5 Lessons on Presentation Skills from TED Talks

By Christopher Lier

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

A place where you can learn presentation and communication skills are TED talks. Featuring the world’s most creative, innovative, and inspirational people, TED talks have been known for high-quality presentations and targeted communication.

People who want to speak at TED events need to go through a long selection and testing process, and also the guidelines for speakers are restricted.

A speaker only has a maximum of 18 minutes, and you cannot use standard PowerPoint presentation slides.

The value of TED talks is appreciated by a large fan base around the world, and the organization has become an authority in education.

There are many lessons that you can learn for great presentation skills.

1. Be Prepared and Be an Expert

When you are presenting in front of people, you are using their time. They came to spend time with you and have a reason to be there.

Therefore, always remember that it is your duty to give your presentation user-oriented by addressing the expectations of the audience.

You should prepare your talk in a way that you are comfortable with and confident on the stage. This will also help you tremendously and makes the presentation more enjoyable for you.

Giving a presentation in front of an audience is a chance and could help you to position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Always keep this in mind, and be prepared for your presentation.

2. Communication Goes Both Ways

The presenter usually gets most of the attention and is the one person who sets the tone.

However, communication is always going in both directions, and the reactions of the audience are important signs of feedback.

People communicate both consciously and unconsciously, and the setting at your presentation venue is crucial for you as a presenter.

For example, people that are sleeping in the audience are a really bad sign. Reversely, a cheerful mood is an important indicator that your message and performance are finding some approval.

In TED talks, the presenters usually don’t engage much with the audience. But normally, it is a good idea to include interactive elements such as questions for direct involvement with the people in the room.

3. Be Personal

People follow people. A speech with a personal story is one of the best elements you can include in presentations. It does depend on the topic you are presenting, but often personal elements could be included.

As a general rule, a personal setting is a game-changer and catches the attention of the audience much more than topical content.

It can show the vulnerability and the human aspect of the presenter.

Storytelling is also the best marketing method these days as it shifts the focus from the product or service to the results and effects that it will bring into the lives of the customer.

4. Tailor Your Presentation

Your presentation should be unique and address the things that you care about and that you want to present. It should not become a scene where you are giving a standard presentation with empty phrases.

Every audience and occasion is unique, and your presentation should be too. Don’t use presentation slides for different audiences in the same way.

Fine-tune your performance so that the people feel respected and you communicate on the same level. Another bad thing to do is try to impress the audience with complicated language or rehearsed rhetoric.

See your audience as partners and talk to them on the same level. The Presentation Champion presents how you start designing your own great-looking presentations.

5. Don’t Step Away from Challenges

The fear of public speaking is a thing that many humans experience. The answer to this fear should not be to run away from challenges but to find a way to take on the task and to speak in front of people.

TED talks featured all the different types of people you could imagine: Different nationalities and cultures, non-native speakers, and people with disabilities.

You can be sure that many of them are afraid of public speaking too. However, they still decide to get uncomfortable and speak in front of large audiences, journalists, and cameras.

Your perspective on things and life makes all the difference. And if you can find a way to embrace your fears, you will most likely be rewarded.

What Can You Learn from TED Talks?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Christopher Lier
Christopher Lier
Christopher is an online entrepreneur and course creator. He helps people to become great at presenting and using slideshows. Passionate about sharing knowledge, he wants to provide individuals with the right skills to make a difference in their career. Originally from Germany, he moved to the UK where he studied International Business and Entrepreneurship.
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