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7 Public Speaking Tips From World-Class TED Presenters

7 Public Speaking Tips From World-Class TED Presenters

Who wouldn’t want to get a crowd jumping up and down like Tony Robbins, or inspire an entire audience like Barack Obama?

You’d never know it, but most of these world-class TED speakers were made, not born. As with learning any new skill, you need to go to the best and model their path.

Here we have compiled the best public speaking tips from world-class TED speakers. Study these tips, and you could be the next world-class public speaker.

1. Show up to give, not to take

It’s not uncommon to see speakers get up on stage solely to sell their products or books. It’s blatantly obvious.

These are what Simon Sinek, a world-class speaker, calls “takers.” He elaborates by saying: “We are highly social animals. Even at a distance on stage, we can tell if you’re a giver or a taker, and people are more likely to trust a giver–a speaker that gives them value, that teaches them something new, that inspires them–than a taker.”

2. Focus on your breath to stay focused

Think about the last time you were nervous or had your adrenaline going.

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Whether you were aware during that experience or not (most people aren’t), your breathing was likely shallow. This makes it difficult to not only breathe, but it only increases your panic of nerves.

TED speaker coach, Gina Barnett, recommends: “Take three or four conscious, evenly-paced, smooth inhalations and exhalations. Let the belly go and let the breath go all the way down into your abdomen. This can center your energy and focus your thoughts.”

3. Leave the slides for the boardroom

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    The best speakers in the world–Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek–don’t use slides in their presentations.

    They are the slides, and more.

    “The single most important thing you can do to dramatically improve your presentations is to have a story to tell before you work on your PowerPoint file.” -Cliff Atkinson, Beyond Bullet Points

    This isn’t to say that there’s nothing wrong with using a presentation deck, you just need to have a captivating story to tell, whether you decide to use a presentation deck or not.

    4. Use plain English

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      The key to figuring out how to improve your communication skills? Simplicity.

      When Steve Jobs introduced the iPod, he could have talked about the long battery life, the ability to hold X gigabytes of music files, and the lightning-fast transfer speeds. But he didn’t use any of the typical technical words that a normal CEO would use.

      Instead, Jobs said: “iPod. One thousand songs in your pocket.”

      Upon closer look at Jobs’ presentation, his “headlines” solely consisted of powerful, memorable, specific statements that consistently add up to fewer than 140 characters.

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      Ask yourself: are you describing your product or idea in a “feature” format, instead of focusing on the vision?

      5. Leverage the power of the pause

      Most amateur speakers start out in their speaking career using “um” and “ah”, which create a nervous atmosphere around you. But the best TED speakers leverage the power of pausing, which gives the speaker enough time to think about his next statement, while creating a more dramatic effect.

      Going back to Steve Jobs, in his famous 2005 Stanford University commencement address, “How To Live Before You Die,” he paused nine times in the first minute alone.

      This may feel uncomfortable to a lot of first-time speakers, but there’s many ways to overcome this awkwardness. Gina Barnett calls it “focusing out.” She explains: “Pick anything–like the color green–and look all around you to see where you spot it in the room. Or pick an object to observe. Notice what shoes people are wearing, or who is wearing a watch. Or try paying attention to how light reflects off surfaces.”

      6. Embrace the art of the unexpected

      The magic, and the potential downside, of a live presentation is that anything can happen. Literally anything.

      From the slides not being formatted correctly to the mic dying in the middle of your presentation, you have to be prepared for just about anything.

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      The key is to embrace the unexpected, and be able to improvise with the flow of events happening, rather than be taken by surprise.

      7. Get the audience involved

      How do you remember more information? By immersion.

      The human brain was not naturally developed to learn through lectures. In fact, the National Training Laboratories came up with what’s now known as the “Learning Pyramid.” Their research findings discovered that humans retain:

      5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture (i.e. university/college lectures)
      10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading (i.e. books, articles)
      20% of what they learn from audio-visual (i.e. apps, videos)
      30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration
      50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
      75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
      90% of what they learn when they use immediately (or teach others)

      This means that no matter how great your presentation is, if your audience is not learning through immersion and interaction, they’re only going to retain a small fraction of your powerful message.

      Which of these public speaking tips will you try out? We’d love to hear it in the comments below.

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      Sean Kim

      Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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      Last Updated on November 5, 2019

      How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

      How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

      Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

      But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

      The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

      Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

      But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

      As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

      Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

      There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

      The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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      • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
      • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
      • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
      • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

      But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

      How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

      When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

      I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

      Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

      However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

      Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

      While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

      Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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      By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

      How to Use Visual Learning for Success

      Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

      1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

      We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

      While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

      I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

      2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

      Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

      Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

      As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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      And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

      3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

      Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

      With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

      Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

      It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

      Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

      Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

      4. Add video streaming to meetings.

      What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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      When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

      For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

      Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

      No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

      You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

      The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

      More About Learning Styles

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

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