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Script the opening minute and the closing lines. These are the most important parts of the talk. Use good images and stories to ignite curiosity and reflection. How people remember something is largely influenced by how it ends.
Avoid sales pitches or talks that focus on what your organization does.
For the visuals, No slides = better than bad slides. For each slide, convey just one idea and remember that less is more. For photos, have them take up the entire slide. Use only one typeface and 3 fonts throughout the presentation. Avoid bullets, italics, and underlines.
Rehearsals help shape the talk. Ask for advice on clarity, tone, variety, and examples.
Structure: One potential structure for your talk: introduction, context, main concepts, practical applications, conclusion.
Our minds co-evolved with storytelling, a byproduct of fire; elders were often the best storytellers that helped us imagine, dream, and understand the minds of others.
Stories are easy to follow, and they give us the ability to understand complex ideas and understand imagined realities. Adding stories to your public speaking toolkit will enhance your effectiveness.
Enhance your persuasion by offering a counterintuitive idea that convinces the audience that their worldview isn’t exactly right. If you can effectively prime people, add humour, and leverage anecdotes, you will increase your chances of success.
While there are many time-tested principles of public speaking, don’t be afraid to do things differently. Show your unique style and character. Challenge the norms. At the very least, be interesting.
It also helps to believe in what you are talking about.
You have three options: write out a full script, write out a structure, or go unscripted.
With a script, it’s sometimes difficult to translate written words into a talk. You also don’t want to sound too rehearsed, so if you go with a script, you need to fully master your memory of the talk so that you can add your character back in.
Whereas scripts can make every word count, unscripted talks can be half-baked and rambling if they don’t have sufficient preparation. With unscripted talks, it can be helpful to have transition steps or a clear map of the journey that you can follow.
Have a mantra to keep you focused on why your talk counts, “This idea matters.”
Five minutes before your talk, breathe, do push-ups, and drink water. Remember the power of vulnerability. If you screw up, say, “Oops, sorry, a little nervous here.” Look at the audience for sympathetic and encouraging faces. And finally, remember that it’s not about you, it’s about your idea.
Wear something that makes you feel good, and rehearse your talk in that clothing. Ensure it is comfortable and you feel confident wearing it.
Zoom out to the vision of your talk. Show the possibilities that your idea unlocks. Have a clear call to action to help people engage with your idea or pay it forward. Paint a vision of what the world looks like when the idea spreads.
Engineer for manufacturing systems
Public speaking 101
View all TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking Book Summaries
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