Why is storytelling such a powerful medium?

Six-Time TED Speaker and Co-Host of TEDActive

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Rives | Six-Time TED Speaker and Co-Host of TEDActive
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Rives (rhymes with “weaves”) is a six-time TED speaker and co-host of the annual TEDActive conference. His one-of-a-kind interactive style has an extraordinary ability to awaken, engage, and excite an audience. He gives talks on storytelling, creativity, and public speaking, and is a dedicated host who works to make sure every event is exceptional. 

A multimedia artist, storyteller, and spoken word poet, Rives is part of a small group that has not one, but six talks on TED.com. As a host, he has an uncanny talent for making an event go smoothly, filling in the gaps that so many conferences leave unorganized. He runs the whole day, making sure the audience is engaged and interacting at every possible moment by hosting networking sessions, caption-writing contests, and on-stage competitions. And, he finds the day’s humorous, poignant moments and incorporates them in wrap-up presentations and mini-documentaries. He makes sure that all the energy, effort, and expense of the conference is put to the best possible use, and that every attendee and organizer walks away feeling that the day was a success. He also gives talks on the power of storytelling—and how multimedia technology is changing the way we communicate—as well as keynotes and workshops with valuable lessons on public speaking. Rives has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, Bravo’s Ironic Iconic America, NPR’s All Things Considered, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


“Rives was one of the real stars of the TED Conference. On the last day, he performed a spoken word piece that incorporated all of the most memorable lines from the presentations that had come before. I was blown away!”

Al Gore

Speech Topics

MCs & Entertainers
Host Shenanigans Run Your Best, Most Fun Event Ever

When Rives is the host of your event, you don’t get someone who just reads an MC script and takes off before post-conference cocktails. You get a dedicated, expert host who transforms every moment of the day into an interactive, unforgettable experience. Here’s just a taste of the host shenanigans Rives is famous for: the infamous one-minute open mic or talent show, where audience members get their moment in the spotlight; caption-writing contests with social media interaction; on-stage competitions where attendees go head-to-head; find-a-friend and networking contests and breakout sessions; end-of-day wrap-up presentation created by Rives based on conference themes, anecdotes, and speaker quotes; and mini-documentary of the day featuring attendee interviews and clips from the conference. Gracious, funny, and a fountain of energy, Rives turns an average conference into an extraordinary event.

Innovation & Creativity
From Campfires to Cell Phones The Power of Storytelling

From pop-up books to iPad ventriloquism, Rives’ artistic trail runs off innovation and unpredictability. Why is storytelling such a powerful medium? And what is the future of storytelling amid today’s surge of technology? In this talk, Rives bridges the gee-whiz future of storytelling with its campfire past. He charts his evolution from poet to multimedia artist, with experiments in speech translation filters, blogging, smartphones, emoticons, crowd-sourcing, and social media. He gives audiences the tools to understand, create, and deliver stories—whether it’s in writing, on stage, or through social media—and connects accomplished storytelling to personal and business success.

TED Speakers
How to Give a Talk Tips and Tricks from a Five-Time TED Speaker
From Noble Prize winners to kindergarteners, Rives has coached hundreds of speakers on how to deal with stage fright, connect with your audience, nail your topic, and get your idea out there. This empowering talk can be delivered to large and small audiences as an interactive keynote speech or intimate workshop, and is often requested by high schools, colleges, and corporate groups.