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Stop for a moment to think about a super-athlete. A person who won 122 consecutive races and broke the world record four times. That super-athlete is Edwin C. Moses, a man who completely dominated the 400-meter hurdle event and won every race in sight between 1977 and 1987. And then it happened. On June 4, 1987, in Madrid, Spain, Danny Harris beat Moses.
“I was only four years old when I saw my mother load up a washing machine for the very first time in her life …” That is global health and data expert Hans Rosling’s opening line of a 2010 TED Talk, as he stands on stage with a bundle of laundry and a washing machine. Rosling does what the best presenters in the world excel at; in a matter of seconds, they get and keep your attention.
Your target audience isn’t interested in reading 5,000 articles from you. They’ll read one and decide whether or not to stick around. If the article’s message resonates with them, they might read a second, maybe a third. And then they’ll naturally subscribe to your email list or sign up for your membership site to stay connected with you.
Most of us ask for testimonials. And if we follow up and pester our customers enough, we receive testimonials. There’s only one problem. These testimonials have no power. Testimonials are stories. And stories potentially have power and grace, flow and rhythm. Look around you and you’ll see none of that in most testimonials.
On May 22, 1919, a New York hotel owner named Raymond Orteig announced a prize. The Orteig Prize, as it came to be known, was the whopping sum of $25,000 (about $340,000 in 2015). It was to be given to the first allied aviators who flew nonstop from New York to Paris or vice versa. Six aviators died in the pursuit of that prize.
If you look at the last 30 years of the men’s 100-meter finals at the Olympics, you’ll find a number of athletes who didn’t make it to retirement without getting saddled with a doping allegation. Carl Lewis: failed drug test, 1988 Ben Johnson: failed drug test, 1988 Linford Christie: tests positive for pseudoephedrine, 1988 Justin Gatlin: failed drug test, 2006 Mau ...
At a TED conference in 2008, music conductor Benjamin Zander talks about the story of Shakespeare’s well-known play, Hamlet. In Act One, scene three, Hamlet finds out that his uncle killed his father. Now Hamlet must have his revenge. As the play progresses, Hamlet almost kills his uncle, but pulls himself back.