Tag Archives: public speaking secrets

Talk Like TED

2 months, 3 days, 2 hours and 45 minutes! That’s how long the book drought was. Quite long by my standards.

This week I picked up Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo.


I had bought it some months ago, purely on impulse. It resonated with me now because I am doing a presentation at the Scrum User Group of South Africa conference later on this month.

I am normally comfortable with speaking in public because I have been a toastmaster for many years. The TED style of presenting intrigues me and I love it and wanted to learn the secrets of great TED talks. I have summarized them below from this valuable book to have if you are or aspire to speaking in public.

Structuring your talk  – create a message map


The headline idea is rather cool – like the “elevator-pitch” for your talk. Write the headline as though you were tweeting it.

A few more take-aways from the book:

Talk about something you are passionate about.

Tell a story.

Use humour and personal stories and quotes from people you know – they do not have to by famous people to be effective.

Make it memorable -keep facts and stats to a minimum.

Paint a mental picture – invoke all of your audience’s senses, especially the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic senses. People may not remember your slides but they will remember how you made them feel.

Create jaw-dropping moments.

Teach something new.

Use natural conversational gestures. Be who you are.

End on a high note.

Now go out there and change the world!

In response to WordPress's daily writing prompt: Reader's BlockWhat’s the longest you’ve ever gone without reading a book (since learning how to read, of course)? Which book was it that helped break the dry spell? Click here for more responses to this writing prompt.