Confessions of a Depressed Comic


I've given a number of presentations so far this year to my classmates in my public relations and oral presentation classes and it's got me interested in what makes a speech engaging for an audience.

Although I've been watching TED and TEDx Talks for a couple years now, I just started watching talks by younger speakers. I used to only watch videos with several hundred thousand views because I knew they would be good. But as I'm spending more time researching different speeches and styles of presentations, I'm discovering some really inspiring talks by people as young as seventeen.

Most of these young people are speaking about obstacles they've overcome, including the young man in this video, Kevin Breel. Kevin is a comic and also has depression, something he hid from friends and family for a long time. It's talks like these that I am discovering can sometimes be the most helpful in showing us what makes a great talk, and what makes a talk less effective.

I've learned it's not the "perfect" presentation that will win over an audience. It's a speech that is personal, relatable and true. People want to find things in common with other people, and when it's your turn in the spotlight, the best way to make your audience feel at ease is to show them they have something in common with you.

Check out Kevin's speech about his struggles with depression. It's not perfect, but it's engaging because he describes his experience in real human terms, doesn't shy away from difficult subject matter and provides real details that lets the audience know he's telling the truth, and from the heart.


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