If you’re already hooked on Ted Talks, you probably envy the abilities of TED talkers to engage, motivate, and win over an audience. Who wouldn’t? If you’re new to TED, the acronym stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It started out as an annual convention built around people, businesses, and projects that operate at the convergence of those three fields. Today, in addition to conferences, TED distributes a curated collection of TED talks, videos of live speeches on a wide variety of topics. TED Talks are best known for exceptional speakers, who manage to bring people to tears, to uncontrollable laughter, and to their feet in just 18 minutes on the stage.
The library has three books written to teach you how to ‘talk like Ted’, all of them with white covers and the iconic Ted red font. The first is Ted Talks by Chris Anderson, who is the president of the nonprofit organization which owns TED and the head curator of TED. Anderson focuses his books on tools not rules for becoming a great public speaker. He makes a point that presentation literacy – the ability to speak in public – is just as important as other forms of literacy. His book uses lots of TED examples that only an insider would know to illustrate the tools he presents.
A second book, Talk Like Ted, by Carmine Gallo, is based on research Gallo has done, including interviewing some of the most successful and noteworthy Ted talkers. He offers “the nine public speaking secrets” that he unearthed in this research. The book focuses more on developing the speech or talk as a story and bringing elements into the story for the greatest impact. Of the three books reviewed here, this one spends less time on the mechanics of a speech.
Finally, How to Deliver a Ted Talk, by Jeremy Donovan is the most formulaic. It is organized as 113 tips divided into 23 chapters. These tips vary from the philosophical “Live your passion” to the mundane “Bring a backup outfit”. An entire chapter is devoted to creating a catchphrase to use in your talk. If you are looking for soup-to-nuts guidance on an upcoming speech, this book will give you lots of good practical ideas.
Note: these titles are available as a downloadable ebook or eaudiobook.