess that counts as shining.
    Adena Atkins´s last great post ..Adopting Everyday RitualsMy Profile

  14. Keith

    yes, everything we do is a tool for expressing our inner selves. Music, speaking, writing..etc,etc.
    The more shiny spirit the greater the reflection in the eyes of others.

    the reflection of the girl…hm, no comments!

    thank you:)
    Martyna Bizdra´s last great post ..Gary Halbert’s Week – Day 5 – the Costly MistakeMy Profile

  15. Keith,

    And I thought this was just about classical music. I loved every minute of this Mr. Zander’s wonderful play…I can’t really call it a speech, because there was so much more in it.

    I loved how he presented classical music in such a wonderful unifying way. I’ve not a fan, but he made me realize how the keys and chords recreate the emotion of classical music that unites us all.

    His stories made me feel connected with the audience as every one I can imagine. I especially loved the “bright eyes.” It is so true that we know we have touched someone when their eyes light up.

    As a speaker, Mr Zander is simple wonderful — he uses so many of the techniques you’ve mentioned at your site — inspiration, humor, movement, story-telling…and on goes the list.

    It was truly captivating and brought tears to my eyes. While his speech was much more than just music, I will listen to classical music in a new way. I will think of others who listen the same music and may feel the same as me.

    Thanks you for sharing this! Happy holidays to you:~)
    Sara´s last great post ..My Gift- My RightsMy Profile

    • Hi Sara

      No post is complete until I’ve had your comment.

      I know very little about classical music – in fact I wouldn’t know Middle C from the Dead Sea, but I know a little more now.

      His rapport with the audience is fantastic and that phrase “shining eyes” – I’ve already used it in a speech.

      I’ll take a look at your latest post and if it’s easy… I’ll attempt a reply.

      Many thanks – Keith

  16. I was absolutely inspired by the ending. We are both in the business of the power of the spoken word.

    • Hi Diane
      Appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment.

      BTW – I have one of your books…
      “Knockout Presentations”

      A great read and full of useful info.

      If it’s OK with you I’ll add you to my Blogroll.
      Please let me know which URL you would like me to link to.

  17. Great video Keith. The TED talks are just fantastic, but I think the really amazing thing is that no matter how many you think you’ve watched, there are always stacks more that you have yet to see (Like this one was brand new for me!). It’s just a never-ending collection!

    I wanted to return the Merry Christmas! I hope you and the family have a great time over the holidays! 😀

    Michael Martin´s last great post ..How to Create Image Galleries in Your ThemeMy Profile

  18. I watched it, and loved it! I especially loved the “shopping” piece 🙂 and the end message. What a beautiful thought to live by.

    I would love to have shining eyes all around me, esp. my kids.
    Jewel Allen´s last great post ..TransitionsMy Profile

  19. Keith,

    Thank you for sharing such an inspirational and motivation video. I guess doing things when you are passionate about shows up in your speech and writing. Thank you for sharing and your plugin information.

    Zengirl @ Heart and Mind´s last great post ..Meaningful Celebration- Free eBook downloadMy Profile

    • Hi Preeti

      Glad you liked the video.

      GASP plugin is fantastic.
      I’ve deactivated my Akismet plugin and only use the GASP now.

      It was taking me a long time to trawl through the Akismet spam looking for genuine comments.
      Don’t have to do that anymore.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Have a good Christmas – leave the blogging until the New Year. LOL

  20. Hi Keith, excellent video. The last line was very moving and one that i will remember.

    Its quite strange really Keith as last night i was thinking about my next product creation and i thought of the end product and decided to map that out and then fill in the middle. A little bit like the bird flying over, ignoring the fences and focusing on where the end is.

    Excellent, thanks for posting the video Keith.

    Keith, have a great Christmas and a happy new year.


    • Hi Barry

      Good to see you back and glad that you liked the video.

      Good luck with your “New Product” and let me know when it’s complete.

      Merry Christmas


  21. Keith!
    Thanks for sharing that video. TED rocks! And it is such a great resource for us public speakers.
    It is truly incredible how much power there is in words and how communicating verbally can literally change people’s perspectives and/or change the world!
    I enjoyed it – thank you!

    • Welcome Ryan and thanks for your comment.

      Couldn’t agree more when you say…

      “It is truly incredible how much power there is in words”

      I’ll be over shortly to take a look at what you are up to.

      Merry Christmas

  22. Hi Keith,

    WOW – great video – thanks for sharing. I had to chuckle at the progression of piano playing ability over a few years. Brought back memories of my piano lesson days and my own children’s although theirs were short-lived. Must be a generational thing. When my mother said to practice, she put the timer on and I practiced. When I told my children to practice, they either didn’t or in the case of my younger daughter, she did indeed sit down and play the piano – just didn’t play anything she was supposed to. But alas, the older one is going on for her Phd in molecular biology and the younger one is a great musician writing and performing music from her heart and soul. Turns out she didn’t need lessons; she can hear a song once and play it on the piano.

    The end of the video about Auschwitz sent chills up my spine – it was THAT moving.
    Julie Weishaar´s last great post ..If a Picture Speaks a Thousand Words- How Many Words Do You Think a Video SpeaksMy Profile

    • Hi Julie
      Good to see you back.

      Looks as though they’ve both turned out well… you have every right to be proud.

      The end was very upsetting, but an ending that you will never forget.

      I got your email… let me know how things go with Tom.
      He’s a great guy and totally professional.

  23. My first time here Keith and you’ve left quite an impression on me with this video and the audience you’ve built here. Well done and keep up the tremendous work. 🙂

    • Welcome Marcus

      A comment on the 25th Dec!
      Now that is dedication. LOL

      Glad you like my blog and many thanks for your kind words – always appreciate comments from fellow bloggers.

      Hope you become a regular visitor.

      BTW – love your avatar – there can only be one lion man on the web.

  24. Merry Christmas Keith .. you’ll be getting an ‘honourable’ mention next week .. just don’t want you to feel missed out! Along with Dilly .. cheers & have a fun filled merriment and laughter day .. wonderful clear frosty day down here .. Hilary
    Hilary´s last great post ..Christmas Past and Christmas Present My Profile

    • Hi Hilary
      What a great Christmas present, a comment on Christmas day.
      How thoughtful of you.

      Look forward to my “honourable mention” next week – you’ve got me interested now!

      What say next year you and I organise a “Christmas day comment” event for all the bloggers we know?
      Each of us leave a comment on blogs that want to be included – just a thought.

      Have a happy Christmas and a great New Year.

  25. Happy Holidays, Keith! Speaking of honorable mentions, I dropped by to let you know I used your article here as an example of well-placed video to help drive home a point.

    All the best to you in 2011!
    Vernessa Taylor´s last great post ..Dance A Jig- Build Your Own Unscientific Blogging ScorecardMy Profile

    • Welcome back Vernessa – good to hear from you again.

      I’ll be over as soon as I’ve finished this piece of turkey and roast potato and chipolata sausage and…… LOL

      Thanks for the mention, see you over there.

      And a fabulous 2011 to you Vernessa.

  26. I agree with everything you’ve written, but am wondering how this was the TED video you chose? What, specifically, made this speech better or more inspiring to you than others?
    Jamie Farrell´s last great post ..Time Bandit – 5 Steps to Increasing BandwidthMy Profile

    • Hi Jamie

      Welcome to Easy Public Speaking and thanks for your comment.

      Why this Ted talk?
      Because it made me watch it for twenty minutes and then… watch it again.

      The talk captivated me, taught me something about music and almost brought me to tears.
      Can’t say that about many speeches or presentations that I’ve listened to.

      Let me know if you have a favourite Ted talk and I’ll feature it in a future post.

      Appreciate your comment.
      Have a great 2011 and hope you’ll be a regular visitor.

      • Hi Keith,

        Hoping you had a great NYE. It is interesting to me you found that particular talk so inspiring. Reason I asked was this: If you go look at the stats on TED or the Linkedin group responses, this was not a ‘major’ hit. I’m always interested in hearing the reasons why people do not “like” the “majority”.

        As for me, my fave. TED video usually depends on my mood (like most women – ok, I’ll probably get a snide comment from people for writing that…but I’am a woman and I know for me, it’s true…), however the one I’ve watched the most is Gary V’s from TECH. I don’t think it ‘touched’ me and truthfully don’ even know if I “learned” about anything new, but it did give me the feeling that 1) I needed to get up and GO WITH MY PASSION (I love ‘sales’ motivational speeches) 2) His speech didn’t effect me so much as “he is the living American Dream” – or at least that’s what I think…
        Jamie Farrell´s last great post ..Careers Do Not Belong in a BoxMy Profile

        • Hi Jamie
          Welcome back and hope you had a great New Year.

          Thanks for the info on the TED videos.
          I’ll take a look at Gary V’s video and let you know what I think.
          Guess it goes to show that we are all different and all prefer different things.

          I’ll be over shortly to take a look at your first offering for 2011.

  27. Hi Keith,
    I’m here to check your theme. Your elegantthemes really cool bro 😉
    Love it!

    • Hi Latief
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Agreed – Nick over at Elegant Themes really knows how to put a theme together.
      Elegant, very elegant.

      Have a great 2011.

  28. Hi Keith,

    Happy New Year!

    I normally don’t take the time to watch 20 minute videos on websites, but after reading your post and some of the comments, I felt moved to make the time.

    How happy I am that I did. This video was powerful. Not only was the music enjoyable, but the message was phenomenal, especially the end. Can you imagine if everyone lived by those same standards?

    Although I didn’t equate this video to public speaking, it did make me wonder, “how many shining eyes am I leaving in my path”. Hmmmm….
    Barbara Swafford´s last great post ..Finding Your Blogging VoiceMy Profile

    • Hi Barbara
      Well done on lasting the full 20 mins.
      It’s a great video but perhaps I’ll use shorter ones in the future.

      As for the shining eyes?
      I think that you’re doing your bit in that department.

      Good to see you back.

  29. Simply amazing! I remember the people who inspired me when I was growing up, and to this day I can remember their faces, the sound of their voices, and those key things they said to me which gave me the courage to be myself.

    Thank you for sharing this video! It was definitely worth the time to watch, and it’s taught me that public speaking isn’t just getting up to make speeches in an auditorium, but can take any manner of form.

    Delena Silverfox@Flightnetwork Promo Code´s last great post ..MicfoMy Profile

  30. Keith

    I’ve seen that TED video before – very, very cool. Not sure which version you’ve embedded – apparently at the filming of the talk there was an ‘encore’ performance which is not in the video that we can see on the TED website, or YouTube, or other places.

    I only learned about it – and hence the reason for my comment – in Nancy Duart’s book ‘RESONATE.’ (Resonate is about the art of marrying story telling to presentations).

    Anyone who’s interested in this video – and in presentations or public speaking – should spend the $10 or so for RESONATE just for the timeline analysis of this great video.

    (there’s also an awesome analysis of Martin Luther King’s I HAVE A DREAM speech too).

    Cool stuff. Hope that’s of interest.

    Paul Wolfe´s last great post ..3 Ways Content Creators Can Learn From A BookMy Profile

  31. Applause! Applause!


    Mrs. Gaffney, my piano teacher, can’t hold a candle to this guy. She was crotchety and old and, trust me, there was no “shine” in her eyes. She was more like a drill sergeant who was on a mission to “make” me play the piano correctly. I shudder to think back on those lessons. Felt more like punishment than pleasure. She was hell bent to carry out her mission and I was hell bent to survive!

    Totally enamored with the video — captivating from beginning to end! And I love this line in your post …

    “It’s the same in any area of life, you meet inspirational people who point your life in a completely new direction.”

    Life is all about “people connection”. Nothing more, nothing less. And I’m blessed to have crossed paths with you. What you bring to the easyP community is sheer, unadulterated …


    Melanie 🙂
    Melanie Kissell´s last great post ..Quick Happiness Workshop for Increasing Profits at Times of Seeming UncertaintyMy Profile


  1. […] ask? You might say he knows when to hush and let somebody else do the talking . . . For example, in Look For The Shining Eyes, Keith used a video (a 20-minute video!) featuring classical pianist Benjamin Zander to make the […]

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