Talk Like TED – Carmine Gallo

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds– by Carmine Gallo
Date read: 3/5/17. Recommendation: 7/10.

Gallo dissects the most popular TED talks and discusses the nine elements they all have in common. Great resource if you're hoping to improve your public speaking, presentation, or storytelling skills. The most engaging speakers elicit a set of common themes grouped as emotional, novel, or memorable. If nothing else, these lessons will help you become a better communicator.

See my notes below or Amazon for details and reviews. 


My notes:

The most popular TED presentations share nine common elements.

The most engaging presentations are:
-Emotional: They touch my heart.
-Novel: They teach me something new.
-Memorable: They present content in ways I'll never forget.

"And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." -Steve Jobs

Part 1 - Emotional
"They key part of the TED format is that we have humans connecting to humans in a direct and almost vulnerable way. You're on stage naked, so to speak. The talks that work best are the ones where people can really sense that humanity. The emotions, dreams, imagination." -Chris Anderson

Dig deep to identify your unique and meaningful connection to your presentation topic.

You cannot inspire others unless you are inspired yourself. You stand a much greater chance of persuading and inspiring your listeners if you express an enthusiastic, passionate, and meaningful connection to your topic.

"In our culture we tend to equate thinking and intellectual powers with success and achievement. In many ways, however, it is an emotional quality that separates those who master a field from the many who simply work at a job....Feeling motivated and energized, we can overcome almost anything. Feeling bored and restless, our minds shut off and we become increasingly passive." -Robert Greene

Compelling communicators, like those TED presenters who attract the most views online, are masters in a certain topic because of the inevitable amount of devotion, time, and effort invested in their pursuit, which is primarily fueled by fervent passion.

If you want to help someone, shut up and listen.

Tell stories to reach people's hearts and minds.

Bryan Stevenson, the speaker who earned the longest standing ovation in TED history, spent 65 percent of his presentation telling stories. Brain scans reveal that stories stimulate and engage the human brain, helping the speaker connect with the audience and making it much more likely that the audience will agree with the speaker's point of view.

Tell a story that makes it easy for the audience to connect with you on a personal and emotional level.

"You have to get folks to trust you. If you start with something too esoteric and disconnected from the lives of everyday people, it's harder for people to engage." -Bryan Stevenson

Ethos is credibility - we tend to agree with people whom we respect for their achievements, title, experience, etc. (10%)
Logos is the means of persuasion through logic, data, and statistics (25%)
Pathos is the act of appealing to emotions (65%)

"We all love stories. We're born for them. Stories affirm who we are. We all want affirmations that our lives have meaning." -Andrew Stanton

Best TED presenters stick to one of three types of stories:
1) Personal stories that relate directly to the theme of the conversation of presentation
2) Stories about other people who have learned a lesson and the audience can relate to
3) Stories involving the success or failure of products or brands

Business professionals rarely tell personal stories, which is one reason why they make such an impact when they do.

In a business presentation, telling stories is the virtual equivalent of taking people on a field trip, helping them to experience the content at a much more profound level.

Practice relentlessly and internalize your content so that you can deliver the presentation as comfortably as having a conversation with a close friend.

The verbal equivalent of a highlighter is to raise or lower the volume of your voice, change the speed at which you deliver the words, and/or use short pauses to punch key words.

Pay attention to how you speak in everyday conversation and how it changes during your presentation. Most people slow down their rate of speed when they give a speed or a presentation, making their verbal delivery sound unnatural. Don't deliver a presentation. Have a conversation instead.

Here's a simple trick: When you record your presentation, walk out of the frame once in a while. I tell clients if they don't leave the camera frame several times during a five-minute presentation, they're too rigid.

Don't put hands in pockets, makes you look bored, uncommitted, and sometimes nervous.

Part 2 - Novel
Reveal information that's completely new to your audience, packaged differently, or offers a fresh and novel way to solve an old problem.

Learning is addictive because it's joyful. It's also necessary for human evolution.

Bombard your brain with new experiences. Building novel concepts into your presentation does require some creativity and a new way of looking at the world.

Sample topics from the most-viewed presentations on Notice how each promises to teach you something new:
-Schools Kill Creativity
-How Great Leaders Inspire Action
-Your Elusive, Creative Genius
-The Surprising Science of Happiness
-The Power of Introverts
-8 Secrets of Success
-How to Live Before You Die

The Twitter headline works for two reason: 1) it's a great discipline, forcing you to identify and clarify the one key message you want your audience to remember and 2) it makes it easier for your audience to process the content.

Nearly every TED presentation contains data, statistics, or numbers to reinforce the theme of the talk.

The key to being a great spokesperson is also to craft a succinct message that conveys your big idea.

Remember what worked. Think back to anecdotes, stories, observations, or insights that have made you and your colleagues smile in the past. If they worked there and are appropriate to your presentation, weave them into your narrative and practice telling it.

Part 3 - Memorable
"And being aware is just remembering that you saw everything you've seen for the first time once, too." -Neil Pasricha

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." -Neil Pasricha

Break your presentation into three parts, each lasting 6 minutes. It makes it easier for you to remember/deliver. Makes it easy for everyone else to follow.

A message map is the visual display of your idea on one page. (page 198)
-Step 1: Twitter-friendly headline
-Step 2: Support the headline with three key messages
-Step 3: Reinforce the three messages with stories, statistics, and examples

I can't tell you how many times I've met leaders who are passionate, humorous, enthusiastic, and inspiring, only to discover that the minute they get onstage they become soulless, stiff boring, and humorless.

You cannot move people if they don't think you're real.

Present content to a friend or spouse before you have to present it to the intended audience. More likely to let some of your "real" self come out when delivering the information to someone you have a relationship with.