Prepare Your Next Speech Like a Ted-Talk Pro

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Prepare Your Next Speech Like a Ted-Talk Pro

TED Talks have taken the world by storm.

Hundreds of fascinating speakers sharing their thoughts on a huge number of topic – all available at the click of a button.

And TED talks tend to go viral  – or at the least, get lots of views.

One of the factors contributing to their success is speaker’s ability to give a spell-binding presentation.

Use these four tips to give your own TED-style talk at your next event.

1.Remember Who You’re Talking To

Are you talking to a room full of your peers, a professional crowd or a theatre hall of students? The trick is to tailor your talk to the specific audience.

If you’re addressing other professionals in your field, then by all means, throw in as much jargon as necessary. If you’re speaking to a room full of novices, you’ll need to keep your language more user-friendly and free of insider jargon.

You’ll also want to know other critical facts about the event and your speaking session, such as how long your keynote lasts, if you’ll have time for a question-and-answer session after your main talk, or if there is anyone speaking before or after you.

2. Be Yourself

If there’s one thing worse than sitting through a talk that’s overloaded with jargon, it’s enduring through an event where the speaker comes across as inauthentic.

Your job is simply to speak authentically on your subject.

If you try too hard, it will become obvious very quickly that you have more style than substance. And that’s big pitfall you’re going to want to avoid.

“Authenticity is one of the most crucial and one of the more overlooked points in speaking guides. People love to see speakers being themselves, it creates a sense of trust and of believability,” says Ellen Adams, a Business Writer at Writemyx.

Remember too, that audiences are on your side. They want to be there and they want you to succeed.

Relax into that feeling and show them your true character.

3. Breathe Deeply

There are many tips out there for handling nerves before going on stage, but the old adage of taking several big breaths is still absolutely true.

If you’re feeling nervous, take a few big, deep breaths before heading out on to stage and be aware of your breathing as you talk.

Pause if necessary, to slow your breathing down and retake control.

When you start to feel the rush of adrenaline, you’ll notice your breathing may become more shallow and faster. Again, focus on controlling your breath.

Physically, make sure you are quite comfortable, have water available to sip on, aren’t hungry or tired.

All these things can affect the quality of your talk.

4. Say, Don’t Sway

How you move your body is a very important part of public speaking. Top speakers suggest using body language to help emphasise a point, but avoiding repetitive moves, such as swaying back and forth.

Terry Atwood, Project Manager at 1day2write, said: “If you’re using your body to sway or rock, you’re basically setting up a pendulum effect. This will create a sense of drowsiness in your audience members, much like the rocking motion in a hammock or a clock ticking. This repetition should be avoided at all cost.”

Instead, use your body to highlight dramatic moments or important points.

Don’t just use your hands though; bring your whole body into use when emphasising a point. This action will help make your case more clearly and your talk more engaging.

Final Thoughts

There are many things to consider alongside the content of the talk itself, but by following a few simple tips, you’ll shake those nerves and be ready to deliver a talk that no one will ever forget.

What’s your plan for overcoming nerves and creating a keynote speech that rocks?


Tim Colley works as a writer and marketing expert at Academic Brits and Origin Writings. His passions involve seeing companies succeed with his marketing strategies, writing articles and blogs and making connections.

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