top of page
  • Writer's pictureRussell E. Willis

Blogging About Vision: Passing the TED Talk Test - The Strategic Blogger: Part 3

Strategic Writer: Episode 5

If you are a thought leader, visionary, or advocate, you live to make a difference in the world. You work to move the needle on some critical issue or idea. And you want to take others with you on this ride.

You world changers share two critical characteristics. You are driven by passion and vision.

Passion is an innate driving force that compels us to act with dedication, excitement, and persistence. It fuels the creativity, motivation, and resilience required to pursue goals that might otherwise appear unachievable. Passion is often described as purpose, fulfillment, or even love.

Vision is an image of what the future could or should be like. In strategic terms, a compelling vision articulates a desired future state and outlines the steps needed to realize it.

If passion is the fuel, vision is the roadmap. When passion fuels vision, amazing things can happen.

Think of the space race of the 1960s. In a speech on May 25, 1961, President Kennedy presented the vision of landing human beings on the moon and safely bringing them back to Earth before the decade's end. Despite enormous political, economic, and engineering hurdles, the passions of thousands of policy experts, government administrators, scientists, engineers, logistics specialists, mechanics, aviators, and designers took that vision to the moon and back, beating Kennedy's deadline of less than nine years!

Blogging With Vision

In episode 3 of Strategic Writer, I made the argument for blogging strategically. I left unsaid that at its best and most effective strategic blogging is blogging with an express vision—ideally, your strategic vision. This would include quoting all or parts of your strategic vision statement or paraphrasing your vision in a powerful (concise!) tagline.

Not all of your blogs need to be visionary. However, you should not fail to bring your vision to your messaging. The more you implicitly or explicitly express your vision in your blogs (and other writing collateral), the more your vision will help differentiate you and your product, service or idea in the minds of your audience. Also, the more precise and compelling your vision, the more likely you will be viewed as a visionary or thought leader in your field.

Blogging About Vision

Now, I am moving beyond merely blogging with vision. I want to ask another question. Should (and if so, when should) you take the step of blogging about vision?

Blogging about vision raises your messaging to another level. It puts you directly into the conversation about vision among experts in your field and maybe even in the public discourse.

Generally, blogging about vision will not help with your marketing or other primary reasons for blogging. However, it may help you hone your vision and force you to articulate it more clearly and compellingly. It may give you new insights, applications, or language to improve your messaging and the implementation of your strategic plan or even the plan itself.

Participating in a global visioning conversation also helps hone others' visions, contributing to the common good.

Toward Blogging About Vision

The original working title of this episode was “From Strategic Blogging to World Dominance.”

I initially chose shock and awe for the title because there isn’t a perfect word or expression for this type of blogging. It turns out, however, that an ideal metaphor and example is lurking in the public consciousness--the Ted Talk.

The TED Talk Test

The TED phenomenon ( began in 1984 with a conference designed to explore the intersection of technology, entertainment, and design—t, e, and d.

As with many visionary enterprises, the first TED was ahead of its time. Even with support from Lucasfilm, Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks' dream child, they failed financially. Six years later, in 1990, they tried again. The rest, as they say, is history, creating a phenomenal global community of passionate people -- of visionaries.

To get a feel for how to talk about vision, remember your favorite TED Talk, or if you have yet to be initiated in the TED universe, go view a few TED Talks ( Choose a couple at random to get a general sense of what they are all about. Then choose some from your field of interest to begin to see the TED version of vision.

Then, take the TED Talk Test. Imagine what you would say if asked to give a TED Talk about your vision.

What story would you tell to kick off the session? What is the punch line? What passions drive you in the pursuit of your vision? What passions have you been able to exploit from others who have joined you in this pursuit?

Then, boil it down to a blog or a series of blogs.

Write and publish them not as marketing fodder but as passion food.

Enter a global conversation about something that matters!


by Russell E. Willis

If I can help you, your business, or your organization with copywriting (white papers, blogs, web content, case studies, or emails); Ghostwriting (Books and articles -- specializing in converting blog and podcast series into print or ebooks); or short-form "explainer" videos, please check out (and fill out the contact form) or email me at

I am also available for strategic planning consultations for not-for-profit organizations and creatives. Contact me at for more information.



bottom of page