Watch: Amanda Palmer's excellent TED talk

Last updated 12:18 06/03/2013

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Ask attendees what they most remember about the TED 2013 conference, wrapping up Friday in Long Beach, USA, and here's one of the most frequent answers you'll get: Amanda Palmer.

The former Dresden Dolls singer is the first to admit, as she does in her TED talk, above, that her punk cabaret music isn't for everyone. But Palmer did pluck some universally applicable lessons from her performance art career - about encountering strangers, dealing with commercially-minded managers, and how to get people to pay for something they can get for nothing.

In short: don't make them, ask them.

The Dresden Doll's first album for a major label was considered a failure by the music business because it sold "just" 25,000 copies. So Palmer started giving her music away for free, and launched a Kickstarter which raised more than $1 million - from around 25,000 backers. As instructive as that is, there's nothing to match the intimate moments Palmer describes - such as the fan who handed her a $10 bill and apologised for ripping her CD from a friend.

Creatives of all stripes, take note.

After her well-received talk, Palmer sung two songs on stage during the conference (and many more off stage). The first, also good advice for attendees, was the Ukulele Anthem. Check it out:

Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra:

September 4, Wellington, San Francisco Bathhouse

September 6, Auckland, Kings Arms

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