TED Talks - Chris Anderson

TED Talks - Chris Anderson

Don't miss any more opportunities because of the fear of speaking in public. Learn how to free your inner speaker.

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How do you feel when you receive the news that you will speak in public? Do you feel nervousness, anxiety, insecurity or even fear? Chris Anderson helps you with this common problem in the book "TED Talks".

Even if your fear is bigger than your self-confidence, you can still become a great public speaker. The answer is through a set of skills presented here, by Chris. In this summary we've separated the main topics and tips from the book, fact that will guide you to become a master in public speak.

Got interested to persuade and influence more the people around you? Stay with us in this summary and discover how!

About the book "TED Talks"

The book "TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking" (2016), written by Chris Anderson, teaches us the whole process of preparing a lecture, as well what to do when we are at stage.

It also shows what are the basics for a good talk, the dynamics, what should you use, and how these factors make all the difference in avoiding nervousness.

In addition, Chris Anderson delights us by telling some talk stories, the stories of the greatest speakers who have gone through TED. He shares in the guide situations of how some people got on stage.

About the author Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is an entrepreneur, journalist, and current president of TED, a nonprofit organization that delivers ideas-based lectures and holds an annual conference in Vancouver, Canada.

Chris founded Imagine and Future. At its peak, it published 150 magazines and websites employing 2, 000 people. This success allowed Chris to create a private nonprofit organization, the Sapling Foundation, hoping to find new ways to tackle tough global issues through media, technology, entrepreneurship and, above all, ideas. In 2001, the foundation acquired the TED Conference.

To whom is this book indicated?

The content of this book is perfect for all people who feel that their fear of public speaking is preventing them from achieving their goals.

This guide will help you get your idea across as well as possible, making people delighted and interested in your speech.

Main ideas of the book "TED Talks"

  • Public speaking is always a big issue for many people, but we can all learn to do that;
  • Maintain eye contact to gain people's trust;
  • Use visual aids to help you, but remember that they need to be focused, aesthetically appealing and well-built;
  • Spontaneous or scripted speaking has its advantages; you need to find out exactly which method suits you best;
  • Simple tips like taking a deep breath and drinking water will help you channel your adrenaline better into your body.

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[Book Summary] TED Talks - Chris Anderson

Overview: Basics

Who have never felt that butterflies in the stomach, that nervousness before giving a presentation? Yeah, the vast majority of people have been through this one day in their life and that's what Chris Anderson shows us. He brings testimonials from people about how it went over this, showing that you can also create this skill.

The author's core idea refers to conveying an idea that you believe is worth spreading and being able to give a great talk. After all, he was the creator of the idea, the thinking mind, so no one better to share on the subject than himself.

The most important thing in public speaking is not the famous self-confidence, or the amazing stage presence, or the so-dreaded "speaking well", but having something that is really important to say.

Four styles to avoid

The Seller Conversation

The tip is don't try to promote or sell yourself all the time, because this kind of behavior is rejected by the audience and ends up generating the reverse effect on intention.


Lectures without clear direction and something that catches the audience's attention, with loose ideas thrown in, is not recommended.

Organizational Boredom

As interesting and magnificent as your organization is, talking about how good it is and how great your employees are will certainly not capture the attention of the audience, so it is advisable to avoid this kind of speech.

Motivating Performance

Finishing a lecture and being applauded by the audience is undoubtedly very gratifying. But in order to achieve this success, it is important to remember that we cannot try to copy other speakers we admire. Doing so we may appear too forced, what can generate disapproval of viewers.

Focus on who you are and the idea you want to convey to the audience, so it will not frustrate audience expectations and achieve success.

Overview: Lecture Tools

It's much easier to hear someone when we identify with that person, isn't it? And that is exactly what the author brings to reflection. Your task as a speaker is to create a bond of trust with the person who is listening to you, so that they can open their minds, listen and understand your idea.

One of the tips that Chris Anderson presents in the guide is related to eye contact with the audience from the start, as well as wisely showing vulnerability, making the audience laugh instead of boredom, curbing the ego and undoubtedly telling that good old story.

It is natural that when listening to a story, one empathizes with the experiences of the speaker and even admiration, which makes them more willing to listen and absorb the idea you have to pass.

One of the most important tools for a good talk is know how to clearly explain a concept that is difficult to compress. Some tips are:

Present concepts one at a time

If throughout the lecture, a gradually increasing line of knowledge is built, this facilitates the understanding of the listener, who can pay more attention to what is being presented.

Arouse curiosity

This is an excellent technique, as the person will be attentive to know what will be spoken next and thus will be focused on you, which will facilitate the understanding of the listener.

Use metaphors

Nothing better than comparing a difficult concept with something that is easy to understand.

Give examples

This undoubtedly makes all the difference, as it helps the listener to see if they really understand the idea you are presenting.

Overview: Preparation Process

In these chapters, Chris Anderson carefully examines the four key elements in the lecture preparation process that will make your presentation go from frog to white horse prince.

Should I include images?

This assessment will make all the difference at the time of your presentation, think that it is better not to have images than to have bad images.

The clear reason for putting an image is to show something that is difficult to describe with words, after all, as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words (but we cannot overlook the importance of good words either).

Is it necessary to create a script and decorate each comma?

As the author says:

"What matters is that the speakers feel comfortable and confident, giving their presentation in a way that allows them to better focus on the subject that excites them."

In these chapters, Chris shows us that both a scripted lecture and a scriptless lecture can be great, each having its own strategies and always adapting to the personality of the speaker.

How to exercise both types of lectures?

Scripted lectures

  1. Know the text well, have it on the tip of your tongue so that the listener never realizes it is a script;
  2. Refer to the script. But be careful! We didn't say to read the script before the audience. Have it close on a screen or in a pulpit, but be careful never to lose the eye contact that is paramount;
  3. Plan your script on topics and try to express each word spontaneously.

Unscripted lectures

  1. It's worth working on the transition of each content, which will make the whole sequence of the presentation gradually appearing;
  2. Rehearse the lecture several times to make sure it is not past the time estimated by the responsible person;
  3. Be careful not to leave important content out of your presentation, exercise and organize the ideas.

What should the beginning and end be like to make the most impact on the audience?

The author shows us that in the first minutes of the lecture the listener arouses interest in the subject presented by you. The latter will determine how your talk will be remembered.

The tip is: don't waste the first few minutes with soft talk, start with an intriguing question, a surprising statement, a story or something that will really get the audience's attention.

After a wonderful talk, don't mess it up in the last seconds of the second half, Chris Anderson explains:

"If the ending isn't memorable, the whole talk may lose that status".

Overview: On Stage

What should I use?

In this chapter, Chris Anderson invites Kelly Stoetzel for advice.

One of her advices is to dress in a way that makes you feel good and safe, but not totally out of season, after all, you don't want the audience's first thought to be sloppy.

A very important tip is to never choose what to use in the nick of time, as this will only bring despair and that's not what we want, so think ahead and choose calmly. But never forget: the focus of the talk is the idea that you are bringing and not your clothes.

How to control the nerves?

  • Use fear as motivation;
  • Let your body help;
  • Drink water;
  • Avoid an empty stomach;
  • Remember the power of vulnerability;
  • Look for "friends" in the audience;
  • Have a plan B;
  • Focus on what you are saying.

"Nervousness is not a curse. It can be transformed and thus generate a great result. Makeup with your nervousness, gather courage and move on."

What do other authors say about it?

In "Stand and Deliver", Dale Carnegie brings the techniques that worked for great speakers as well as real-life examples.

Tony Robbins, in "Awaken the Giant Within", explains that maintaining commitment to your decisions can be challenging, but the harder you try, the easier it gets.

Finally, in "Life Changing Secrets", you will find several lessons from Dale Carnegie, Joseph Murphy and Napoleon Hill about success, which is linked, according to the work, to a personal plan that must be executed using the powers of the human subconscious.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Believe that you can become a successful speaker;
  • Identify which step you have the most difficulty with;
  • Train hard and look for strategies that can make this moment more enjoyable;
  • Always have something in mind and be confident of what you know.

Did you like this summary of the book "TED Talks"?

Are you ready to become a master in public speaking and catch the people's attention easily? Did you find this content useful? Leave your feedback in the comments!

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Book 'TED Talks'