Tag Archives: TED Talks

Ditching your running shoes

I’m not much of a runner. I’m still traumatised of coming last in every race I ran in school. Much to my dismay. This put me off sports for a long time. I’ve just listened to a TED Talk that makes a good case for ditching your running shoes. The case he makes is that running barefoot eliminates running injuries and brings the joy and freedom back to running. He makes an interesting proposal – I might just take up running, barefoot.

Check out the talk below.

A to Z Challenge: T is for Time

A TED Talk is 18 minutes long. Whether you are Bono, Bill Gates or Bill Clinton – no more, no less.

A Toastmaster speech is generally 5 to 7 minutes long.

How long can I listen to a speech or presentation before zoning out? Not more than 18 minutes…and it had better be good!

Continue reading A to Z Challenge: T is for Time

A to Z Challenge: C is for Being Conversational

Any speech or talk will be more convincing and professional if the speaker sounds conversational rather putting on an artificial performance.  That should be reserved for theatre acting.

This requires practice and preparation. Being conversational does not mean that the speaker stands in front of an audience and flies by the seat of their pants, impromptu style.

So, what helps a speaker sound conversational? Continue reading A to Z Challenge: C is for Being Conversational

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.