How To Give A TED Talk
TED is a nonprofit organization that hosts conferences and events around the world, where speakers (like me) get up on stage and tell stories about how they’ve impacted their lives or the world around them. The format is simple: You get up there and talk for a minute or two about something that’s important to you, then sit down and listen as others do the same thing, here is our guide on How To Give A TED Talk:
TED talks have become popular because they are engaging for both speaker and audience alike — but since most people aren’t professional communicators, it can be difficult to know which parts of a given presentation will work best with an audience who doesn’t speak your language (i.e.: English).
1. Learn from the world’s best presenters.
It’s important to get to know the world’s best presenters. Watch TED talks, read books on public speaking and watch videos of great speakers. Try to emulate the best ones you see—but don’t copy them exactly!
If you have time and energy left over after that, it will help if you do some research about yourself! What makes your voice unique? What are your strengths as a speaker? How can these strengths help shape your presentation style?
2. Try to keep your talk under 18 minutes.
The ideal length for a TED talk is about 18 minutes. This means that if you’re giving the presentation and you end up with 22 minutes, then it won’t be considered a full TED Talk. It’s important to keep your talk under 18 minutes because people have short attention spans these days. They’ll have difficulty paying attention for longer than an hour or so at once (which is why this blog post has been broken up into multiple parts). Also, it can be difficult to stay focused on one idea when there are so many other interesting things happening around you!
If your speech goes over 18 minutes, then some people might think, “Oh well, now I have nothing left to say!” while others may feel that they missed out on something by not knowing more details about what happened during your presentation. Either way though—if possible—you should try not to go over 20 minutes total length of time spent talking onstage before starting off with introductions/etc
3. Build a strong narrative.
- Build a strong narrative.
Storytelling is a powerful way to engage an audience, and TED talks do it well. They’re all about stories that are relevant to the topic at hand (and often have some sort of moral or message). You should build your talk around a story—a good one will have a beginning, middle, and end. Make sure that you tell this story in such a way that it makes sense for your target audience. If you’re speaking to CEOs, don’t start by explaining why they should care about something as pedestrian as climate change!
Make sure also that any details included in your narrative are relevant to the topic at hand. For example, if you’re passionate about women’s rights or race relations in America today but not so much about global warming or climate change issues, you still want people to listen attentively, even when you talk about those things later on down the road when these topics come up again. Don’t include too much information about how things are going wrong right now. Instead, there may be better ways for everyone involved—if ever.
4. Speak in simple, conversational language.
How do you make your TED Talk feel like a conversation? That’s the challenge. You can use simple language, but don’t be afraid to repeat yourself or use jargon. It helps you get your point across clearly. Speaking in simple language also means that you don’t need to speak too quickly. Not only is this awkward for an audience, but it also makes it easier for people with hearing impairments or other disabilities to follow along.
When I was preparing my own TEDx talk about dyslexia and ADHD (I wrote about how I overcame both), I remembered this advice from one of my favorite books: “The best way to learn something is through practice.”
5. Practice your presentation so you can stay on track and make eye contact with the audience.
When you’re practicing, it’s important to keep in mind that your presentation is not just about you. You’ve got to make eye contact with the audience and connect with them on an emotional level. So practice speaking while looking at yourself in a mirror or through a video camera. So, when you give your TED talk, people can see what they are hearing. This will help them understand what you’re saying better than if they were just listening to words on paper.
Practicing alone isn’t enough. If there are no other people around who can critique how well or poorly you did during this exercise (and who would actually want such feedback?), then consider asking friends or family members who care about seeing themselves doing something well—like making good TV shows!
6. Use visual elements like photos, diagrams, charts and graphs to help clarify your points, but don’t abuse them or the audience will tune out of your talk while they read them.
Visual elements are a great way to help clarify your points. You shouldn’t use them in excess, or they’ll distract from the message you’re trying to convey.
The best visual elements to use are photos, diagrams, charts, and graphs—and even text. It helps drive home your point better than just some words on a page could. Don’t abuse them either; don’t go overboard with them. People will tune out of your talk while they read them!
Here are some examples:
7. The room you present in can do a lot to help engage an audience, but it can also be distracting if you don’t pay attention to how you use it — just look at any mediocre film director who has no idea how to use a stage as opposed to a movie camera to tell their story.
Your room can do a lot to help engage an audience. It can also be distracting if you don’t pay attention to how you use it. Just look at any mediocre film director who has no idea how to use a stage as opposed to a movie camera to tell their story.
If you’re giving a TEDx talk, one of the most important things for an audience member is that there not be too many people in front of them and above them (if possible). This means that whatever space is available should have enough space for everyone to sit comfortably with their backs against an invisible wall or the back of a chair to avoid feeling claustrophobic. Especially when trying to hear what is being said while also seeing what is going on around them. Otherwise, they might end up getting bored or distracted before even starting out on this journey. This could have a wide range of negative consequences leading to disaster!
8. Don’t go for the easy jokes and cheap laughs — wisecracks won’t win over an audience any more than they win over voters at a political debate (even if the candidate gets his laughs).
This is a golden rule of TED talks: Don’t go for the easy jokes and cheap laughs. Wisecracks won’t win over an audience any more than they win over voters at a political debate (even if the candidate gets his laughs). If you have a real-life example that relates to what you’re talking about, try using it in your presentation instead.
9. If you have a real-life example that relates to what you’re talking about, try using it in your presentation as much as possible without being longwinded about it — people relate better when there is an element of authenticity in what’s being said (unless of course, you’re presenting before Matt Taibbi).
- If you have a real-life example that relates to what you’re talking about. Try using it in your presentation as much as possible without being longwinded about it. People relate better when there is an element of authenticity in what’s being said (unless of course, you’re presenting before Matt Taibbi).
- Make sure your story is interesting and relevant to the audience. Especially to the target audience that will be watching you speak at TEDx talk or any other event!
There are many more tips and tricks to give a TED Talk, but we hope that this list will give you an idea of what makes a great presentation. If you’re looking to improve your public speaking skills, or just want to take your career up a notch then think about giving one of these talks!