How to write a TED talk

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How to write a TED talk

It is a very popular format these days. The TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conferences are a series of conferences of around 18 minutes long that have influenced the way we speak in public for the last ten years. While the corporate presentation style is known to be long and soporific, TED talks on the contrary have come to inspire us on a new way to present ideas orally and mark the minds of the audience thanks to storytelling. Here are some tips on how to write a TED talk.

1) Learn from other TED talks

Don’t try to copy another speaker’s style, but rather get an overview of several styles that might fit your presentation. Watch TED Talks videos on topics similar to the one you’ve chosen, as well as topics that interest you but are unrelated to the topic you’ll be speaking on.

2) Set a “feeling” goal

Ask yourself what change you want to see in your audience. Ask yourself the question “after my presentation, I want my audience to…” participate in the crowdfunding, talk about my initiative, understand more about quantum physics, understand the importance of space exploration, have a good time, feel happy, you name it.

3) Focus on one objective

Remember, you only have 18 minutes maximum! Just the time it takes to get your message across, no more. This way, your talk will have more impact. By focusing on a single objective, the speech will be more coherent and effective.

4) Don’t overuse the slides

If corporate presentations are an endless flow of slides, Ted Talks are the opposite. Many speakers prefer to use very few slides, if any. The objective is to use slides only to illustrate in real time the main steps of the speech or the most visual elements. This is a good example to follow to improve your daily presentations.

5) Finish strong

When you write a TED Talk, your conclusion must be so powerful that the audience will remember it for many days. Don’t hesitate to use rhetorical devices or even share something very personal. The important thing is that you end with a boom rather than a whimper.

Remember to not just only write a TED talk. Practice your presentation. The more you practice, the better you use the right formulas, the more fluid your speech will become.