Tuesday, September 16, 2014

[How to Deliver a Great TED Talk] Post 5: Verbal Delivery

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Authentic and Humble

      Be yourself and express your true passion. Be humble. Try to create one-on-one conversation with everyone. Use jargon-free (i.e., 6 grade level) language packaged into short clear sentences. Share expertise, not ego. Do not self-promote.

Filler Words

     These are words like ‘umm,’ ‘ahh,’ ‘you know,’ ‘I mean,’ ‘so…,’ ‘actually,’ ‘like,’ ‘sort of,’ ‘kind of,’ etc. People use these words to fill in uncomfortable silence. Avoid using these  express uncertainty, immaturity, and unpreparedness.

Burst and Pause

      This is a technique to get rid of filler words. Speak in burst, and then pause. A pause gives you time to collect your thought for upcoming content. It gives audience time to consume your content. It creates expectation of what you are about to say next. It shows your aura of awe and self-control.
“A long pause works like a silence exclamation.”

Voice and Word Techniques

  • Use soft tone to draw people in and listen up more carefully. 
  • Use louder voice to command attention.
  • Use pitch and pace to add drama and excitement to the talk.
  • Use vivid and sensory details to grab people's attention. Sight, sound, and smell are the easiest to sense. Taste and touch are a bit harder for people to grasp.
  • Use the word ‘you' in singular to address people personally. Do not use too much 'you all', 'we', 'all of you’.


     This is a subtle thing. Use singular ‘you’, instead of ‘I’ or ‘We.’ When you do, you address the audience personally, not collectively. Your good catch phrase would be transformed into a great catch phrase. For example, instead of saying ‘I will share AAA’, it could be better to say ‘You will walk out of here with AAA…'

Asking Questions

     From time to time, ask question. You may or may not call for response from the audience. Even if you don't, the audience may still answer in their mind or with their body language. 

Source: How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World's Most Inspiring Presentations by Jeremey Donovan

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