How to make a great presentation

Stressed about an upcoming presentation? These talks are full of helpful tips on how to get up in front of an audience and make a lasting impression.

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The secret structure of great talks

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The beauty of data visualization

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TED's secret to great public speaking

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How to speak so that people want to listen

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How to Give a Killer Presentation

  • Chris Anderson

how to do a presentation ted talk

For more than 30 years, the TED conference series has presented enlightening talks that people enjoy watching. In this article, Anderson, TED’s curator, shares five keys to great presentations:

  • Frame your story (figure out where to start and where to end).
  • Plan your delivery (decide whether to memorize your speech word for word or develop bullet points and then rehearse it—over and over).
  • Work on stage presence (but remember that your story matters more than how you stand or whether you’re visibly nervous).
  • Plan the multimedia (whatever you do, don’t read from PowerPoint slides).
  • Put it together (play to your strengths and be authentic).

According to Anderson, presentations rise or fall on the quality of the idea, the narrative, and the passion of the speaker. It’s about substance—not style. In fact, it’s fairly easy to “coach out” the problems in a talk, but there’s no way to “coach in” the basic story—the presenter has to have the raw material. So if your thinking is not there yet, he advises, decline that invitation to speak. Instead, keep working until you have an idea that’s worth sharing.

Lessons from TED

A little more than a year ago, on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, some colleagues and I met a 12-year-old Masai boy named Richard Turere, who told us a fascinating story. His family raises livestock on the edge of a vast national park, and one of the biggest challenges is protecting the animals from lions—especially at night. Richard had noticed that placing lamps in a field didn’t deter lion attacks, but when he walked the field with a torch, the lions stayed away. From a young age, he’d been interested in electronics, teaching himself by, for example, taking apart his parents’ radio. He used that experience to devise a system of lights that would turn on and off in sequence—using solar panels, a car battery, and a motorcycle indicator box—and thereby create a sense of movement that he hoped would scare off the lions. He installed the lights, and the lions stopped attacking. Soon villages elsewhere in Kenya began installing Richard’s “lion lights.”

  • CA Chris Anderson is the curator of TED.

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Mastering the art of a powerful TED Talk presentation

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Anete Ezera August 08, 2023

TED Talks have become synonymous with captivating storytelling, inspiring ideas, and thought-provoking presentations. Delivering a successful TED Talk requires more than just having great content; it demands excellent presentation skills and a well-designed presentation. In this article, we’ll explore some essential tips and techniques for how to do a TED Talk presentation. We’ll delve into inspiring examples from past TED Talks, including Prezi presentations, and highlight the latest TED Talk presentations that showcase exceptional presentation skills. Whether you’re an aspiring TED speaker or simply interested in improving your presentation abilities, this article will equip you with the knowledge you need to shine on the TED stage.

Young professional woman giving presentation during a presentation night

The evolution of TED Talk presentations

TED Talks have evolved over the years, with speakers continually pushing boundaries and experimenting with new presentation styles. This section explores the evolving landscape of TED Talk presentations and how speakers have embraced innovative approaches to captivate audiences.

Unconventional presentation formats

While traditional TED Talk presentations often feature a single speaker on stage, there has been a rise in unconventional formats that add a unique twist to the storytelling experience. Some speakers have incorporated multimedia elements, interactive displays, or live demonstrations to create a more immersive and dynamic presentation. These innovative formats not only engage the audience but also leave a lasting impression.

Engaging visual storytelling techniques

Visual storytelling has always been a key aspect of TED Talk presentations, but speakers have been finding new ways to captivate their audience visually. They utilize compelling visuals, animations, and data visualizations to simplify complex concepts and enhance the impact of their message. By using innovative visual storytelling techniques, speakers can create a visually stimulating experience that keeps the audience engaged throughout their talk.

A man presenting on stage, giving a Ted Talk presentation.

Embracing technology

As technology continues to advance, TED Talk speakers have embraced its potential to enhance their presentations. From incorporating virtual reality and augmented reality elements to utilizing interactive apps and tools, speakers have found creative ways to leverage technology to immerse their audience in their ideas. These technological innovations elevate the overall experience and make TED Talks more engaging and memorable.

Collaborative and crowd-sourced talks

In recent years, TED has experimented with collaborative and crowd-sourced talks, where multiple speakers come together to present a cohesive narrative. These talks bring together diverse perspectives and foster a sense of collective storytelling. By collaborating with other experts and involving the audience in the creation process, speakers can tap into collective wisdom that enriches their presentations and brings a fresh dimension to TED Talks. If you’re planning to co-present, discover essential co-presenting tips . 

The power of micro TED Talks

Micro TED Talks, also known as TEDx Shorts , have gained popularity for their concise and impactful nature. These shorter talks, often under 10 minutes, focus on delivering a powerful message in a concentrated format. Speakers must distill their ideas to their essence, resulting in talks that are concise, thought-provoking, and easily shareable. The rise of micro TED Talks showcases the evolving preferences of audiences who value impactful content in bite-sized formats.

By embracing unconventional presentation formats, engaging visual storytelling techniques , leveraging technology, exploring collaborative approaches, and recognizing the power of micro TED Talks, speakers are pushing the boundaries of traditional TED Talk presentations. These innovative approaches demonstrate the ever-evolving nature of TED Talks and the creativity of speakers in captivating and inspiring their audiences.

An audience of people watching someone present

Amplify your TED Talk using the power of Prezi

While storytelling and engaging delivery are crucial components of a TED Talk, the visual aspect plays a significant role in amplifying the impact of your presentation. In this section, we’ll explore how Prezi , a dynamic presentation tool, can take your ted talk to the next level by enabling visually stunning and immersive storytelling experiences .

Leveraging the power of non-linear presentations

Traditional slide decks often follow a linear format, limiting the flow and creativity of the presentation. Prezi allows speakers to break free from these constraints and create non-linear presentations that offer a more fluid and engaging narrative. By utilizing zooming, panning, and path animations, speakers can guide the audience through a visual journey that enhances the storytelling experience.

Creating engaging visual metaphors

Metaphors have the power to convey complex ideas in a relatable and memorable way. With Prezi, speakers can utilize visual metaphors to make abstract concepts more tangible and accessible to the audience. By seamlessly transitioning between different visual representations, speakers can create a deeper connection and understanding of their ideas.

Incorporating multimedia elements

Prezi allows for the seamless integration of multimedia elements such as videos, images, and audio into your TED Talk presentation. By strategically incorporating these elements, speakers can enhance the emotional impact of their message, provide supporting evidence, or add a touch of creativity to captivate the audience. Thoughtful use of multimedia can evoke powerful emotions and create a multi-sensory experience. 

Amplifying data visualization

Data visualization is an effective way to present complex information in a clear and compelling manner. With Prezi’s dynamic and interactive features, speakers can transform data into engaging visuals that help the audience grasp key insights. With interactive charts and graphs, Prezi enables speakers to present data in an impactful way that enhances the overall TED Talk experience.

Enhancing collaboration and co-creation

Prezi offers collaborative features that enable speakers to involve others in the creation process. Whether it’s co-creating the presentation with a team or seeking feedback from trusted individuals, collaboration can lead to richer and more diverse perspectives. By leveraging Prezi’s collaboration tools, speakers can refine their ideas, strengthen their narrative, and ensure a more polished TED Talk presentation.

Students co presenting in a classroom.

How to take your TED Talk to the next level

Before diving into examples and the presentation tips TED Talks require, it’s crucial to grasp the fundamental elements that make a TED Talk truly remarkable. TED Talks are renowned for their captivating storytelling, brevity, and ability to connect with the audience on an emotional level. By incorporating personal anecdotes, relatable examples, and powerful metaphors, speakers can create a memorable and engaging TED Talk presentation that resonates with their listeners.

Top tips for a successful TED Talk presentation

A TED Talk is an opportunity to share unique insights and inspire audiences around the world. Here are some tips that can help you craft a compelling and memorable presentation.

Choose a topic you are passionate about

TED Talks are about sharing your passions and insights. Choose a topic that you are passionate about and that you believe will inspire and captivate your audience.

Create a strong narrative

Your talk should tell a story. Structure your presentation with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Draw in your audience with personal anecdotes and relatable experiences. 

Learn how to effectively structure your presentation in the following video:

Practice your delivery

The way you deliver your presentation can be just as important as the content itself. Practice speaking clearly and confidently, maintaining eye contact with your audience, and using your body language to convey enthusiasm and emotion.

Use visuals effectively

Using engaging visuals can greatly enhance your presentation. A tool like Prezi allows you to create dynamic, interactive TED Talk presentation slides that can add depth and richness to your narrative.

A women presenting a presentation with a school presentation theme

Steps to create an engaging TED Talk presentation

Crafting a TED Talk presentation that resonates with your audience requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some key steps to help you on this journey.

Identify your key message

What is the one key message you want your audience to take away from your talk? Identify this early on and make sure every element of your presentation supports this message.

Plan your content

Outline your presentation, ensuring you have a clear structure and flow. Make sure to include a strong introduction that captures the audience’s attention. Establish a main body where you explore your topic in-depth and add a compelling conclusion that reinforces your key message.

Design your slides

Use a tool like Prezi to create engaging and visually appealing slides. Your slides should enhance your narrative, not distract from it. Keep text minimal and use images, charts, and videos where appropriate.

Discover the best presentation design practices by watching this video:

Rehearse your talk

Practice your presentation several times to get comfortable with your content and delivery. Consider timing your rehearsal to ensure you stay within the allocated time for your talk.

Engage your audience

During your presentation, aim to engage your audience by maintaining eye contact, using appropriate body language, and inviting interaction where possible. The more engaged your audience, the more impactful your talk will be.

Inspiring TED Talk presentation examples featuring Prezi

Prezi presentations have been utilized in TED Talks to create captivating visual experiences. “Blackout: The Hidden Structures of Modern Society” by Marc Elsberg is a prime example of how Prezi can be used to unravel complex societal issues through visually engaging content. 

Another notable example, “The Air We Breathe” by Mark Turrel, employs Prezi to raise awareness about air pollution and its impact on public health. 

These TED Talks demonstrate the versatility of Prezi in enhancing the overall presentation. Discover other highly inspirational and visually capturing TED Talk Prezi presentation examples and get inspired to create your own.

Latest TED Talk presentations showcasing exceptional presentation skills

In recent years, TED Talks have continued to inspire with exceptional presentations. “A Seat at the Table” by Lilly Singh sheds light on the importance of diverse voices and inclusion. 

“The Benefits of Not Being a Jerk to Yourself” by Dan Harris delves into the significance of self-compassion. 

Furthermore, “Why Having Fun is the Secret to a Healthier Life” by Catherina Price explores the connection between joy and well-being. 

All of these TED Talk presentations showcase the power of authentic storytelling and delivery in captivating an audience. 

Learn how you can master TED Talk delivery skills by watching the following video, where we compiled and analyzed the top TED Talk presentation skills from iconic talks: 

TED Talk presentation templates for a polished outcome

To simplify the process of creating visually appealing slides, various pre-designed presentation templates are available. Utilizing templates allows speakers to focus on developing compelling content rather than starting from scratch. Prezi offers a wide range of presentation templates that align with the aesthetics and requirements of TED Talks. By utilizing these templates, speakers can achieve a polished and professional outcome.

Empowering your TED Talk journey

Mastering the art of delivering a remarkable TED Talk presentation requires a combination of storytelling expertise, effective slide design, and engaging delivery. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, drawing inspiration from impactful TED Talk examples, and utilizing Prezi presentation templates , you’ll be well on your way to creating a TED Talk that leaves a lasting impression. Embrace the TED Talk spirit, ignite your passion, and let your ideas take flight on the TED stage.

how to do a presentation ted talk

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.css-1qrtm5m{display:block;margin-bottom:8px;text-transform:uppercase;font-size:14px;line-height:1.5714285714285714;-webkit-letter-spacing:-0.35px;-moz-letter-spacing:-0.35px;-ms-letter-spacing:-0.35px;letter-spacing:-0.35px;font-weight:300;color:#606F7B;}@media (min-width:600px){.css-1qrtm5m{font-size:16px;line-height:1.625;-webkit-letter-spacing:-0.5px;-moz-letter-spacing:-0.5px;-ms-letter-spacing:-0.5px;letter-spacing:-0.5px;}} Best Practices 5 essential preparation steps for a successful presentation

by Tom Rielly • June 15, 2020

how to do a presentation ted talk

Keeping your presentation visuals minimalistic, simple, and clear is just one important step to remember when designing a hit presentation. Leaving nothing to chance, great presenters prove quite methodical as they prepare. Here’s a checklist for everything you need to keep in mind before your next presentation:

1. Choose the right software for your needs

visualpres blogpost 2 softwares

The easiest way to select the right presentation software for you is to simply find the one that is native to your device. For example, if you have a Mac, use Apple Keynote, if you work on Windows, use PowerPoint. Google Slides is recommended if you’re working with someone, as it makes collaboration very easy. Another software option is Prezi: a specialty tool called Prezi that creates a presentation using motion, zoom, and panning across one giant visual space.

2. Organize your files

As you develop your script and visuals, you will need to start assembling all the assets for your slides. Create a unique folder on your computer to hold these items. Keep the folder organized by media type (presentation drafts, photos, videos, scripts) and back them up frequently to the Cloud or external disk. Label each file with a specific descriptive name, e.g. “Susan Johnson singing magpie 2020”, as opposed to “IMG_4043.jpg”, which can make it confusing to find your assets. The more organized you are up front, the easier preparing for your presentation will be.

3. Prepare your presentation materials

Make sure your presentation materials (script, graphics, actual slides) are saved in at least two safe spots (for example, your computer and an external USB drive) and are backed-up frequently. If you are using an online presentation software, such as Google Slides, be sure to also download a copy of your presentation in case the internet connection is unreliable. Having all the individual assets on hand in addition to your presentation slides can be helpful if you experience tech issues before presenting, or if you need to make any last minute changes. Make sure to label your final presentation with the title and your name so it’s easy to find.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Remember, practice makes perfect. People often run out of time making their presentations and have no time to practice. Most TED speakers practice at least ten times. Neuroscientist Jill-Bolte Taylor gave one of the most successful Talks in TED history with nearly 27 million views. How did she do it? She practiced her Talk over 40 times! By rehearsing multiple times you will naturally memorize your Talk, which means you won’t need note cards when you give your final presentation.

5. Do a final test run

Before presenting, make sure the equipment you need is working properly. It’s generally good practice to rehearse standing on the exact stage with the exact lighting using the exact computer that you will be using in your final presentation.

Here’s a quick checklist of what to look for when testing your equipment:

  • If you're not using your own computer, the one provided might be slower and have trouble playing media. If you have videos or other media, make sure they play correctly
  • Test the projector to make sure it’s HD
  • Make sure images are clear
  • Test the sound of any clips you use, as this is what goes wrong most frequently
  • If you’re using a mic, test the volume

Don’t let technical issues or other blunders overshadow your presentation. By following these guidelines, and with a little preparation, you can engineer out the problems BEFORE they happen.

Ready to learn more about how to make your presentation even better? Get TED Masterclass and develop your ideas into TED-style talks

© 2024 TED Conferences, LLC. All rights reserved. Please note that the TED Talks Usage policy does not apply to this content and is not subject to our creative commons license.

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How to build a TED Talk-worthy presentation

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If you’ve experienced the challenge of developing and/or delivering an important presentation to a good-sized audience, there’s a chance you hoped it would go as well as a TED Talk—those incredibly well regarded presentations first popularized by the TED Foundation in the mid 2000s. TED Talks are often considered the “Everest” of engaging, informative presentations. Killing it on the TED stage is significant.

So with the intention of acting as your presentation sherpa, this article offers 8 steps to give you the best chance of building and delivering a TED Talk-worthy presentation.

how to do a presentation ted talk

TED Talks. People listen.   ‍

TED is a nonprofit with a mission to “spread ideas.” It began as a one-off conference (on technology, entertainment and design) in 1984—eventually evolving to a point where it launched an audio and podcast series called TED Talks .

From the history page on their site:

“ The first six TED Talks were posted online on June 27, 2006. By September, they had reached more than one million views. TED Talks proved so popular that in 2007, the TED website was relaunched around them, giving a global audience free access to some of the world’s greatest thinkers, leaders and teachers.”

As a result of their success and popularity, TED Talks have inspired many other presentation-centric activities and events—such as conference keynotes and investor fundraising “demo days.”

What makes a TED Talk?

TED presenters arrive from all walks of life, and although their TED Talks span a wide range of topics, they all share a few characteristics:

  • 18 minutes or less. This is a TED rule, initiated by their founder, Chris Anderson, and also backed by scientific research . The basic premise is 18 minutes is long enough to do the job, but short enough to avoid having your audience begin to lose interest.
  • A big idea, worth sharing. Again, straight from TED. But expecting to deliver a compelling presentation that relays several meaty ideas in under 20 minutes is wishful thinking. By focusing on a single, compelling concept—you ensure maximum impact and can more successfully communicate key points.
  • Large audience, sizable venue. One-to-one, or one-to-few presentations delivered in a meeting or conference room play by different rules. We’re not addressing those here.

8 steps to the TED Talk mountain top

TED Talks are so well done they can almost seem magical. But it isn’t wizardry that makes them so compelling. In fact, there’s a formula you can follow—8 steps that will allow your presentations to deliver similar impact:

Step 1: Know your audience

This is fundamental for maximizing the success of any communication. In order to relay your “big idea” in the most effective way, you need to understand what your audience knows and cares about. Then tailor your presentation appropriately.

If you’re presenting to a new or relatively unknown audience, there are some quick ways to gather intel—such as researching and reading an applicable Reddit thread, or having a quick conversation with someone who’s more familiar.

Step 2. Scout your venue

As a general rule, the background of your slides should match the room in which you’re presenting. It’s not uncommon for large venues to be darkened so the visual focus is on what’s on stage. In some instances, however, stage environments can be illuminated or even a specific color or color theme. Matching slide backgrounds to the specifics of your venue can be very effective—allowing eyes to be drawn to the presentation’s content, not the full outline of the slides themselves.

how to do a presentation ted talk

Keep audience viewing angles and distance in mind as well. You want them on the edge of their seats, but not because they’re leaning forward and squinting to try and make out your tiny words.

how to do a presentation ted talk

Step 3. Think about your presentation as a whole

Your presentation is a story. It should flow from start to finish, and you should understand the primary points you want to make along the way. Look for the “big opportunities” and use your slides to truly highlight them. Not every slide should “Wow!” Some should be supportive and lead up to your key points—just like scenes in a movie plot. If every slide (or every scene) is intense, nothing will stand out. Outlines, index cards or sticky notes can be helpful at the early stages when you’re planning the arc of your story.

how to do a presentation ted talk

Step 4. One concept per slide (okay, maybe two)

To successfully make a point, you need your audience to be able to focus in and “get it.” So instead of asking a single slide to carry the load of relaying multiple concepts, put the second (or third or fourth) on their own slides. It can even make sense to relay a single concept across multiple slides. This allows the speaker to spend more time on it without losing momentum.

how to do a presentation ted talk

In some instances, you may be starting with a recycled slide your presenter happens to love—although you can see it’s relaying too many things. In such a case, ask the presenter to literally present the slide to you, and listen for the one (or maybe two) key messaging concepts they’re trying to relate. Build the new slide content to support those, and put everything else in the speaker notes.

Working with a client to distill a keynote’s story down to a few big, clarified points can be difficult work. But if we’re successful, the result is truly transformative. David Mack Co-founder, SketchDeck

Step 5. Minimalize

The slides are there to support your presenter—not to steal the show. The focus should be on speaker. Think single graphics and/or few words over phrase. Think phrase over sentence. Sentence over… (don’t even THINK about multiple sentences). You don’t want the audience to start reading, and stop listening.

The slide content is supporting the message, not relaying it. Everything on your slides should be meaningful. No placeholders, watermarks, headers or footers. If you haven’t determined this already, using your standard company presentation template probably isn’t a good idea. (Looking for an event or presentation specific presentation template? SketchDeck can help with that!)

how to do a presentation ted talk

Step 6. Maintain top quality

This is a premium presentation, and it needs to look and feel that way. No grainy photos, watermarked stock images, family snapshots, placeholder text or clip art. Just. Don’t. Do it. This is a day for Tiffany’s, not Target.

Step 7. Consider motion

Videos and animation can add a different and engaging dimension to your presentation. If done well, they offer a level of cinematic drama that can enhance the magic of a live performance.  But keep the previous steps in mind if you go this route. Every visual element needs a reason to be there. Everything must help tell the story.

Step 8. Get a great presenter

The reality is a speaker can make or break a presentation. A bad presenter can ruin a perfect presentation. And as much as it pains us to write this, a great presenter doesn’t really need slides (see Step 5 above). Therefore, if you’re presenting, practice—ideally in front of someone who will be brutally honest. You should also consider hiring a coach.

SketchDeck recommends taking the presentation to a small, controlled audience a week or so before the event to see how it delivers. Not only is it a great practice opportunity, it allows time for last minute adjustments.

And most importantly, hear feedback and adapt accordingly. If you’re not the presenter, ask whoever is to do the same. Great presenters are not born. It takes work, and the vast majority of that work is done before a speaker steps on stage.

It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. Mark Twain

The big day

The audience is rapt… pin drop silent. Elegant slides flip in perfect timing behind your delivery. You pause—at just the right point—confidently adjusting the cuffs of your black turtleneck.

“They’re mine,” you think. And you’re right.

Fired up to blow away your next audience? So are we. SketchDeck would love to partner with you to help make your next presentation TED Talk-worthy.

Additional resources

Picture of Rob Lewczyk

Rob Lewczyk

  • Originally published on January 30, 2020

Redefine what's possible with SketchDeck.

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How to create and deliver a powerful presentation introduction inspired by the most watched TED talks


Moments before each presentation, the air is thick with expectations. The audience is bustling with curiosity and unuttered thoughts, waiting for you, the speaker, to break the silence with a good presentation introduction. Within those first few minutes, the audience is hanging on your every word, gauging whether or not the rest of your presentation is worth listening to.

Have you heard of the 20-minute rule for public speaking ? Or the idea that we only have 7 seconds to make a strong first impression ? Regardless of the specific time stamp, there’s a reason why so much importance is put on that initial encounter between speaker and audience. It’s the moment when the audience is naturally most engaged and when the speaker has the opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the presentation.

The presentation introduction has three goals: to get the audience hooked, to identify the main topic and core message and to give the audience an overview of the points that the presentation will cover. It is the most important part of any talk and the most difficult hurdle to overcome for a speaker. But it doesn’t have to be. Featuring some of the most watched TED talks, we’ll walk you through how to create and deliver to a powerful introduction. Keep reading.

How to grasp your audience’s attention

No big deal: this is only the moment when, as a speaker, you convince your audience that your presentation is worth listening to. Nervous? You shouldn’t be. Grasping your audience’s attention doesn’t require you to make an entrance riding a carriage pulled by a white horse. (—although that would surely do the trick) Keep in mind that, at this point, the audience members are still naturally attentive. So keep it simple, and keep it human .

Start a conversation

Think of it as a conversation. Like the simplest of human interactions, all it takes is a simple “Hello. How are you?”

In the most watched TED talk of all time “Do schools kill creativity?”, speaker Ken Robinson starts his talk with just that, a: “Good morning. How are you?”.

Much like a conversation, he greets the audience and proceeds to talk about the TED talks that came before his. He creates a rapport with the audience by talking about an experience that he shared with them. Drawing from that shared experience, he humorously introduces his topic: education.

Involve your audience

If Ken Robinson’s hilarious conversation starters aren’t for you, try creating a rapport with your audience by getting them to do something. Being interactive with your audience is a surefire way to get their attention. Also, involving them in your presentation has the added benefit of increasing their retention rate.

In the TED talk “Your body language shapes who you are” that has over 40 million views, Amy Cuddy kickstarts her presentation introduction by asking the audience to take a minute to assess their posture. “How many of you are sort of making yourselves smaller?” she asks, acknowledging what many of the audience members are doing. She creates a rapport with the audience by acknowledging their behavior and eventually connecting this behavior to her own topic: body language.

Try something similar in your presentation introduction. Ask your audience to stand if they’ve been sitting for a while. Ask them to introduce themselves to the person they’re sitting next to.

Ask a question

Simon Sinek opts for something arguably more classic: asking a rhetorical question. In his TED talk called “How great leaders inspire action” that has raked over 30 million views, he starts off by asking: “How do you explain when things don’t go as we assume? Or better, how do you explain when others are able to achieve things that seem to defy all of the assumptions?”.

He then continues by citing a few references that the audience is familiar with, namely Apple and Martin Luther King. The question he asks are simple: “Why him?” “Why are they different?”. He creates a rapport with the audience by inviting them to ponder the answers to the questions that he is asking, albeit rhetorically.

Introduce your topic by asking the questions that your presentation is going to answer.

Tell a story

In “The Power of Vulnerability” talk, which is the fourth most watched TED talk after Robinson’s, Cuddy’s and Sinek’s, Brené Brown begins her presentation with an anecdote. She tells the story of how, a few years back, an event planner was struggling to sell her title as “researcher” at a speaking event, arguing that it sounded too boring to attract an audience. Brené Brown told the story lightheartedly, connecting to the human side of the audience by explaining her personal struggle with the situation.

Appeal to the human side of your audience by drawing from your own experiences. Talk about a struggle that you overcame, a flaw that you are trying to work on, an experience that changed your life. The power of storytelling is that the audience doesn’t need to experience exactly the same thing for them to relate to your story. Sharing your own experiences encourages them to draw from their own, thus helping them grasp your message better as they relate it to something that they have experienced themselves.

Introduce your core message

Contrary to the dramatic structure where the story gradually builds up to a climax, your core message needs to be introduced in your presentation introduction. The audience’s attention curve when it comes to presentations tends to plummet shortly after the introduction, so you want to deliver the main message while you still have their attention.

Identifying the main topic and the core message of your presentation is as straightforward as that — telling the audience what your presentation is all about. Your presentation introduction needs to convey the core findings of your study, your eureka moment, your discovery or your core belief.

Ken Robinson, Amy Cuddy, Simon Sinek and Brené Brown all revealed the main idea of their talk within the first 3 minutes of their presentation introduction. Julian Treasure’s talk is no different. Within 3 minutes, he has outlined the main points of his talk by citing the “Seven deadly sins of speaking”. Within 3 minutes, the audience knows what they are about to sit through, making it easy for them to decide whether or not the rest is worth listening to.

Implement the same principle in your presentation introduction. Hook your audience within the first few minutes and drop the most important part of your talk while they’re still taking the bait.

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How to create the perfect Pitch Deck presentation

Before your next presentation or speech, here’s the first thing you must think about

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how to do a presentation ted talk

The next time you’re preparing to speak to a group, remember to keep your audience at the center of your communication, says Briar Goldberg, the director of speaker coaching at TED. One way to do this is to ask yourself: “What gift are you giving to your audience?”

TED recently partnered with Marriott Hotels to offer a special day-long seminar on public speaking for Marriott Bonvoy members. Briar Goldberg — TED’s director of speaker coaching who has helped prepare hundreds of people for the TED stage — gave them tips and tools to be better communicators in their own lives.

Below, she takes a deeper dive into one aspect of public speaking that many of us overlook when drafting our speeches and presentations: our audience.

Let’s be honest, there’s no shortage of public speaking advice out there. There are countless books, blog posts and YouTube videos offering you instructions on how to tell engaging stories, make eye contact, use hand gestures, and more. I think that’s great, although I’ll admit I’m biased. I’ve spent my career teaching public speaking and coaching executives, and since 2015, I’ve been working with TED speakers. I truly believe that everyone benefits when we communicate more effectively.

But even with so much advice available, I still see one big communication mistake made all of the time. It’s this: Most people communicate in the wrong direction .

What is the wrong direction? Too many of us write our scripts, build our decks, or compile our talking points before we think about our audience and what they need or expect to get out of our communication. This has serious consequences. When your audience doesn’t feel like your words apply to them, when they don’t understand what you’re trying to say, or, worse yet, they don’t care about your ideas, then your carefully-crafted slides, agenda or jokes simply don’t matter.

My earliest mentor in this work, Jim Wagstaffe always tells speakers to practice their ABCs: Audience Before Content. I love that acronym so much because it captures the essence of what communication is really all about — it’s not about you, the speaker; it’s always about your audience. Your audience’s needs should always be your central focus.

At TED, when we’re helping speakers prepare their talks, we ask them to identify the “gift” they’re giving the audience. In my opinion, this is what every communicator should be asking themselves before any kind of communication — whether it’s a keynote or a TED Talk or something smaller like a pitch to your boss or a statement at a community meeting. What gift are you giving the audience?

The good news is, understanding how to put your audience at the center of your communication isn’t rocket science. And when you do it correctly, I can almost guarantee that your next speech, presentation or meeting will be a success.

What does it really mean to know your audience?

You’ve probably heard the phrase “know your audience.” I’ve even seen lists floating around that offer a series of questions designed to help you do this, with queries such as: “What’s the gender breakdown of your audience?” “Are they executives or middle-managers?” “Where are they from?”

While demographic information like this is important — for example, you should probably rethink a joke about swiping right if the average age of your audience is 76 — the kind of knowledge I’m talking about goes much deeper. It goes beyond the superficial to zoom in on these two key things: “What are my audience’s goals?” and “How do they make decisions?”

How to really understand your audience’s goals

This means you’ll need to ask a different set of questions — ones that get at your audience’s needs and expectations. These include:

“Why are these people taking time out of their busy schedules to listen to me speak?”

“What do they hope (or need) to gain from this presentation/speech/address/meeting?”

“What are their expectations coming in?”

“What can I say in order to meet or exceed those expectations?”

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can craft a communication that is tailored to your audience; when you do, your audience is more likely to stay focused, remember what you said, pass on the information you shared, and remember you as a good speaker.

But what happens if your goals as a speaker don’t align with the audience’s goals?

As a communicator, you will have your own goals. Perhaps you’re an executive and you have an important message that you need the rest of the company to hear. Maybe you’ve designed a new product that you want your customers to get excited about. Getting clear on your own communication goals is important because then you can evaluate if your goals line up with your audience’s goals. If they do, that’s great — and you can start crafting your communication.

But sometimes they won’t. When this happens, it’s your job to figure out how to close the gap and persuade the audience that your goals can — and should — be their goals, too. I’m not talking about manipulation or asking you to trick people into thinking something different. What I am advocating is that you work to understand your audience well enough to know how they make decisions and what kind of information they need to have to be persuaded of their own accord.

One of the most persuasive TED Talks this year was delivered by sleep expert Matt Walker . Everyone has different goals when they decide to watch a talk about sleep. But Matt was clear on his goal: to convince people to prioritize sleep above all else. To get the audience on his side, he had to persuade them that getting enough sleep is the single most important thing they could do with our time.

Understand how your audience makes decisions

You can’t effectively persuade anyone unless you know what kind of information they need to make a decision. Think about it this way: If a salesperson was trying to sell you a new computer, you wouldn’t decide to buy it until they told you the price. With your audience, you can’t expect to influence them until you provide them with the information they need to decide if they want to change their minds.

But every audience is different. How do you know what kind of information you need to offer in order to sway them? There are entire bodies of research that cover audience persuasion strategies. But let me offer a simple framework to get you started.

In general, audiences can be broken down into three types: expert, novice and mixed. An expert audience understands your topic and they might already know you, the speaker. If you’re a real-estate broker addressing an annual meeting of the nation’s realtors, you’re speaking to an expert audience. A novice audience doesn’t know much about the topic and doesn’t know anything about you. An example of this would be a real-estate broker speaking at an open-house for community residents interested in buying a first home. But more often than not, your audience will be a mix of experts, novices and everyone in-between. The large, international TED audience is a perfect example of a mixed audience.

When you’re speaking to an expert audience: Use logical/quantitative arguments to persuade them.

In general, expert audiences are more likely to be persuaded by logical arguments and quantitative information. If you’re a real-estate broker trying to convince your expert audience to invest in a new kind of property, you’re more likely to be successful if your presentation is built around data and statistics that support this plan.

When you’re speaking to a novice audience: Lean into your own credibility.

Because a novice audience doesn’t know much about you or your topic, they tend to make decisions based on your credibility and the credibility of your sources. Therefore, it can be important to build up your reputation and credentials so they’ll trust what you’re saying and follow your recommendations.

When I’m giving a lecture on public speaking to a group who doesn’t know me, I always mention the universities I’ve taught at and some of the names of executives I’ve coached. This isn’t to brag — and let me be clear, you’ll need to use your judgement to figure out how much information to give so it doesn’t sound like you’re bragging — but it’s a quick way for me to get my audience to accept that I’m a solid source of communication advice and that they should listen to me. In some cases, I’ll tell my audience where a particular piece of information in my lecture came from. By saying “Harvard published this study last year…” I’m referencing a respected source, which reinforces my credibility as a speaker.

When you’re speaking to a mixed audience: Appeal to their emotions.

Emotional appeals can be very persuasive, especially when you’re speaking to a mixed audience. After all, everyone has made a decision based on their emotions at one point or another in their lives. Last year, TED speaker Nora McInerny shared her own experience with death to teach us about moving forward with grief. It was an A+ example of an emotional appeal.

OK great, but how do I find out all this information about my audience?

Well, that’s part of the fun. OK, maybe it’s not always fun but it is your responsibility to take a deep dive into your audience, their needs, and their motivations and — trust me — this work will pay off ten-fold. If you’re speaking at an official conference or meeting, I recommend starting with the person or organization who asked you to speak. What can they tell you about the audience? Are they willing to share any of registration information? How did they market the event? If you’re speaking on an earnings call, what about the analysts who follow your company — have you ever asked them what they need or want? If you’re speaking at your company’s town hall, can you talk to your team and find out what they expect to hear from you? If you’re speaking at an event in another country, can you find a translator or local who can help you better understand the expectations of that audience?

The information is out there — you just need to find and use it. You’ll know when you’ve done it right, because your audience will stay engaged and, when you’re done speaking, they’ll help pass your message along.

This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from someone in the TED community; browse through all the posts here.

About the author

Briar Goldberg is the Director of Speaker Coaching at TED.

  • briar goldberg
  • business advice
  • communication
  • public speaking

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Speak Up For Success

How to Create Your TED Talk: An 8-Step Process

by Jezra on March 9, 2017

First, A Little Background on TED

The TED conference (which stands for  technology, entertainment, design ) began life in 1984 as a yearly and very expensive conference where industry leaders and creative types gathered to exchange “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

Back then, it was all about the live experience, and speakers were expected to bring some quirky spontaneity to the stage.

But fast forward more than 30 years, and TED has become an institution, spawning countless local “TEDx” events, putting hundreds of speeches online each year, getting millions upon millions of views, and changing the way we all think about public speaking!

So, What  IS  a TED Talk?

According to Chris Anderson, the owner and global curator of TED, every TED talk starts with an idea :

“You have something meaningful to say, and your goal is to re-create your core idea inside your audience’s minds.” —from TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

Anderson calls this idea “the gift in every great talk.” Your idea may:

  • Be common-sense (“Every kid needs a champion”) or counter-intuitive (“The way we think about charity is wrong”)
  • Describe a scientific breakthrough (“How bacteria talk”) or your own experience (“I am the son of a terrorist, here’s how I chose peace”)
  • Motivate people to action (“We need to talk about an injustice”) or greater self-awareness (“Your elusive creative genius”)

But in every case, your TED talk will begin with an idea.

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And whether or not your talk actually builds a model of your idea in your listeners’ brain — Anderson takes that literally, and research on “neural coupling” backs him up — your TED talk exists to communicate this idea to your listeners.

That is your talk’s one and only goal.

Other Qualities of Successful TED Talks

In TED’s secret to great public speaking (an eight-minute video that’s worth watching), Anderson offers three guidelines for creating your TED talk:

  • Focus on one major idea
Ideas are complex things; you need to slash back your content so that you can focus on the single idea you’re most passionate about , and give yourself a chance to explain that one thing properly… Everything you say [should link] back to it in some way.
  • Give people a reason to care
Stir your audience’s curiosity. Use intriguing, provocative questions to identify why something doesn’t make sense and needs explaining. If you can reveal a disconnection in someone’s worldview , they’ll feel the need to bridge that knowledge gap.
  • Build your idea with familiar concepts
Build your idea, piece by piece, out of concepts that your audience already understands … A vivid explanation… delivers a satisfying ah-hah! moment as it snaps into place in our minds.

These are important best practices, but they don’t tell you what to  do  to create a TED talk.

For that, try this…

8-Step Process for Creating Your TED Talk

Step 1. find an idea you want to share.

To hone in on your idea worth sharing, it can be useful to ask yourself things like:

  • What’s one assumption I’d like to challenge?
  • What’s a belief of mine that has changed, and why?
  • What does everyone miss when they think about my area of interest or expertise?

And remember, you’re looking for an idea . As Jeremey Donovan says in How to Deliver a TED Talk ,

…an idea is not a theme, a general truth, a platitude or a big goal. “Everyone wants to feel included” is not an idea, it’s a general truth. “Empowering women” is not an idea, it’s a topic.

Step 2. Develop an unexpected and/or catchy way to state your idea

If your idea can be stated in a catchy way, listeners will pay more attention and remember it more easily. Here are some examples (with more conventional versions of the same idea in parentheses):

  • We can solve malnutrition now (vs. Malnutrition is a problem that is finally, in our day and age, able to be resolved by advances in science.)
  • Almost dying saved my life (vs. A near death experience created the motivation for me to face and overcome problems that otherwise would have slowly killed me.)
  • Never, ever give up (vs. Cultivate the ability to commit without wavering; it’s an essential component of your lifelong success.)

Step 3. Collect anything and everything that relates to your idea

To re-create your idea in the minds of your listeners, you’ll need vivid examples, illustrations, stories, facts, questions, comments, etc.

So take a few days to notice anything and everything that relates to your idea, and collect these materials by writing them down, taking photos, recording your thoughts as sound files, etc.

Examples of things you might collect include:

  • a snippet of conversation
  • a quote you heard in high school
  • a story that relates to your idea
  • a fact, or cluster of data that supports it
  • a metaphor or analogy that helps explain it
  • a personal moment in your relationship with the idea
  • a physical object that will help your audience understand it (here, my client Erika Frenkel presents an anesthesia machine )

Basically, anything that comes to your mind at this stage should be collected.

And don’t worry yet about which materials will end up in your talk.

You can’t collect  things and evaluate  them at the same time, so just collect for now; you’ll have a chance to evaluate later.

Step 4. Start imagining how you might open and end your talk

While it’s too soon to choose your opening and close, it’s not too soon to start playing with ideas for these important parts of your talk.

An effective way to begin any speech (not just a TED talk) is to grab your audience’s attention — often with a human interest story, a surprising statistic, an unexpected observation, or a thought-provoking question.

There are probably some great attention-grabbers in the material you collected for Step 3. Pick one that you particularly like, and flag it as a possible  opening for your talk.

As for the close , you’ll probably want to end your talk in a positive, forward-looking way . This is often done by:

  • calling the audience to action;
  • painting a hopeful picture of the future; and/or
  • “paying off” (finishing, resolving) a story or discussion that has run through your talk, so that listeners get a sense of closure.

With your provisional opening and close in mind, you’re now ready to…

Step 5. Put the rest of your materials in a reasonable order

The middle of any speech is tricky, and a TED talk is particularly so, because TED talks can take just about any form you’d like.

So to tackle this part of your TED talk, take the materials you’ve collected and shuffle them until you find a good arrangement. To do this, you can:

  • Create a high-level outline (leave out most of the detail, just arrange the big points or elements)
  • Write each element (story, comment, observation, fact) on a 3 x 5 card and physically shuffle them to see different possible orders. (You can do this on a table, or digitally, by creating one slide per element and shuffling them with PowerPoint’s “slide sorter” feature)
  • Use sound (speaking out loud) instead of writing to put your talk elements into different sequences (Ask: Does it sound right if I tell that story first, then give the fact? How about if I give the fact first, then tell the story?)
  • Try any other method that works for you.

How will you know when the order is good?

Keep in mind that your goal is to create an understanding of your idea in the minds of your audience members , and try to arrange your explanations, comments, and stories in a way that leads to that goal. (You’ll get to test this on real people in Step 7.)

Trust your instincts: If something seems out of place to you, it probably is. Try moving it to a different part of your talk or even skipping it, and see if that works better.

And don’t expect to find the best organization for your talk the first time you try, because that almost never happens!

Step 6. Talk your way to a rough draft of your script

This is where your “speaking plan” becomes a “speech.”

Take your outline or list of ordered elements and talk about each item in turn.

When I’m writing a speech, I like to literally talk it out loud and type up what I’m saying as I’m saying it — but you can also use your computer’s voice recognition software to capture your words, or talk into the voice memo feature on your phone (this used to be called “dictating”) and type up the sound file later.

Why  record yourself talking  instead of just writing out the speech?

Because most of us get all formal and stiff when we write, and the ideal for a talk is that it sounds like you’re…  talking !

And here’s a hint:

As you do this step, pay particular attention to the way different elements (materials) that you’ve used in your talk are connected.

If, for example, you tell me that:

  • The river flooded, and
  • Some people moved out of the neighborhood…

I’ll want to know: Did people move  because  the river flooded? Did most people stay even though  the river flooded? Did the river flood  after  people had already moved?

When you spell things out clearly, people will form a clear picture of your point.

Step 7. Try out your Ted talk draft on a volunteer listener

The point of this step is to get feedback on how to improve the structure and clarity of your draft.

Ask someone you trust — a smart 10-year-old is perfect — to listen to your talk.

Read it to them (because you haven’t finalized, let alone memorized, it yet), and then ask them:

  • Did I explain my idea clearly?
  • Was there anything in my talk that you didn’t follow?
  • Was there anything you didn’t understand?
  • Did anything seem out of place?
  • Did I lose your interest anywhere?

If your listener wants to discuss the 6,000 facts you left out, or how your talk should really be about X instead of Y, gently lead them back to these questions.

The point is not to  change  your talk. The point is to  improve  it’s effectiveness.

Step 8. Repeat the following steps as needed

  • Based on your listener’s feedback, make changes that will improve your draft. But don’t get carried away editing; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! (And keep your old drafts in case you want to go back to something you did earlier; I number mine v1, v2, v3, etc.)

2. Practice delivering your new draft out loud.

3. Try out your new draft on a volunteer listener, get their feedback , and repeat these steps as often as needed until your talk has taken a satisfying shape.

And finally…

There’s no better time to start working on your talk than now. Even if your schedule is crammed, you’re better off working for a few minutes each day than leaving everything to the last minute!

And as you work this process, remember that perfection isn’t possible.

So instead of striving for perfection, prepare carefully, take your best shot, and try to  relax .

Your audience is going to love this talk — and you deserve to enjoy it, too!

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10 ways to prepare for a TED style talk

how to do a presentation ted talk

Nancy Duarte


Delivery, Events, Presenting, Public speaking, Strategy

woman preparing to go speak on stage

I’ve given all types of talks. And while all presentations take an investment to make them effective, the creation of a high-stakes, beautifully staged TED-style talk often proves to be especially difficult. It takes work to craft the talk, and then even more to make the delivery sound natural.

What makes preparing for a TED Talk so tough?

A TED Talk is 18 minutes long—a length that was chosen by TED organizers based both on neuroscience and strategy . They understood that 18 minutes was long enough for a speaker to flesh out an idea, but short enough that a listener could take in, digest, and understand all of the important information.

TED curator Chris Anderson explains :

“The 18-minute length works much like the way Twitter forces people to be disciplined in what they write. By forcing speakers who are used to going on for 45 minutes to bring it down to 18, you get them to really think about what they want to say. What is the key point they want to communicate? It has a clarifying effect. It brings discipline.”

In reality, creating a talk that is ONLY 18 minutes, instead of 45, is tougher than you might imagine. Woodrow Wilson summed up the process of giving a short, but effective speech best when he said:

“If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”

Not only is the 18-minute speech editing process challenging, but the rehearsal process takes a lot of time. In fact, I  discovered that the amount of rehearsal time required is inversely proportionate to the length of the talk. True story: for the last 18-minute TEDx Talk I gave, it took me approximately 18 hours to rehearse.

Preparation tips: How to give a TED Talk that gets a lot of views

Here are ten preparation tips for how to give a TED Talk that fits within tight time limits and results in a presentation that’s as effective as possible.

1. Print your current slide deck as 9-up handouts.

The 9-up format is conveniently the same size as the smallest sticky note. When I prepared for my TEDx Talk , I arranged and re-arranged my message onto sticky notes—adding sticky notes until I was happy with the flow. If I’m whittling down my talk from, say, a 40 minute talk, I make sure I cut at least half of my slides. Keep trimming and trimming until you feel you are close to 18 minutes. During this process it becomes clear that your big idea can be communicated in a succinct, distilled manner.

2. Solicit feedback.

Assemble a handful of people who are effective presenters that you trust to give honest, unfiltered feedback on your narrative and slides. Verbally run the ideas by these folks (it doesn’t have to be a formal presentation). Have them look at all the slides at once so they give feedback on the “whole,” not the parts. Have them give you feedback on the content you’ve chosen and ask whether they think it will resonate with your audience. Consider doing this a handful of times: when I did my TEDx Talk, I repeated this step four times, twice with my ExComm Manager and twice with my company President. After they added their insights, I was ready to have the slides designed.

3. Rehearse with a great (honest) communicator.

Choose someone you trust and also that understands how to give a TED Talk, and rehearse with them. In my case, I rehearsed with a Duarte speaker coach . She would say honest things like: “When you say it that way, it can be interpreted differently than you intended,” “When you use that term, you come across derogatory,” “I thought that when you said it last time it was better, you said…” She worked hard tracking phrases and rounds of what was said. When it comes to preparing for a TED Talk, honesty is the best policy. Make sure your coach is not afraid to speak up; 18 minutes goes by fast. You love your material and you want to include all of it, but if you want to master how to give a TED Talk successfully, you need someone you trust to help you murder your darlings.

4. Close the loop.

A lot of times, as the presenter, you know your material so well that you think you’re making each key point clear. You might not be. Your coach should make sure you are telling people why. It’s the “why” around our ideas that make them spread, not the “how.” Articulate the why so your audience understands what’s magnificent about your big idea.

Captivate black button

5. Practice with clock counting up.

The first few times, rehearse with the clock counting up. That’s because if you go over, you need to know how much you’re over. Do NOT be looking at the clock at this time. Have your coach look at it because you don’t want to remember any of the timestamps in your mind. Finish your entire talk and then have your coach tell you how much you need to trim. Keep practicing until you’re consistently within 18 minutes. Your coach should be able to tell you to trim 30 seconds here or add 15 seconds there so that your content is weighted toward the most important information.

6. Practice with clock counting down.

Once you’re within the timeframe, begin practicing with the clock counting down. You need to set a few places in your talk where you benchmark a time stamp. Calculate where you need to be in the content in six-minute increments. You should know roughly where you should be at 6, 12 and 18 minutes. You should know which slide you should be on and what you’re saying so that you will know immediately from the stage if you’re on time or running over.

7. Be noteworthy.

Your coach is there to jot down what you say well and what you don’t. They should work from a printout of the slides and write phrases you deliver effectively so they can be added to your script. They should help you capture phrases so you can type them into your notes.

8. Don’t be camera shy.

Videotape some of your final practices. It doesn’t have to be a high-end video setup—I’ve used my iPhone camera on a tripod in a hotel room. You just need to feel like something’s at stake. Videotaping yourself helps you get used to looking at the camera, and you can review the video to look at your stage presence, eye contact, gestures, plus identify any expressions that need modification. Also, if you do an especially good practice run, you can go back and listen to the audio and add the best snippets to your slide notes. The TED audience has only about 1,000 people in it, but the audience has millions. So, talk to the camera like there are humans on the other side of it.

9. Do one more FULL timed rehearsal right before you walk on stage.

Right before you go onstage (we’re talking day-of), do one more timed rehearsal. This will ensure that you know the speech and that you’re well aware of where you might need to slow down or speed up.

10. Have two natural ending points.

I gave a TED-style talk in India with a head cold. I knew I’d possibly lose track of timing. Give your talk two natural ending points. Pick two natural places you could stop in your talk, then demarcate those as possible endings. That way, if you’re running way over, you can stop at your first ending point, and while your audience may miss out on some inspirational or emotional ending, they’ll have heard all of the most important information that matters.

speaker coaching


Speaker Coaching

Up-level your speaking skills with one-on-one support. We'll help you rehearse your talk, polish your presence, and transform your message delivery.


5 simple tweaks for killer TED Talk slides

Nancy’s tedx talk, 10 tips for powerful persuasive presentations.

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What do you want to learn today?

Each course connects you with a global community of learners and TED speakers who expand on their world-changing ideas. TED Courses can help you gain the inspiration, knowledge and skills you need to thrive and create a future worth pursuing. Please note: Courses are currently limited to a subset of viewers in the United States, South Korea and India. To purchase a course, viewers must use a computer or Android device. We hope these courses will roll out to more creators, devices and regions in the future.

how to do a presentation ted talk

How to reimagine your career

Feeling fed up with the work you do? You’re not alone: there’s a growing and global desire to make our jobs more meaningful and create opportunities for others to work with dignity, too. In this course, you’ll chart a path that allows you to be good to yourself, others and the world—all at the same time.

How to become your best adult self

“Life awaits. I want to help you get over the hurdles,” shares Julie Lythcott-Haims, a former dean of freshmen at Stanford. Launching your adult life and feeling a little stuck? Or maybe you have ideas about your path forward that don't match the expectations of others. With empathy and honesty, Julie shares stories and practical strategies to build a future that fits you and all you can offer to the world.

How to nurture your imagination

Are you ready to (re)awaken your creativity? In this course, you'll have the space, time and encouragement to experiment with different types of self-expression and practice bringing more playfulness and curiosity to your days. You'll expand your view of yourself, think more flexibly and have some serious fun.

How to boost your brain + memory

Our brains are truly breathtaking–and perhaps their most astonishing ability is the capacity to create, store and retrieve a lifetime of memories. In this course Lisa Genova, bestselling author and neuroscientist, shares how memory works, why we forget and how to keep your brain in great shape. Perfect for those with a novice-to-intermediate level of knowledge about brain anatomy and function.

How to take a life-changing journey

As reality gets more and more virtual, we cry out for the experience of meeting something in the flesh, says Pico Iyer. We long to meet our global neighbors in person, down the street and maybe even across the ocean. Drawing on more than four decades of experience as a global traveler, Pico explains how you can shed preconceived notions of a place and, perhaps more importantly, see your own place in the world with utterly fresh and appreciative eyes.

How to connect in a divided world

"Dylan Marron is like a modern Mister Rogers for the digital age," says his colleague Jason Sudeikis. With warmth and humor, Dylan teaches you how to have more genuine and satisfying conversations with others, even (and maybe especially!) when the topic is divisive. "When done well," Dylan shares, "conversation is just a joy."

How to slow down

Are you always rushing, busy, distracted? Are you speed-reading this sentence right now? In this course, you’ll learn from Carl Honoré, the leading voice of the global Slow Movement, why putting on the brakes is the powerful, counterintuitive secret to thriving in a fast world. See why slowing down is so good for yourself and the people around you and pick up practical strategies you can apply in daily life.

How to master life transitions

Everyone goes through challenging times when they feel off schedule, off track, off kilter. This course is designed to help you get through one of these painful and confusing times. Based on research into hundreds of life stories, bestselling author and expert on “the nonlinear life” Bruce Feiler shares a set of tools to help you master the remarkable, heroic, everyday act of reinvention.

How to flip the script on love

Romantic love feels like one of those things that just should come naturally: we think that love will just happen to us one day. But what if love isn’t some elusive, mysterious force? In this course, you’ll explore the powerful myths about love that shape your romantic relationships. You’ll learn how to question your own assumptions, flip the script you’ve created for yourself and fashion a richer, more satisfying love story.

A learning experience that’s uniquely TED.

TED’s global community connects millions of open-minded people who seek a deeper understanding of themselves, each other and the world we live in. That’s what you’ll get with TED Courses, too.


“Way more engaging than anything I’ve seen before.”
“I love the openness and connections being made between participants!”
“This course made me think hard about my assumptions and my behaviors. I loved the activities and I loved how the topic was broken down into doable tasks.”
“Power-packed and insightful.”
“The course is delightful to go through. It maintains the aesthetic, the high quality content and the engagement that TED Talks provoke.”
"High quality, engaging content. Bitesize format and well balanced. Excellent facilitator. Thank you TED!"
"This is a really good value, given all the resources that are provided throughout the course."
"A wonderful blend of user-friendliness and offers a wide variety of ways to engage with what is being learned."

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  1. How To Write A TED Talk In 7 Quick And Easy Steps

    how to do a presentation ted talk

  2. How to build a TED Talk-worthy presentation

    how to do a presentation ted talk

  3. The Most Effective TED Talks and What You Can Learn from Them

    how to do a presentation ted talk

  4. Ted Talk Powerpoint Examples

    how to do a presentation ted talk

  5. How to build a TED Talk-worthy presentation

    how to do a presentation ted talk

  6. Mastering Ted Talks: Perfect Your Presentations in 2024

    how to do a presentation ted talk


  1. How to Write a Great Presentation Title

  2. Master the Art of Public Speaking: 'Talk Like TED' by Carmine Gallo Explained

  3. How to create a captivating TEDx talk

  4. Everyone is Smart: TEDEd Example

  5. How to Write a TEDx Talk That Gets 5 Million Views: Part 1 How to Start

  6. Preparation is everything


  1. How to make a great presentation

    The secret structure of great talks. From the "I have a dream" speech to Steve Jobs' iPhone launch, many great talks have a common structure that helps their message resonate with listeners. In this talk, presentation expert Nancy Duarte shares practical lessons on how to make a powerful call-to-action. 18:00.

  2. TED Talk presentation skills: Elevate your presentation with ...

    TED Talks have become a global phenomenon, captivating audiences with their powerful ideas and inspiring speakers. In this video, you'll learn TED talk prese...

  3. Presentation Skills: 7 Presentation Structures Used by the Best TED Talks

    Do you want to learn how to deliver powerful and engaging presentations like the best TED speakers? In this video, you will discover seven presentation structures that you can use to captivate ...

  4. How to Give a Killer Presentation

    For more than 30 years, the TED conference series has presented enlightening talks that people enjoy watching. In this article, Anderson, TED's curator, shares five keys to great presentations ...

  5. Master TED Talk Presentations

    In recent years, TED Talks have continued to inspire with exceptional presentations. "A Seat at the Table" by Lilly Singh sheds light on the importance of diverse voices and inclusion. "The Benefits of Not Being a Jerk to Yourself" by Dan Harris delves into the significance of self-compassion.

  6. 5 essential preparation steps for a successful presentation

    Get started with TED Masterclass. When preparing for your presentation, there are 5 steps to keep in mind when preparing for your presentation. These include: choosing the right software for your needs, organizing your files, preparing your presentation materials, practice, and make sure to do a final test run.

  7. TED Talk coach's 5 best tips for PowerPoint slides that engage

    Notice how presenters at TED Talks never seem to have lousy PowerPoint slides? That's because they get some coaching about what to avoid when creating their ...

  8. How to build a TED Talk-worthy presentation

    Step 4. One concept per slide (okay, maybe two) To successfully make a point, you need your audience to be able to focus in and "get it.". So instead of asking a single slide to carry the load of relaying multiple concepts, put the second (or third or fourth) on their own slides.

  9. How to create a powerful TED Talk inspired presentation

    Your presentation introduction needs to convey the core findings of your study, your eureka moment, your discovery or your core belief. Ken Robinson, Amy Cuddy, Simon Sinek and Brené Brown all revealed the main idea of their talk within the first 3 minutes of their presentation introduction. Julian Treasure's talk is no different.

  10. Before your next presentation or speech, here's the first thing you

    At TED, when we're helping speakers prepare their talks, we ask them to identify the "gift" they're giving the audience. In my opinion, this is what every communicator should be asking themselves before any kind of communication — whether it's a keynote or a TED Talk or something smaller like a pitch to your boss or a statement at a ...

  11. How to Create Your TED Talk: An 8-Step Process

    And don't expect to find the best organization for your talk the first time you try, because that almost never happens! Step 6. Talk your way to a rough draft of your script. This is where your "speaking plan" becomes a "speech.". Take your outline or list of ordered elements and talk about each item in turn.

  12. How To Give A TED Style Talk Series: 7 Ways to Prepare For A ...

    Creating your own TED style talk can seem like a daunting task. Having coached speakers for TEDx events, Fia shares her insights and rules for making an unfo...

  13. 10 Ways To Prepare For A TED-Style Talk

    Preparation tips: How to give a TED Talk that gets a lot of views. Here are ten preparation tips for how to give a TED Talk that fits within tight time limits and results in a presentation that's as effective as possible. 1. Print your current slide deck as 9-up handouts. The 9-up format is conveniently the same size as the smallest sticky note.

  14. How to Prepare a TED Talk Speech

    Learn how to prepare a TED Talk speech in this week's episode of MasterTalk. Follow me on Instagram: @masteryourtalk1. Every second in your 18-minute present...

  15. TED's secret to great public speaking

    There's no single formula for a great talk, but there is a secret ingredient that all the best ones have in common. TED Curator Chris Anderson shares this se...

  16. TED Courses

    Each course connects you with a global community of learners and TED speakers who expand on their world-changing ideas. TED Courses can help you gain the inspiration, knowledge and skills you need to thrive and create a future worth pursuing. Please note: Courses are currently limited to a subset of viewers in the United States, South Korea and ...

  17. Build a tower, build a team Tom Wujec from Autodesk presents some surprisingly deep research into the "marshmallow problem" -- a simple team-building exercise that in...