TEDx talks have become the new standard of public speaking. We can learn so much about presentation skills by watching these inspiring talks: storytelling, body language, voice — you name it!
Jonathan Li interviewed some of the world’s greatest TEDx speakers on their number one public speaking tip. Use these practical tips to improve your public speaking skills effectively.
1. Focus on one big idea
“People try to cram all their ideas like writing a book. Just choose one big idea and make it work.” — Caroline Goyder, The surprising secret to speaking with confidence
Action step: Ask yourself, “What do I want the audience think, feel, or do differently after my talk?”
2. Share your real self
“Share a part of yourself honestly. You’re not sharing your perfect self; you’re sharing your real self. People are instantly riveted by folks who are willing to share their real-life stories in front of other people.” — Ash Beckham, Coming out of your closet
Action step: Don’t hide yourself. Share your real-life story with people. This makes you human.
3. Tell a great story
“A compelling story makes people excited. Prepare a month ahead and try to craft a compelling story.” — T. H. Gross, How to become more confident – lay down on the street for 30 sec
Action step: Tell an emotional, personal story.
4. Share why your idea is so important
“It isn’t just about providing them tons and tons of information because there’s lots of information you can get on the internet. It’s about providing information in a way that they would actually remember. People will remember things when they know exactly why these things matter to them.” — Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance
Action step: What’s in it for your audience? Share the benefits in your opening.
5. Take your time to prepare
“I’ve seen so many folks who have an amazing piece of writing and they just didn’t rehearse it enough. They get on stage and read it. Or they concentrate on speaking accurately that they don’t sound very natural and the audience tunes out. There’s no shortcut. Put in an enormous amount of time to prepare.” — Colin Stokes, The hidden meanings in kids’ movies
Action step: Start with your message. Then move on to your personal story. Finally, write your opening and closing.
6. Record yourself when rehearsing
“Audio record and video record yourself multiple times. When you listen to yourself and watch the video, you notice things that you go, ‘That sounds awful.’ Or you realize the story takes too long. You’ll never notice those details by rehearsing blindly. You have to sit back and watch the video or listen. The more you record and watch yourself and go through that cycle, the better you will become.” — Laura Sicola, Want to sound like a leader? Start by saying your name right
Action step: Record yourself on video, then watch the video. Keep what you like, get rid of what you don’t like.
7. The first 3 minutes are the most important
“Memorize the first 3 minutes word for word. Once you’ve gone through the first 3 minutes, you’ll be less nervous because you know exactly what you’re going to say.” — Bruce Muzik, The big secret nobody wants to tell
Action step: Memorize the opening word for word so you’ll know exactly what to say.
8. Go with the flow
“Practice, practice, practice. You have to know generally what you’re going to say, but I certainly don’t memorize everything word for word. I know what I am going to say, I know the order in which I am going to say it, and the story. You also have to see how the audience is responding.” — Adam Leipzig, How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes
Action step: Practicing with feedback makes for great improvements. Get feedback from an experienced speaker or coach.
Use these pubic speaking tips to improve your speaking skills. Great public speaking skills will impress your boss, colleagues, and clients, as well as help you make more money and be more successful.