Have you ever watched a TED talk? If you ask most business consultants, thought leaders, speakers, educators, and I would say ALL millennials in college, they would be all too familiar with a TED talk.
According to their website, a TED talk is a video created from a presentation at the main TED (technology, entertainment, design) conference or one of its many satellite events around the world. TED talks are limited to a maximum length of 18 minutes but may be on any topic. TED looks for engaging, charismatic speakers that have interesting ideas to share with a broad audience.
The first TED conference was in 1984; the conference has been held annually since 1990. Over the years, presenters of TED talks have included Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Bono, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, and Anthony Robbins. You can look mine up too!
Here are some approaches to consider if you’re looking to deliver a TED talk, offer seminars as part of your business, or bone up on your speaking skills.
Start with Your Best Stuff! Many TED talks begin with a direct statement. “Social media is actually preventing many of us from establishing real life personal connections. We’re losing sight of the value of the personal touch.” Of course, your best stuff can be a direct statement, a story, statistic, a “Did you know…”, or a quote. Try not to let your “best stuff” be, “Good morning, my name is…and I’m here to discuss…”
Tell Stories to Make Your Points. Audiences remember stories. Especially stories they can relate to and that create an emotional charge. The best stories are colorful and detailed, but not too wordy. If you can tell a story in a succinct and yet compelling way, you’ll be able to take your audience for a ride. Just make sure the last stop is a relevant point you’re looking to make with them.
Organize Your Main Thoughts. It’s always best if your audience can follow your main points. “I have a few ideas about Long Term Care that I want to share with you.” Or, “Here are the five most important things you need to know about Long Term Care. First, …”
Relate to Your Audience. Your topic, stories, main points, sub points, and overall purpose of your presentation (to inform, persuade, or entertain) needs to be relevant to your audience. You can certainly tell stories about yourself and share experiences but try to put yourself in the audience’s seat. What is important to them? What problems are they looking to solve? How can you help them? What should they do about it?
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