Media Training Worldwide

Ted Presentation Skills

What makes a TED talk?
If you want to be a TED speaker, the first thing to consider is whether you have an interesting speech to deliver. Most speakers, conventions, conferences, and university lectures are boring. Sometimes they are way too long, and many people do not remember much about the talks. Here we will go into some specific details that TED presentations have. Simple and common talks are not something you can do on TED talks.

TED takes its slogan very seriously; ideas worth spreading. One of the reasons behind the success of TED as an organization is that they have the discipline to say “No” to someone not fulfilling their criteria. Most organizations, trade associations, and conferences worldwide let people speak due to political influence, stature in the industry, as sponsors, or because they are famous.

TED is different because if you can’t deliver an exciting speech properly, you will not be invited to talk no matter who you are. Because of this scrutiny, they have a better brand reputation than any other forum for speakers. Moreover, you can watch it on your tablet, smart tv, mobile phone, etc., Even if it is not a topic you are fascinated by you to do learn something compelling from the talk, and it does not go on and on and forever. There is a set amount of time, typically less than 20 minutes, for a TED talk.

If you have something genuinely interesting or an idea worth spreading, you are welcome at TED. If you do not have that, you still can be a great public speaker, a good salesperson, or a spokesperson but maybe not be a good candidate for a TED talk.

Passion for the idea worth spreading
After having an interesting concept, you must have a passion for spreading and delivering it. Being motivated to speak on TED by a desire for prestige and fame, is not the attitude to have. Most of the speakers talking on TED talk about their subject for years and years to various audiences. Think about the subjects and ideas you have for the Ted talk and the passion for sharing the information with your audience.
A good TED speech also contains an element of surprise. An excellent TED speech has the power of shifting your thinking about a particular subject. Your topic should be something you truly care about and have real-life experience in, not by selecting a popular topic of the time.

Tell a story
Ted presentations are different from most conferences, presentations, and talks because most corporations have speakers that deliver significant, long boring data, and facts sheets with many bullet points on every slide. They overwhelm their audience with so much data that it becomes boring—TED emphasizes communicating only a handful of ideas or even one idea. Then you get the time to tell your story. All great TED speakers have stories mostly related to personal experience. The stories are not dramatic or funny but recount real experiences where the audience can feel, touch, and taste the effect of your idea alive. In this way, the people can visualize what the speaker wants to convey with their mind’s eye and relate to it.

Plan your visuals
TED has no time for awful visuals, like having 30 slides and many bullet points on every slide. The TED people understand that audiences worldwide do not like too much text on the slides and the speaker reading it out. People like exciting visuals that summarize the idea you want to convey. It is also important that you do not have to necessarily include visuals in your presentations or too many of them. Your ideas have to stand on their own. Add to your talk only those visuals which can help your audience understand and remember the concept better than with your words alone”. Although I would suggest just deleting this part.
The TED talk’s staging, lighting, and opening sound effects are superb, making it look like a fantastic production. If you get an opportunity to talk on TED, maybe it will be the first time many people watch and listen to you. Present yourself and your idea in the best possible way.

Don’t make it too long
The greatest challenge for many speakers, and even great speakers, is the length of the talk. Currently, the maximum length of a talk at TED is 18 minutes. You must have the discipline to figure out what is most important and relevant to include and exclude without losing the impact you want to create. You can’t speak faster or cram more points in a PowerPoint slide. Plan your talk according to the time given, and you must be an excellent editor to edit your talk accordingly. Don’t estimate your time by reading your speech silently, as it takes more time with the same speech when you are talking the exact words in front of people pausing, and walking around at the same time. You must practice the speech in front of live audiences.

Style and substance
Holding notes in your hand or reading from a screen with your back at the audience does not work on TED talks. TED is brilliant in analyzing things like notes and dices immobilize the speaker and makes him passive, decreasing their liveliness and contact with the audience. If you are not a professional newsreader or someone using a teleprompter very often, it is not a good idea to use one as it will seem you are reading the content in a robotic style which is unimpressive. Talk in a natural flow and share what you want to say flawlessly. If you have spent some years of your life on the idea you are discussing, you can talk impressively regarding that concept. Move around appropriately during your talk as TED has a large stage and cameramen following you. It makes you seem more comfortable and authoritative. Mobilize yourself by moving your head, hands, eyebrows, position, and tone of talking to seem natural and comfortable as much as possible. Dress in a way consistent with who you are and what you will talk about.

Do video rehearsals
One of the most important things you will have to do is to practice on video on any camera you have on your devices to see what you will come across when you make the presentation. Even great speakers are reluctant to do this as people do not want to see and hear themselves for many reasons. Still, it is crucial to overcome this barrier and practice on video until you like what you see in your recording. You can process and work out your presentation by recording yourself and improving how you deliver your idea. After recording and looking at your recording, list down what you liked and didn’t like in your presentation. Now work on the things you did not like and try to remove them one by one. Keep recording until you get in perfect shape.

If you want to appear for a TED talk, first look at the ideas you want to discuss. Is it something interesting and worth sharing? If yes, then go ahead and practice your presentation on video keeping your look natural, comfortable, and within the time limit given. Deliver your idea in a storytelling style and don’t spill lots and lots of data for the audience. Edit your speech to make it comprehensive, complete, and brief to complete in the time provided. Connect to the people by talking directly to them without a teleprompter or notes in hand. TED has rules that force you to present yourself in a way that people like to listen to. This is the reason behind the popularity of TED, and it can make you impressive as well.

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