TED and Public speaking: Learn from the best

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Last week, I had a speaking engagement at IESEG Business School on “Networking 2.0, new ways to find a job”, I’ll be writing another article to tell you about that. So, today I want to write about how cool TEDTalks are when it comes to public speaking.

Over the last two years, I’ve put an emphasis on practicing public speaking, especially through work (+/- biweekly, facing crowds 10-80). I’ve also tried public speaking clubs such as Toastmasters in Dublin, but I wasn’t thrilled by the atmosphere of that one club I visited.

I often hear public speaking is rated #1 human fear, with an “Estimated 75% of all people experience some degree of anxiety/nervousness when public speaking”. I think it’s a fantastic area to explore, and watching some very inspiring videos and/or TED Talks can be of serious help. Let’s look at 6 videos, 3 Great Presentations, and 3 videos on how to craft and deliver a presentation.

How to deliver a presentation: I picked 3 presentations have what I call the “wow factor”, It’s just like watching an stand up performance at the theatre, those guys have mastered their stuff and sure know how to deliver it:

1) Sir Ken Robinson on how schools are killing creativity

2) lawyer Bryan Stevenson telling us about an injustice

3) the overly energized Tony Robbins on Why we do what we do.

It strikes me how engaged those presenters keep you. Watch Tony Robbins’ audience reaction when he’s time is up. They refuse to let him leave the stage, how crazy is that?

One of best tip on delivering a talk is to record your dry runs. Start recording yourself presenting: it’s one thing to rehearse, but seeing yourself delivering a presentation is a great way to improve (e.g. build self-awareness on body language, recurring “um”…).

How to craft a presentation: About Talks structure, I found two TED presenters that analyzed some of the great presentations out there, including talks from Steve Jobs & Martin Luther King :

1) Duarte’s Presentation, she’s a long time guru that analyses great talk rhythm and structure

2) Simon Sinek looks at those two presentation (and more) to give brilliant insights on how great leaders inspire action.

Finally, watch this 6-minute video (also at the bottom of this post) by author Susan Weinschenk that argues presentations delivered in 20 minutes chuncks help audience enjoy you talk better and retain more about your topic (surprise, that’s the average TEDtalk duration).

Remember, doesn’t matter how great your content is, you’re only ever as good as how you deliver it.

-Rodolphe (initially published on dutel.fr)


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