A few things that medical meeting organisers could learn from the organisers of TEDMED.
1. Make presentations at TEDMED are 18 minutes long. This allows for large numbers of presentations with fine tuned ideas to presented in a polished digestible format to an audience. George Bernard Shaw said. “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” Even the most excruciating presentation is bearable if you know it’ll be over shortly.
2. Give speakers guidance on their style of presentation with specific suggestions; e.g. “think big, make the complex plain, connect with peoples’ emotions, don’t flaunt your ego, don’t read your talk, finish on time” etc. Check their slides well in advance of the talk and offer guidance. Speakers need to be guided and managed.
3. Introduce talks which stimulate thought, innovation and creativity rather than didactic hard data. It’s not always essential to have the answer or solution to make a presentation interesting.
4. Introduce an element to your meeting with speakers from