By now, TED talks are a well-established series known for insightful content, big ideas, and, above all, an engaging format marked by personal stories, humor, and captivating stage presence. It’s easy to soak in these brilliant presentations with slight pangs of envy and assume that their presenters must just be naturally gifted, but that is actually not the case at all – more than half a year of training goes into making each 18-minute talk a compelling and informative final product.
It just goes to show that, with a lot of work, great ideas can become absolutely transformative; what’s more, effective communication can be the difference between someone with one of those great ideas and a true thought leader – or, for that matter, any leader.
For those who want to learn to orate like TED presenters, Chris Anderson, the curator of the TED archives and one of trainers for the presenters, has offered TED’s tried-and-true techniques to the Harvard Business Review, summarized in this article by Upstart. Some of the advice is intuitive, while other suggestions – such as not trying to cram every data point into a short presentation – might be less so. Not only does Anderson highlight the preparation and knowledge required for every TED Talk, he provides readers with the basic skill set to hook an audience and make them think, a crucial leadership ability.
Of course, we would love to hear feedback on what readers think about these tips, or if anybody has anything to add that can make or break a presentation. Barring that – what is the best TED talk you have ever seen, and why?