Book Review: “How to Deliver a TED Talk” by Jeremy Donovan

From a previous College Union & Activities Discussion podcast (May 22, 2013).

I have been asked to present a 15 minute bit about our Strategic Communications Committee and what we’ve done this semester. I really want to do something new and innovative to help the staff understand why being strategic with our messaging is important and how we’ve done that, will do that in the future. I found this interesting book, “How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World’s Most Inspiring Presentations” by Jeremy Donovan.

He lays down some commandments like “Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before” and “Thou Shalt Not Read Thy Speech”.

He highlights the three best ways to open your speech: With a story, with a shocking statement or with a powerful question.

There are also the three most effective constructs of the body of your speech.

  • Situation-Complication-Resolution
  • Chronological Narrative
  • Idea-Concepts (Like eight steps to Yada Yada)

The author says you must couple your rational facts with emotional stories.

When you conclude the speech make sure to share the “why” that powers your idea and call the audience to action.

This is all just the first part of the book. Part I – Content, Story, and Structure. Part II is about Delivery and Design:

  • How to Master Your Verbal Delivery
  • How to Add Humor to Your Talk
  • How to Manage Your Physical Delivery
  • How to Create Visuals That Inspire

GREAT Reminder: Slides are for the benefit of your audience, not gigantic notes for you.

  • How to Overcome Your Fear
  • Stop Reading and Start Speaking

This is an easy read printed in a large font, so I was able to breeze through it in a few hours. If you want to read a book on just how the presentation should look,there are a lot of books out there just about that.

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