What’s your favourite TED Talk?
If you’re a fan of TED Talks, I’m sure you will have your favourites (and if you don’t know about TED, check out TED.com – but be prepared to lose hours as you get engrossed in big ideas presented by world-class experts). Mine include some of the classics, such as:
- Ken Robinson talking about creativity and education
- Dame Stephanie Shirley talking about ambitious women
- All of Hans Rosling’s presentations – and seeing the way he constantly reinvents himself as a presenter
- All of Bill Gates’ presentations – a surprisingly engaging presenter (for a nerd!), and it’s interesting to see his evolution as a presenter
- and many more …
TED has set a new standard for presentations.
We can thank TED for setting a new standard in presentation skills, and millions of people in businesses around the world should be eternally grateful. Audiences expect far more now from presenters – even in stock-standard, “boring” business presentations.
That’s a good thing in general, but it can be a challenge for the typical business presenter, and sometimes even for professional speakers. Most presentations are not ideas that change the world, delivered by “the” world expert on the topic.
It’s even more challenging if you’re delivering an online presentation – which is becoming more common now. Even if you’re trying to learn presentation techniques from the best TED Talks, many of these techniques don’t work in online presentations.
- People always relate to stories, but online audiences are more impatient, and will switch off (literally!) unless you get to the point fast.
- You would like to use the energy in the room to take your audience on a journey, but they are individuals sitting alone in front of a computer screen.
- TED audiences are “warmed up” because they expect to hear from world-class experts with big ideas, but you need to build that rapport and credibility.
- It’s more difficult to use humour and surprise because you don’t get feedback from your audience members (and they don’t get feedback from each other).
But all is not lost!
You can still learn from the best TED Talks, and use or adapt these techniques to make your next online presentation zing!
- Use more humour, but in a way that doesn’t need a bunch of people to burst out laughing.
- Tell more stories, because stories are important. But use more slides for your story, so the online audience can see it unfold.
- Have one main message, but add a clear structure to “signpost” the presentation.
- Design better slides, but you need to do even better than TED, because your slides are the visuals (not just visual aids).
- Engage the audience regularly, but in more direct, interactive ways than just mentally invoking intrigue, curiosity, and surprise.
Learn More …
Of course, that’s just an overview, but I discussed these things (and more) in detail in a recent webinar with Citrix (the people behind GoToWebinar, GoToTraining and GoToMeeting). In this webinar, I share the secrets of the best TED speakers, and show you how to use them in your online presentations.
You will learn how to:
- Build rapport with a remote audience
- Design attractive slides (fast!) to enhance your message
- Selectively use your webcam to provide a more personal connection
- Shift the energy regularly with interactive engagement techniques
All of these techniques apply just as well to in-person presentations. So if you make any presentations at all, learn how to take your presentations to another level.
Watch the webinar recording here: