I listened to JD Schramm‘s TED talk on suicide. I picked this speech, because I think it is very important suicide is something that happens all to often in the world. Most people know someone who has dealt with issues of suicide. I know I have, growing up one of my best friends tried to kill herself and it was one of the hardest things to go through and try to understand all at the same time.
I think that JD’s introduction was strong, it started out with great detail visualization for the audience. He described vividly the situation to the point where you could play it out scene by scene in your head. That in itself brings the audience in. He took the audience on a journey through a mans suicide by the name of John. He then reveals to the audience that he is John. In a way I saw this coming but at the same time even when you see it coming it is still very effective.
After the story that prefaces what he really wants to talk about he starts in on a idea that never really occurred to me before. I am lucky enough to have never personally had to deal with suicide attempts, but I have known a few people that have attempted suicide its hard to know what to do. so I wouldn’t have thought about what to do after a failed attempt but JD states in his speech that 19 out of 20 suicide attempts fail. This is an issue because I am sure after a failed attempt even though their might be some relief and a shot at a second chance the damage and the hurt from before is still there not to mention the physical damage after. These people need a place to go to get help and JD is trying to get that for them. JD is very good at bringing the audience along with him on his journey, I found it very easy to listen to because it was like you were living this story with him. He uses very strong words that paint a picture.
Aside from what he was actually saying he was very physically engaging he walked around which normally I would find distracting but for this speech I think it worked. He also used appropriate hand gestures that weren’t to distracting to the audience. I never knew how effective pauses could be until they were pointed out to be used in speech class. Chang mentioned that pauses can be effective and I saw the effectiveness in JD’s speech. He paused at appropriate times to allow what he said to sink in. He had great eye contact, he was talking to a huge group and I wasn’t in the audience but even just watching the video I felt like he was talking directly to me.
I think that he could have talked more about ways to help the cause he is promoting. He just said there was a need for this service but didn’t really say where to get help at all. I think that would have been good information for that audience to know. Overall I thought the speech was very good, it was engaging and I was interested the whole time.