The most engaging speakers do a superb job of very quickly introducing the topic, explaining why they care so deeply about it, and convincing the audience members that they should, too.
You can’t summarize an entire career in a single talk. If you try to cram in everything you know, you won’t have time to include key details, and your talk will disappear into abstract language that may make sense if your listeners are familiar with the subject matter but will be completely opaque if they’re new to it.
The speaker starts out by presenting a problem and then describes the search for a solution. There’s an “aha” moment, and the audience’s perspective shifts in a meaningful way.
Go with bullet points on note cards. As long as you know what you want to say for each one, you’ll be fine. Focus on remembering the transitions from one bullet point to the next.
Also pay attention to your tone. Some speakers may want to come across as authoritative or wise or powerful or passionate, but it’s usually much better to just sound conversational. Don’t force it. Don’t orate. Just be you.
There’s no way you can give a good talk unless you have something worth talking about
Remember that the people in the audience are intelligent. Let them figure some things out for themselves. Let them draw their own conclusions.
The single worst thing artists and architects can do is to retreat into abstract or conceptual language.
I think about taking an audience on a journey. A successful talk is a little miracle—people see the world differently afterward.
Many of our best and most popular TED Talks have been memorized word for word.
Simply getting a person to keep his or her lower body motionless can dramatically improve stage presence. There are some people who are able to walk around a stage during a presentation, and that’s fine if it comes naturally. But the vast majority are better off standing still and relying on hand gestures for emphasis.
Most people go through what I call the “valley of awkwardness,” where they haven’t quite memorized the talk. If they give the talk while stuck in that valley, the audience will sense it.
Getting past this point is simple, fortunately. It’s just a matter of rehearsing enough times that the flow of words becomes second nature.
Perhaps the most important physical act onstage is making eye contact.
But I think the single best advice is simply to breathe deeply before you go onstage. It works.
Not only is reciting slides a variation of the teleprompter problem—“Oh, no, she’s reading to us, too!”—but information is interesting only once, and hearing and seeing the same words feels repetitive.
you have something worth talking about. Conceptualizing and framing what you want to say is the most vital part of preparation.
humans are wired to listen to stories, and metaphors abound for the narrative structures that work best to engage people.
where to start and where to end.
they try to cover too much ground.
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