You have a story to tell.
Have you been asked to give a TED or TEDx talk? Are you prepping for an important presentation? Do you know you have something to share that will serve and inspire your audience?
If so – congratulations! And I’m sorry. Because creating an excellent talk may be one of the hardest things you've ever done.
The impact of public speaking has never been greater. So are the expectations. Audiences don't want to sit through boring instruction, hollow buzzwords and mangled PowerPoints. The standards have changed. The stakes are high.
Do you feel passionate about your message but not 100% sure how to develop it into a TED-like presentation? Maybe you've given many talks but the results felt a tad underwhelming. Or have you been staring at a blank page all day and are about ready to eat a dozen donuts, pull the covers over your head and call it quits?!
A great talk will elevate your reputation, work and influence. It can change your life. It It may even change the world. A mediocre talk will be – at best – ignored. Will your presentation captivate your audience? Will your ideas make the impact you want? Can you create an effective talk with ease and confidence?
Preparing a talk is a challenge for even the most famous speaker.
I know this is true because I worked at TED for seven years and got learn from those amazing speakers. Up-close and personal.
Nowadays, TED gets billions of views, supports thousands of conferences and employs hundreds of passionate staff. When I started, we had less than 20 employees, held one conference a year and hosted a few dozen talks online. As the right-hand aide to the head curator, I helped bring millions of views to hundreds of speakers, supported the growth of TEDx, TED-Ed, TED Institute and TED Books, and served in every facet of the organization as the organization rocketed to prominence and the concept of the "TED talk" was created, refined and shared across the globe.
The world needs more doers and thinkers to teach their vital ideas. We need you. I want to share my knowledge so that you can share your ideas with intelligence, impact and authenticity.
Six facets of a great TED talk.
There is absolutely no formula. However, as a great presenter you integrate and balance these qualities:
1. A passion for sharing your ideas
A curator at TED once gave me a surprising tip on how she chose speakers. She said if they're passionate about their newly published book, their talk would likely be 'blah' (no matter how great the book). But if they're charged with a passion to share an insight/invention/project, they would electrify the room, (no matter the size of their credentials). The best speakers want to give their insight/invention/project as a gift to the audience. They are not trying to get (fame, applause, love). They want to share something of substance. No matter how introverted or phobic of speaking, knowing that you are the giver – not the getter – supplies genuine power.
2. An idea that changes your audience's understanding
Not every talk is about a brand new invention. But every good talk carries the unique insights that only you can share. As Martha Graham said, “…there is only one of you in all time, (your) expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
3. A focused through line
Alas, you can't squash your whole book, life story, amazing experiences, profound insights into 18 minutes or less. So much wonderfulness is bursting to come out of you. We easily forget what the audience doesn't know. You can be too close to your ideas. Every piece of content must have a purpose and a function that provides clarity, simplicity and logic for the listeners. The right through line ensures that your audience 'gets it.'
4. A compelling start, a satisfying conclusion
People often think TED stands for Technology, Education, Design. In fact, that 'E' stands for 'Entertainment.' Humans love stories, we learn through stories, we retain knowledge through stories. A great story has meaning - but it also grabs you up, draws you on a quest, adventure, mystery, and doesn't let go until it gets to a satisfying end. Same with a great presentation.
5. Clear writing
A listening audience has a mental deficit that those reading or in conversation don't have. Words zoom by quickly. The audience can't interrupt to ask you to explain it again or in another way. If they lose the thread, they very well may check out completely. A good talk is clear, concrete and as simple as possible without being empty.
6. An authentic emotional connection
A great talk is not a florid gushing of emotions and deep personal secrets. But a great talk must share something real. Do you know why people are boring? Usually it's because they're not being honest. A great speaker is present. That's where the magic comes from.
You have a unique and important message. Nurture it.
Focus and articulate your passion, develop your authentic voice and create a TED or TEDx presentation that shares your brilliant ideas with joy, clarity and satisfaction. Nourish your ideas, work more productively, and create a pitch-perfect presentation. Give a great talk and have some fun while doing it. I love to help good ideas unfold.
Contact me for a free phone consultation.
Nurture your talk with insight. Support it with clarity and direction. Share it with confidence and satisfaction.