3 things speakers can learn from ‘TED Talks’ by Chris Anderson

TED talks have become quite the phenomenon, with some of the top ones viewed millions of times online. For good reason. At their best we see superb examples of speakers sharing ‘an idea worth spreading’, and all in 18 minutes or less.

In this book Chris Anderson (the curator of TED since 2002) shares excellent insights and advice for speakers, in a highly readable and engaging way.

Here are just 3 out of many valuable points to consider:

  1. ‘Your only real job in giving a talk is to have something valuable to say, and to say it authentically in your own unique way.’

This cuts right to the heart of what matters most. Yes, there is so much to learn and work on as speakers, but when we come back to what matters most…this is it.

  1. ‘Overstuffed equals under explained.’

As a speaker coach one really consistent part of my work is helping speakers to focus, and take things out of their talks. Only then can they really breathe life and space into what they do have, in a way that communicates fully to the audience.

  1. If you’re going to tell a story make sure you know why you’re telling it, and try to edit out all the details that are not needed to make your point, while still leaving enough in for people to vividly imagine what happened.’

So important. Both with regards to using the right amount of specificity, and having a clear reason for telling the story in the first place.

I shared a 3 part series about storytelling here.  All the examples were from brilliant TED talks.