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Tips for public speaking


TED Talks by Chris Anderson is not only about providing useful suggestions for giving public speeches.  it is also about the bigger theme of knowledge sharing. In all its forms. In all it areas. In all its aspects.

Photo: Dian Lofton / TED

I have no doubt (and Chris Anderson confirms that in the book) that there are people who want to get on the TED stage for the limelight. But many people do not. They have true stories to tell. Stories and knowledge they want to share and TED is a great opportunity to do that.

Ted Talks is also an interesting example of documenting lessons’ learned about a project. The foundation led by Chris Anderson bought TED in 2001  The book was published in 2016. In the years in between TED has had  good speakers, bad speakers, average speakers and the internet with the launching of a TED Channel on YouTube.

TED has evolved over time. It has not followed a straight planned line from activities to results. Most importantly, the experience has become learning which has help to improve formats and test new ideas. The book is the result failures and reflection. I wish more development projects would be given the same gifts: time to evolve, time to reflect and learn, time to adapt and change.

Here few tips that I have noted down so far:

Have a throughline for what you want to say (or write). Write it down in no more then 15 words and build you argument around it.

A good speech structure:

Introduction  – what will be covered
Context – why the issue matters
Main concepts
Practical implications
Conclusions

A checklist to develop the throughline:

Am I passionate about the topic?
Does it inspire curiosity?
Will it make a difference to the audience to have this knowledge?
Is my talk (piece of writing) a gift or an ask?
Is the information fresh, or is it already out there?
Do I know enough about this to make a talk ( a piece of writing) worth the audience’s (readers’) time?
Do I have the credibility to take on this topic?

Happy reading!

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