Summary of TED’s Secret to Great Public Speaking

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Due to the astronomical popularity of an abundance of TED Talks, you may be forgiven for assuming that TED encourages its speakers to conform to a rigid presentation formula. This is not the case, says TED’s curator, Chris Anderson, who admits that all great TED Talks do share one vital component: the effective delivery of an idea. Anderson, who has enjoyed a front-row seat for hundreds of TED Talks, offers four succinct tips to help anyone disseminate their ideas. getAbstract recommends his practical talk to rookie and veteran public speakers alike.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why great TED Talks don’t follow a rigid formula,
  • Why ideas are “the most powerful force shaping human culture” and
  • Which four guidelines you can follow to improve your presentation skills.

About the Speaker

Chris Anderson is the curator of TED, a nonprofit devoted to sharing valuable ideas.



Many people falsely assume that TED Talks follow a strict formula for success – that speakers must stand on a circular, red carpet; share a personal memory or a long-held secret; and finish with a rousing clarion call. Yet if every speaker employed such gimmicks, all presentations would seem trite and “emotionally manipulative.” But all great TED Talks do share one vital component: They plant ideas into the minds of their audience members. In fact, as a presenter describes his or her idea, listeners’ brainwave patterns begin to synchronize with those of the orator and of one another. The same neurons simultaneously...

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