“Talk like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds” by Carmine Gallo: Part Three

  1. Secret #7: Stick to the 18-Minute Rule: Eighteen minutes is the ideal length of time for a presentation. If you must create one that’s longer, build in soft breaks (stories, videos, demonstrations) every 10 minutes. Researchers have discovered that “cognitive backlog,” too much information, prevents the successful transmission of ideas. Constrained presentations require more creativity. In other words, what isn’t there makes what is there even stronger.
  2. Constraints are the key to a creative presentation.
  3. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” ~Albert Einstein
  4. F. Schumacher, economist and author of Small Is Beautiful, once said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Courage is the key word. It takes courage to keep things simple. It takes courage to put one picture on a PowerPoint slide instead of filling it with tiny text that most people in the audience won’t even be able to read.
  5. The rule of three simply means that people can remember three pieces of information really well.
  6. The Three A’s of Awesome: Attitude, Awareness, Authenticity:
    On attitude, Pasricha said we are all going to have bumps in the road, but we have two choices on how to face them. “One, you can swirl and twilr and gloom and doom forever, or two, you can grieve and then face the future with newly sober eyes. Having a great attitude is about choosing option number two, and choosing, no matter how difficult it is, not matter what pain hits you, choosing to move forward and move on and take baby steps into the future.”
    One awareness, Pasricha encourage his listeners to embrace their inner three-year-old. “That three-year-old boy is still part of you. That three-year-old girl is still part of you. They’re in there. And being aware is just about remembering that you saw everything you’ve seen for the first time once, too.”
    On authenticity: “It’s just about being you and being cool with that. And I think when you’re authentic, you end up following your heart, and you put yourself in places and situations and in conversations that you love and that you enjoy. You meet people that you like talking to. You go places you’ve dreamt about. And you end up following your heart and feeling very fulfilled.”
  7. Building a Message Map in Three Steps:
    Step One: Create a Twitter Friendly Headline: The headline is the one single overarching message that you want your customers to know at the end of your presentation. Ask yourself, “What is the single most important thing I want my listener to know about my [product, service, brand, idea]?”
    Step Two: Support the Headline with Three Key Messages: The human mind can process only about three pieces of information in short-term memory. When you’re designing a presentation outline, include the three supporting messages that support the overall theme.
    Step Three: Reinforce the Three Messages with Stories, Statistics, and Examples: Add bullet points to each of the three supporting messages. You don’t have to write out the entire story. Instead, write a few words that will prompt you to deliver the story.
  8. Secret #8: Paint a Mental Picture with Multisensory Experiences: Deliver presentations with components that touch more than one of the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. It’s nearly impossible to be bored if you’re exposed to mesmerizing images, captivating videos, intriguing props, beautiful words, and more than one voice bringing the story to life.
  9. “Multitasking, when it comes to paying attention, is a myth,” according to John Medina, a molecular biologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Medina acknowledges that the brains does multitask at some level—you can walk and talk at the same time. But when it comes to the brain’s ability to pay attention to a lecture, conversation, or presentation, it is simply incapable of paying equal attention to multiple items. “To put it bluntly, research shows that we can’t multitask. We are biologically incapable of processing attention-rich inputs simultaneously.”
  10. Scientists have produced a mountain of evidence showing that concepts presented as pictures instead of words are more likely to be recalled.
  11. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou
  12. Visualize Content: Add images or include background pictures to pie charts, tables, and graphs. I recommend striving for no more than 40 words in the first 10 slides. This will force you to think creatively about telling a memorable and engaging story instead of filling the slide with needless and distracting text. Kill bullet points on most of your slides. The most popular TED presents deliver slides with no bullet points. Text and bullet points are the least memorable way of transferring information to your audience. You might not be able to achieve this goal with every slide, but it’s a good exercise.
  13. Visualization is the way to trigger memory—even just this one second allows me to remember everything else I did that day.
  14. Anaphora: repeating the same word or words at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences.
  15. Courage stands out. Courage gets noticed. Courage wins hearts and minds. Courage is what you need to deliver the talk of your life. I know you have courage. Find it, celebrate it, and revel in it. Courageous public speaking will transform your life and the lives of the people who listen to you. You have ideas that were meant to be seen, felt, and heard. Use your voice to astonish people, inspire them, and to change the world.
  16. Secret #9: Stay in Your Lane: Be authentic, open, and transparent. Most people can spot a phony. If you try to be something or someone you’re not, you’ll fail to gain the trust of your audience.
  17. Successful people identify their life’s core purpose and relentlessly follow that purpose to become the best representation of themselves that they can become.
  18. An inspiring speaker should move his or her listeners to think differently about their lives, careers, or businesses. A great speaker make you want to be a better person.
  19. If you’re like most people, you’re capable of so much more than you’ve imagined for your life. You have the capacity to move people, to inspire them, to provide hope to the despondent and direction to the lost. You have the ability to educate and electrify, inform and inspire, but only if you believe in your ability to do so.
  20. Often the worst labels are those we place on ourselves.
  21. Ideas are the currency of the twenty-first century. Your ideas will change the direction of your life and potentially change the world. Don’t let anything—including negative labels—stand in your way.
  22. Larry Smith, he said, “I wish you success.” Smith doesn’t say “Good luck” because luck has little to do with your success. You don’t need luck to be an inspiring speaker. You need examples, techniques, passion, and practice. You also need courage—the courage to follow your passion, articulate your ideas simply, and express what makes your heart sing.


Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds

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