TED Talk: The Art of Asking


A friend of mine recommended this really inspiring TED Talk presented by Amanda Palmer, a musician and highly successful crowd sourcer.

In this short 13 minute video, Amanda talks about how creating a connection with your community or crowd can create amazing things for yourself and your projects. To give you a quick background, Amanda’s band was signed with a record label as their popularity grew. After selling just 25,000 records, the label dropped the band and they were forced to go back to the drawing board. Amanda decided to give the music away for free and start one of the most successful music kickstarter campaigns. Initially asking for $100,000, the campaign quickly grew to over $1.1 million. Amanda attributes this success to the ideal that people genuinely want to help each other and if you aren’t afraid to ask, then you will be amazed at the results.

Amanda also talks about her time working as a living statue called the “8 Foot bride”. Her experience as a street performer taught her about human connection as well as the power of asking for help. She explains that asking for help makes you vulnerable and that in order to truly get what you want, you have to be comfortable with that.

Some of my favorite quotes from this TED Talk:

– “Asking makes you vulnerable”

– “Give and receive fearlessly”

– “Ask without shame”

– “When we really see each other, we want to help each other”

– “Instead of asking how do we get people to pay for music, the question should be How do we let people pay for music?”

I really agree with the idea that asking really is the first step to getting what you want. Too often we are afraid of rejection or of needing help. When I’m trying to start a new project or get traction on a challenge that i’m dealing with, I go out to my community/crowd and ask for help. I’m always amazed at how many people are willing to offer up their time, resources and energy to helping me succeed.

So friends, my advice for today is to think about a project or challenge that you’re working on and ask your crowd for help. You’ll be surprised at what will come back to you! :)

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  1. Great share. People want to help. They just need to be asked. Studies show that people who give help, especially donations to charity, do experience greater levels of happiness from the action than those who did the asking.

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