Sorry for two posts about Gladwell in one day, but I just found out that Gladwell has started a blog. Looks like he started the day after his Columbia speech which is interesting because he put some blame on the internet for our society’s bias towards Picasso. Maybe he’s trying to test his theories :-)
Gladwell is one of most interesting writers I have read and is as adept a speaker as he is a writer. It’s funny though. If you were to grade his speaking based on some well accepted criteria, you’d say he was a poor speaker. He says “Ummm” and other interjections a lot. He goes off on tangents. There were times where he lost a word and he seemed stuck for a few seconds. He didn’t know the nitty gritty details of everything he talked about. At one point he was giving an example (during a tangent) and he couldn’t remember the name of the guy who Cheney shot, so he made up a name.
But he’s a great speaker because he tells stories very very well. He has a point that he wants passionately to get across. Finally, it’s obvious that he’s deeply thought about what he’s talking about. As a listener, you ignore the conventional shortcomings because you’re immersed in his story and you want to understand what he does. I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation and I’m subscribed to his blog.