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Talk like TED for Better Presentations


This blog was written by Jackie Steinmetz, owner of Accelity Marketing, for startupsavant.com – read the original blog here.


Have you ever sat down and listened to a popular TED talk series and wondered what makes their talks so successful? Each successful TED talk has a few common threads. Here’s what makes TED talks the best presentations in the world and how you can adapt TED stratetgies to produce better presentations.


Tell a story.

Everyone is passionate about something, so think long and hard and find out what makes you tick. Your passion will not only separate you from other speakers but it could also make a great story.

Think about why you’re passionate—chances are there’s a good story that’s waiting to be told. And if not, you can always tell someone else’s story if it relates to your topic. Every successful TED speaker is a storyteller, because stories make the audience drop their guard and connect with the speaker on an emotional level. Use this to your advantage. Tell a story.


Ditch the wordy PowerPoints.

You may have noticed that many TED talks don’t use any visuals at all; if you can give a successful presentation that way, do it! But most of us do need some type of visual aid to help us give a better performance and keep us on track.

Feel free to get creative here—don’t bore the audience to death with a subpar PowerPoint or something similar. Yes, PowerPoint is a great tool that’s stood the test of time. Unfortunately, this tool is often used to replace a presentation rather than supplement it. Your visual shouldn’t distract your audience, but it should make your performance stronger.

Ditch the fifty word slides and bullet points. And again if you don’t need it, don’t use it.


Teach the audience something new.

How many time have you seen a video or read a blog that just reiterated exactly what you read somewhere else? It happens all the time. Many people and companies create content just because everyone else is doing the same thing. Instead of creating content outside of your wheelhouse, stick to your passions and your stories, and present on those topics. Do it in a way that is unique to you and you’ll be sure to captivate the audience.

The reason TED talks are so widely popular is because they always offer new information in a unique way: presenters a captivating story, use strong visuals, or have an unparalleled sense of humor.

I’ve long feared public speaking and spend quite a bit of time critiquing my presentations. This personal fear drives me to improve my public speaking skills; now I volunteer to present whenever I can to improve my skills.


I follow these tips… do you? What helped you become a better public speaker? Let me know by joining the conversation on Twitter!


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