Talk Like TED, a Few Tips for a Better Presentation by Carmine Gallo

Talk Like TED is a book all about public presentation, and especially, TED presentations.

In this book, Carmine Gallo pointed out a few tips for how one can improve his/her public speaking skills. However, Gallo did not delve deeper onto the concepts and issues he talked about in the book. So, overall, the book seems to be aimed at the general public rather than avid readers/learners. As I had a hard time contemplating what the actual techniques the book had talked about.

So, generally, the book can be deconstructed into following several chapters.

1. Passion

The first chapter is all about having as much passion as possible, so that you are a really passionate person that:

Passion is contagious.

2. Tell a Story

Master the ability of storytelling. As any successful public speaker ever presented on the TED stage, every one of them is a good storyteller.

Engaging stories help audience understand better of your idea.

Stories mean to engage audience emotionally. A good story wins audience’s hearts.

Types of stories you can tell:

  • Personal stories
  • Other people, other characters’ relatable stories
  • Success stories from brands

However it’s not limited. A story can also be fictional as long as it helps make the points across.

How to write a good story?

Components: twists, empathy, emotionally engaging, eliminating old words (not necessarily), one or multiple impressive and significant characters, hardships (It seems like many stories revolve around hurdles and goals.), a story of justice against evil and saving innocents.

3. You Are Having a Conversation with a Friend

Practice practice and practice.

In this chapter, first, it’s about controlling the rate of speech when you deliver a speech. The golden rule of the speed is 190 words/min.

It’s like having a conversation with a friend, trying to preach something new to him. Making connections. And also by practicing, you can enhance this sort of style–telling something new to a friend, having a conversation.

Also, being able to master RATE, VOLUMN, PITCH, PAUSES. In Chinese, 抑扬顿挫.

Having Command Presence is also important. Body language means to showcase your outward confidence. The presence of a leader.

Last but not final, force yourself into the “power” or “confident” mode, it’ll give you more command presence. Changing your body ultimately affects your brain, and how you perform.

4. Novelty

In this chapter, it’s basically about introducing things in a new and novel way.

“Packaged differently” has several meanings, 1 is to deliver the idea in a relatable manner, 2 is to stand out among other present methods.

Just surprise the audience, I guess.

5. Jaw-Dropping Moments

In this chapter, it’s about delivering jaw-dropping moments–something extremely surprising.

Make it emotionally impactful.

Deliver something as a shocker or a showstopper.

That one moment or two moments need to be very memorable.

6. Humor

This chapter talks about using humor to package your presentation more entertaining. However, the author did not disclose much useful info on how to actually tell a joke. All of this chapter is just stressing about “using jokes” and that’s it.

As far as I know, there are joke theories and if you apply them when composing joke, it’ll have a better chance of making people laugh.

5 ways of giving jokes are personal stories, analogies, quotes, videos and photos.

But to put what kinds of stories, quotes or photos etc. He does not tell, which is literally useless.

7. The Golden 18-Minute Rule

Basically, in this chapter, it’s best to limit the speech or presentation to 10-20 minutes. The thing to understand is how are you structuring your framework? It can be 3 points, 5 points or more. As long as you can arrange them in a logical associative manner.

And, master the language. Make your words as concise as possible.

Third, soft breaks. It’s recommended to take a break every 10 minutes, inserting a minor distraction–video, demonstration, story, joke, anything that can draw audience a bit away from your dreary presentation but still support/help presenting the idea of your presentation.

8. Multisensory Experiences

Humans have 5 sense: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. It’s important to incorporate these ways into your presentation.

The author talked about only 3: pictures, audios and stage props.

Meaning and eye-catching, artistic/aesthetic images boost your audience’s concentration and understanding.

Audios are also important for this chapter. However, the author was talking about how the presenter should speak rather than additional audios supporting the ideas.

Stage props, a good way to let audience “feel” the idea.

9. Be Yourself

Stay in your lane, and be yourself. Every presentation should mark the style of your own.

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