How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World's Most Inspiring Presentations, revised and expanded new edition, with a foreword by Richard St. John and an afterword by Simon Sinek Paperback – Nov 1 2013
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About the Author
JEREMEY DONOVAN is a TEDx organizer and speaker. He serves as group vice president of marketing at Gartner, Inc., the world's leading information technology research and advisory company with $1.6 billion in annual revenue.
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Wish it was longer and more in depth.
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I was very impressed with the content and format of this book. Although short in length, it is full of helpful presentation advise. The following is a (partial) list of topics covered:
1. Selecting a Topic: Identify a central idea and work backwards to establish an audience focused narrative that includes stories and facts. Connect with the audience by focusing on people's inner needs for belonging, self-interest, self-actualization or hope.
2. Crafting a `Catchphrase': Turn the central idea of the presentation into a memorable phrase that is implanted in the audience's mind. An ideal catchphrase should be short (3-10 words) and action oriented. A catchphrase should be repeated several times during the presentation.
3. Opening a Talk: The first ten or twenty seconds of a speech is the peak of the audience's engagement. Capitalize on this engagement by starting your speech with a compelling opening. Personal stories, shocking/startling statements and powerful questions are all effective ways to open a presentation. As a follow-up to the opening of your presentation, deliver a post-opening that informs the audience of the benefits they will gain from the presentation.
4. Building a Speech Body and Transitions: The body of a presentation should ideally consist of three sections. Segmenting a speech into three sections helps the presenter stay focused and helps the audience remember the message. Several narrative styles may be utilized; three effective styles are the situation-complication-resolution framework, the chronological narrative and the idea-concepts description. Transitions between sections of the speech should reinforce the key message of the prior section while teasing the audience with benefits of the upcoming section.
5. Concluding a Talk: The conclusion of a speech is the final opportunity to inspire the audience or call them to action with an easy next step. Use language that makes it clear the speech is ending. A few possible conclusions to a speech are a call back to a personal story told earlier in the speech, a shocking statistic or compelling question.
6. Mastering Verbal Delivery: When delivering a speech adopt a conversationalist tone and use everyday language in short sentence structures. Avoid filler words by speaking in bursts followed by pauses. Make liberal use of the word `you' to appeal to the audience.
7. Adding Humor to a Talk: Humor should be embedded throughout the speech, strive for one joke every few minutes. Utilize self-deprecation, exaggerated reality and challenges to authority to add humor. Effective speakers `riff' on humorous themes in clusters of three.
8. Managing Your Physical Delivery: When delivering a speech stand comfortably with hands down at your sides. Gestures should be contained to the area above your waist and below your neck. Maintain eye contact with individuals in the audience for three to five seconds. If you are presenting to a large group, engage sections for one to three minutes.
9. Creating Visuals That Inspire: Use as few slides as possible or no slides at all. If you are using slides, keep them simple with short text and images.
This is just a brief overview of the content covered in this book. Every section is full of good examples that support the key ideas of effective presentations.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in improving their public speaking skills or wants to learn more about the format of a TED talk.
You see, I'm a writer. I like to write. I like sitting alone at home in a t-shirt and yoga pants with just my characters for company.
But writers have to sell books, and I hate the marketing part of it. Don't get me wrong: I adore my readers! But I don't want to be the kind of writer who goes on Twitter and shouts, "Buy my book!" I want the readers who want to read my books to read them because they want to read them. And then there's the whole t-shirt and yoga pants thing when it comes to author visits, vlogging, or making YouTube videos. No one wants to see that. And I'm embarrassed about the way I look, because I'm no Anne Hathaway, and I'm embarrassed by the way my voice sounds.
So what do you do in a situation like that? How do you get over your fear of putting yourself out in public?
Well, being a writer, the first thing I did was look to books for the answer. I bought Video Nation by Jefferson Graham, which is a book about creating video for the web. That turned out to be pointless, because its answer for everything is to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on equipment. A friend recommended Talk Up Your Book by Patricia Fry, and I knew within the first few pages that was the wrong book for me, because it claims that personality sells over 80% of books. Hello, how many bestselling books have you bought from authors you've personally met? Have you met J.K. Rowling? How about James Patterson? Rick Riordan? I didn't think so. And her answer for what you do if you feel self-conscious about your weight is to lose weight. Really? Many anorexics think they're fat. So is that book saying they should lose weight? Kind of bad advice, don't you think?
So then I finally got to How to Deliver a TED Talk by Jeremy Donavan, and this book is everything a great TED Talk should be: clear, concise, easy to follow, and inspirational. This isn't just the best book on public speaking I've ever read: it's the best nonfiction book I've ever read. They say if you give a man a fish he'll eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he'll feed himself and his family for a lifetime. This book is the ultimate TED Talk, because it uses the TED format to teach you how to inspire others with your own ideas worth spreading.
The video review I've posted here is the first one I've made where I'm talking to the camera without feeling self-conscious because of the way I look and the way my voice sounds. Is it great? No. But I know the more I practice, the better I'll get. It's just a small step, but it's a giant leap for me. And I feel a lot better knowing it's not about selling anything. It's about sharing ideas that will improve lives. That's exactly why I write!
So thank you, thank you, thank you, Jeremy Donovan, for helping me get over my fear.
And for anyone who is afraid of public speaking, buy this book! You'll be so happy that you did.
Jeremey has clearly spent countless hours learning from the masters and throughout the book he references some of the best and most-loved TED videos of all time. It was quite fascinating to hear how he analyzes the different speeches to help the reader understand what makes them so great. Furthermore, in all instances, he makes the clear connection back to how you can employ the same tactics and get the same fantastic results in your own speaking.
The author has an personable and concise writing style which makes this book easily readable. He also interjects plenty of personal examples and anecdotes from his years of observing speakers, which helps keep the book moving at a reasonable pace.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone participating in TED auditions, speaking at a TED or TEDx conference, giving a keynote, involved with Toastmasters or just interested in learning more about the rules of speechcraft and observing how some of the greats work.
But it's not just about TED talks - this is a great book to read anytime you have a presentation to make - if you have a few minutes to deeply engage and impress your audience, this book is a quick, informative, brilliant guide.
What is appalling about this book is, that quite obviously the author tries to capitalize on the great name "TED Talk". When I started reading this book I first thought that Jeremey Donovan is a big fan of the organization, by the end of the book I doubted that. It rather appears that Mr. Donovan is trying to associate his name with this great organization.
This book is missing an index of the TED Talks he quotes. If Jeremy Donovan really wanted the reader to profit from the examples he would have listed those. Even college students have to quote their sources.
For instance, early in the book, on page 10 of 107, Donovan writes:
"Of the ten most viewed TED Talks as of the end of 2011, seven focused on inspiring people to change themselves."
That's when for me it began to sink in that this book is not on TED level.
How about naming these ten most viewed TED Talks?
Beyond that there are the usual demagogic phrases fitting into the category of "Reader, please get excited about what I am about to reveal". Jeremey Donovan asks the rhetorical question:
So, where does that leave the rest of us?
How can we make it to the TED stage and inspire the world with our words?
Until the very end, Jeremey Donovan never answers these questions. This book's promises too much.
Even though he ends the book on a great sentence, the end is abrupt and considering that there is no index of any sort, this book may not have passed for a college term paper.
Gisela Hausmann, blogger & author
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