In preparation for my TEDx talk at TEDxMalvern, I decided that I needed to up my public speaking game. Not least because I wouldn’t ever say public speaking has been my strongest suit. Just because I don’t do that much of it. I don’t mean that to sound arrogant, but we all know that the more we do something, the better we get… but making the jump can be scary. As usual, when I want to improve in an area, I head for Amazon. And there I found just the thing to help me improve my public speaking. It’s called TED Talks. This is ‘The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking’, written by Chris Anderson, the Head of TED. Sounds a bit heavy, doesn’t it? Let me assure you that it isn’t at all. It’s a really good read!
What’s the premise of TED Talks?
Well, as the strapline says, this book is TED’s guide to public speaking… and as I was getting ready to give my first TEDx talk, this appealed to me in a big way. The book is broken into sections that look at preparation, what to wear, tools and more. It’s very well written and walks you through the process of preparing for any talk. All the themes discussed would apply to any talk. The main thing about TED and TEDx talks in the time limit- nothing should be over 18 minutes. Obviously THIS might not apply to non-TED and TEDx talks, but that’s a minor tweak…
What will you learn from TED Talks?
Depending on your current skill and confidence level, potentially a lot! Chris, the author, refers to many examples in his book, so you’ll also pick up some really interesting facts and ideas that were disucssed at TED and TEDx, but that’s an aside. The book uses examples to illustrate key points in terms of delivery, tools and preparation. It explains the concept in a conversational and easy to read style… which works for me. More than this, the examples given show something else. That not everyone gets it right all the time. And I honestly found this element hugely reassuring. The advice given around what to do if things go wrong was also very very useful. We all prepare for the best, and I couldn’t agree more, but knowing that people do forget their words and the world doesn’t implode is big. Well, it’s a big win in my world.
Why should you buy TED Talks?
If you have any interest in public speaking, get it. Even if you’re an expert, I believe it’ll make you think and reassure. And if you’re just starting out its a wealth of information and reassurance. What more could you ask for in one paperback?