What’s Holding You Back from Giving the Perfect Speech?

Talk like TED: best nuggets and main summary about how to get the perfect speech from Carmine Gallo

“Ideas are the currency of the twenty-first century”. This nugget from the beginning of the Carmine Gallo s book –  Talk Like TED  – stuck with me for days after reading it. And I came to think about so many people that have great ideas but for some reason don’t get the chance to present them to the general public. Or worse – if they do, they fail to convince.

“You’re still alive. That means your life has purpose. You were meant for greatness. Don’t sabotage your potential because you can’t communicate your ideas.”


PUBLIC SPEAKING / TALK LIKE TED

Don’t sabotage your potential because you can’t communicate your ideas.


Find below a brief book summary and best nuggets (visual quotes from books) from Talk Like TED.

In this new world where you have information at your fingertips, ideas are important. But even more important is how we present them. If your have a perfect speech or you are still far from that.

Every conversation is a pitch, an opportunity to present your idea and to establish a brand. If you are a business person, a philanthropist, or just someone that would like to be able to express themselves in a more clear and concise way, this book is definitely for you.

“Great communicators reach your head and touch your heart. Most people who deliver a presentation forget the ‘heart’ part.”

Great communicators reach your head and touch your heart. speech in public

As the author tells us even from the title, there are 9 secrets in order to become a very good public speaker and improve your communication skills. Maybe you will doubt that some of these are actually “secrets”. But, secrets or only tips, do you apply them? If not, maybe you should consider this book being a great reminder and a guideline in your career.

Talk Like TED is divided in three main parts. Each of these parts is presenting 3 secrets (as you will see, this partitioning of the material respects one of the secrets).

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So, let’s take these parts step by step.

Part one.

  1. At the beginning you’ll deal with the Emotional side. The first secret is called: “Unleash the Master Within”. This is focused on the passion that we have for a certain subject. What does it mean? It means that you will be able to inspire your audience only if you are truly passionate about the subject you are presenting. The TED speakers, many times, talk about subjects that are not related to their careers, but that they are passionate about. Many times, people fail to have a great career because they focus on having a job that brings them financial satisfaction. But is that what they want to  do for the rest of their lives?

“Motivated and energized speakers are always more interesting and engaging than bored and passive ones.”

  1. The second secret is called: “Master the Art of Storytelling”. Let’s say that you must give a presentation. And you just present dry facts and a huge amount of data. What will be the effect? At some point, the audience will be overwhelmed and maybe even bored. When listening for a long time, our brain gets exhausted and needs something different. With the help of storytelling you can put data into context, create wow moments and inspire the people in the audience. You can also use storytelling in order to reveal some of your vulnerabilities. Or you can present some personal facts that will connect you with the audience. People like to hear stories and they become more engaged in the presentation.

“Stories turn abstract concepts into tangible, emotional, and memorable ideas.”

  1. “Have a conversation”. This is the third secret. In order for your presentation to be as flawless as possible, you need to rehearse it. Do that until it seems that you are having a natural conversation with the audience. By rehearsing it several times before you actually deliver it, you will be able to spot the things that you don’t like and to correct them. Plus, you will feel more comfortable on the stage if something does not go according to the plan. You will be able to react in a natural way, instead of staying fixed on remembering what you have to say.

“Don’t deliver a presentation. Have a conversation instead.”

The second part of the book is called “Novel”. This part is “selling” you also great secrets for catchy presentations and get the perfect speech.

  1. “Teach Me Something New”. Usually when we give a talk or we present a product, we want to offer the audience new information. That is why they are there, to learn something new. But try to offer that information in a new package. Especially if we are talking about numbers and numbers we can barely fit into our minds, try to make analogies in order to help your audience understand the magnitude of the data that you are presenting.

“The human brain loves novelty.”

  1. The fifth secret is called “Deliver Jaw-Dropping Moments”. In order to wow your audience you need to have a moment that will really get them thinking about the subject you are presenting. A great example from a TED talk was the one where Bill Gates wanted to talk about malaria in poor countries. As we all know, malaria is spread by mosquitoes. So Gates brought a jar of mosquitoes into the room and released them into the air saying that not only poor people should have this experience of being afraid of them. It was of course a harmless experiment, but it became one of the most talked about moments in the history of TED. So, when preparing your presentation, think about something that could put a spin in your talk.

“Hook people. Craft and deliver repeatable quotes. Your ideas deserve to be remembered.”

  1. Secret number six is called “Lighten Up”. This teaches you how to incorporate humor in your presentation. Not by telling bad jokes or trying too hard to be funny. Only by presenting funny situations, maybe a video that will lighten up the atmosphere. A great example in this area is sir. Ken Robinson. His speeches are about education and creativity. But the message is delivered differently that you may expect: in such a funny way that people are totally absorbed by the tales. “The brain loves humor. Give your audience something to smile about.” 

The third part of the book is “Memorable”. And this is not only about the name. Which are the secrets?

  1. The seventh secret is called “Stick to the 18 Minute Rule”. There is a very good reason why people are only allowed to speak for 18 minutes at TED conferences. Because our mind gets bored and tired after this much amount of time spent completely focused on someone talking. You need to learn to present your ideas in a concise and simple way, so that even a seven grader would understand “Eighteen minutes is thought-provoking. Three hours is mind-numbing.”  At this point you will find also the idea of presenting things in groups of three, because people remember them easily like this.
  2. The 8th secret is “Paint a Mental Picture with Multisensory Experiences”. If you present only very busy slides, filled with a lot of information, people will forget that information soon. If instead you present some powerful images, a video and try to somehow include also the smell and touch into the equation, your presentation will be a memorable one.

“Concepts that are learned in picture form are encoded as both visual and verbal.”

  1. And the last secret presented in the book is called “Stay in Your Lane”. It means that you should be authentic when you give the speech. Many people transform themselves when they are on stage. They have a completely different tone, different gestures. You should rehearse it and try to be as natural and as “you” as you can. Your goal should not be just to deliver a presentation, but to inspire people and make them take the next steps of the journey together with you.

“Courage stands out. Courage gets noticed. Courage wins hearts and minds.”

Courage stands out. Courage gets noticed. Courage wins hearts and minds.speech in public

Even if you might never walk on an actual TED stage, this book will teach you a lot about public speaking. Will give you the confidence and the tips and tricks necessary in order to deliver a great presentation. It’s very easy to read and it has so many great examples from TED talks that for sure you will be spending a few hours in front of the computer watching them after reading the book.


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