As the head of TED, Chris Anderson has listened to a lot of talks in his lifetime, and he's identified the one thing that makes a public talk truly spectacular. In his video, Anderson shares what that is and four tips you can implement to improve your own presentations and public talks. Anderson explains that your primary objective as the speaker is to build your idea in the minds of your audience, but not only that: It must be communicated in a way that it changes how someone thinks about the world and potentially influence his actions, from now and in the future. Certainly, that is no easy task, so he shares four tips:
- Only talk about one major idea: Ideas are complex. It's crucial that you dedicate your time and focus to properly explain your most important idea with examples, vivid detail and context. As you go through your talk, make sure everything links back to your one idea in some way.
- Make people curious: Anderson recommends using provocative questions to spark curiosity and give people a reason to care about your idea.
- Speak in your audience's language: Avoid any industry jargon that will lose your audience. Instead, use metaphors and details that your audience is more familiar with. One way to make your talk accessible is to practise it in front of friends and ask them to give feedback on what confuses them.
- Ask yourself, "Whom does this idea benefit?": The goal of an "idea worth sharing", after all, is to be able to help or inspire someone. If you find that your idea is only an ego boost for yourself, then it may come off as such and fall flat with the audience as well.
For some great examples of these tips in action, check out some of our favourite life-changing talks.