TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

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“An insider’s guide to creating talks that are unforgettable,” Chris Anderson, curator of TED, gives the definitive blueprint to deliver a great TED talk, or any talk, for that matter. Drawing from the examples of beloved TED speakers, including Sir Ken Robinson, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Salman Khan, and many more, this guide will help you craft the most effective talks that will connect with your audience.

“One of the reasons I was so captivated by TED was the discovery that talks really can offer something more than the printed word. But it’s not a given, and it’s not even true in every case. That something extra has to be thought about, invested in, developed. It has to be earned. What is that something extra? It’s the human overlay that turns information into inspiration.”

Chris Anderson, TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

This book is obviously an excellent guide for any public speaker, but it goes beyond offering mere inspiration. The structure provides concrete steps and actions to create that impactful talk. The book covers the foundational aspects of storytelling, the different tools and narrative types to covert the story into a talk, and practical tips to prepare and deliver the talk on stage.

“Presentation literacy isn’t an optional extra for the few. It’s a core skill for the twenty-first century.”

Chris Anderson, TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

For me, this book goes beyond being a mere guide to improving presentation skills. My fellow content creators will also find many incredible insights in the book on how to tell the best stories and connect ideas in a way that engages the audience while retaining one’s authenticity. Many books tackle multiple aspects of content creation, but this one manages to succinctly comprise a broad perspective that will trigger interest to delve deeper into those individual aspects.

“Before you build an idea in someone else’s mind, you need their permission. People are naturally cautious about opening up their minds—the most precious thing they own—to complete strangers. You need to find a way to overcome that caution.”

Chris Anderson, TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

Some argue a guide on public speaking shouldn’t be a book. It indeed makes a lot of sense to create a masterclass or a series of videos to convey the topic, but I feel this would’ve made the subject matter less accessible. Plus, the example references of TED talks in the book will already send you down a rabbit hole of audiovisual content (which is awesome, but also dangerous for me). All in all, great read!

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