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5 Tips on How to Talk like TED

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If you’ve ever watched or attended a TED Talk, you can clearly tell how well each speaker delivers their presentation. Maybe at one point during the talk, it captured your attention, and somehow sparked a bit of curiosity, wonder, or perhaps, even action.

TED Talks have always been like that—they showcase moving, insightful, and powerful presentations on subjects that affect us all. It also means that, whether you like it or not, your next presentation would likely be compared to one.

So how do you turn yourself into a compelling speaker just like the TED speakers? Follow these tips and secrets from the speakers themselves and harness them to change any pitch or presentation you’ll ever do in the future:

1. Unleash the Master Within

Be passionate about what you’re trying to impart, because mastery forms the foundation for an extraordinary presentation. In order for you to become an inspiration to the five or one hundred people in the room, you have to feel like you inspire yourself too. Exude confidence with powerful body language and a commanding presence accompanied by a conversational and engaging tone. That’s the only way for you to persuade them to listen to the message you’re trying to communicate.

In this TED Talk, Why We Do What We Do, Tony Robbins, a psychologist and life coach, discusses the “invisible forces” that drives us to do what we do. These forces, usually grounded in emotion, can motivate ourselves and others. He invites us to explore our minds so we’ll have more to give, but more importantly, so we can understand and appreciate what drives other people too.

2. Stories Connect Us

This is backed by science, too! Brain scans reveal that stories stimulate and engage the human brain, so by telling compelling stories related to the topic, this helps the speaker connect with the audience by reaching into their hearts and minds.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg did this during her talk about women in the workforce. In order for her to be in sync with her audience, she had to connect with them in an emotional level. So she told this story of her three-year-old daughter tugging her leg and had asked her not to leave for work. This, she was sure, a lot of her female audience could relate to.

While statistics and data may support your argument, it’s the stories that connect you to your listeners. They illuminate, inform, and inspire. Tell more of them.

3. Stick to the 18-minute rule

TED speakers can speak for no longer than 18 minutes, and for a reason. Dr. Paul King, a scholar in the field of communication at Texas Christian University calls it “cognitive backlog,” a process where too much information actually creates anxiety. In other words, giving out too much for a long period of time wouldn’t be that effective anymore—your listeners simply cannot remember them all.

TED Curator Chris Anderson said that a presentation should only be long enough to be serious and get the message out, but short enough to hold people’s attention.

4. Deliver jaw-dropping moments

Jaw-dropping moments are anything in a presentation that evokes strong emotional response such as joy, fear, or surprise. These actually grab the audience’s attention and are the moments that will stick to the audience long after the presentation is over.

Bill GatesMosquitos, Malaria and Education is one good example of a jaw-dropping moment. During his talk about malaria in third world countries, he presented the audience with a glass jar containing mosquitoes, and told them that he was going to set them free so that they, too, can experience malaria. Despite the fact that those mosquitoes weren’t carriers of the disease, the stunt still brought his listeners to attention.

5. Practice relentlessly

No TED speaker became an expert in public speaking overnight. It took them probably since the beginning of their careers to hone those skills. Practice relentlessly and internalize the content or message you want to communicate. Most successful speakers in the world practice their talks more than a hundred times before delivering them to the public. When you know your presentation well, it’ll just be like having a conversation with a close friend.

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The Hunt is On: How Presentations and Easter Eggs are Alike

“Resurrection Sunday,” commonly known as “Easter,” is an annual Christian celebration, with Easter Eggs being symbols of rebirth. Today, this celebration is usually associated with rabbits and decorated eggs, with Easter Egg hunts being one of the most exciting and highly anticipated events.

As a professional presenter, you can share the same fun and excitement to your audience. Showcasing your proposal as a treat for their business is a good way to get them interested in what you have to say.

Compelling slides and pitches can help you achieve your goal, so get a head start by gathering useful facts about your topic, removing unnecessary information that can mislead the audience, and incorporating your idea with visuals that accentuate your content. However, you also need to consider other elements that can complement your overall idea, such as body language and hand gestures. Your content and delivery work hand in hand to convey your message clearly and give life to your performance, ensuring success.

It’s no surprise that you want to give the best for your audience, but it’s impossible to do this unless there’s mutual effort from both parties. While you’re aiming to deliver your existing message in a way they can easily understand, most audiences are much more excited to hear about something new.

How, then, can you take inspiration from Easter egg hunts to spice up your presentation?

Let the Hunt Beginlet the hunt begin | easter eggs

Award-winning speaker and marketing expert Chakisse Newton says that some pitches have ideas that are like treasures from an Easter egg hunt: useful and sought-after but hidden too well. When presenting to your audience, though, you don’t have to make your meaningful insights so hard to find. First, get them excited about what they can expect to hear from you, like when you are getting people excited about what treasures they’ll find. Then, present your ideas in a way that isn’t obtuse—make it clear but give them just enough hints at the beginning to get them wanting for more. Give them facts, guidelines, and benefits to capture their interest and motivate them to take action, whether in the form of relatable videos or visual representations.

However, it’s not just about sharing information that you think is relevant to your subject. Rather, it’s about meeting their needs without making them have to spend too much time finding your core message. Here are some possible ways to generate audience interest and convince them to look for hidden treasures from within your presentation without making it so hard that they give up and quit:

1. Surprise the Audiencefinding easter eggs

Packaging your proposal as a surprising treat is a good way to arouse people’s curiosity. Just like in an Easter egg hunt, children look forward to the surprises that they’ll run into as they hunt for their prizes. Likewise, your audience will look for something that makes you stand out from the competition.

This is why answering your listeners’ most important concern is still one of the most effective ways to make them more interested and attentive. That question is: “What’s in it for me?

Before you stand in front of the crowd, make sure you’ve taken the time to find an answer to their question. While establishing facts enhances learning, telling stories can stimulate curiosity as it allows the crowd to visualize what they’re being told about. By using familiar tropes, arcs, and outlines, you can use storytelling to make your point easier to find and understand.

You also need to prepare your outline as well as a list of facts to help you meet their expectations. This includes conducting research or surveys about their interests and then matching the results to your topic’s main message. Don’t let that excitement die down. Arrange all the necessary things, such as your visually appealing PowerPoint deck and fresh insights, to excite the audience on your big day.

2. Satisfy Their Needseaster egg hunt

Some Easter egg hunt organizers handle such events for fund-raising projects, knowing that investing in this kind of activity can provide benefits to others. Likewise, addressing your audience’s needs makes them feel that you care about their problems more than your own. Giving them enough reasons to stay connected also makes them feel that you’re worth their time and effort.

Above all, show that you value their presence and that they’re your priority by attending to any questions or concerns they might bring up. You can do this by introducing cost-effective services they can depend on in the long run. Identifying their own objectives also enables them to see how serious you are about providing them with the solutions that they’re looking for. Will you make a long-term or short-term partnership? Are you just going to sell something or build up a client with a portfolio of services to offer them?

Once you get this information, keep them entertained by adding humorous elements to your pitch. You can play with words and use puns while talking about facts and ideas related to your topic. Aside from this tactic, incorporating stunning images, interactive videos, and visual representations of facts like graphs and charts will support your message and increase audience recall.

3. Stimulate their Impulses

looking for an easter eggs and easter bunnies

After you successfully grab their attention and keep them engaged, you can end with a call-to-action that’ll persuade them to take immediate response. Always leave them with a URL to your Web site, social media accounts, and other contact information to ensure your connection with them and allow you to conduct followups. With this information in hand, they can easily reach out to you and ask about your offerings. You can include these contact details in your freebies, handouts, or any other take-home resource materials.

Since their motivation is what keeps them going, it’s important that you establish the foundation first. Focus on how you can make your personal branding stand above the rest by highlighting your distinctiveness. Once they notice that you’re determined to offer something beneficial, they’re more likely to take action and choose you over the others, making them want to come back for another transaction.

Finders Keepers
easter egg: finders keepers

While Easter is celebrated every year, you can make its essence last for more than a moment. Likewise, your pitch’s message isn’t only confined to any one venue or auditorium. Convincing your audience to participate in your activity makes them feel involved and valued, so do your best to create an impact on them that will last even after your presentation is over.

Planning before your performance helps you prepare some surprises to build up their interest and enable them to give you their undivided attention. Meeting their expectations and addressing their concerns make them feel satisfied and fulfilled thanks to your hard work. Keeping them connected and engaged inspires them to act without delaying it any further.

Encourage them to search for hidden treasures without having to stress themselves out. Make the experience worthwhile by giving them something they can keep and cherish. Make your pitch memorable so that they’ll look forward to a more exciting and fun-filled activity during your next performance.

Need to give your audience something memorable? Our presentation specialists can assist you with a free quote!

Check out and share our infographic about Easter eggs and presentations!


Newton, Chakisse. “Are Your Presentations Like Easter Egg Hunts?” Newtons Laws of Influence. April 25, 2011.

How Stepping into the Beam Can Help Your Presentation

In public speaking, crossing the projector’s beam is one of the biggest no-nos that every presenter should be aware of. It’s a careless act that greatly distracts audiences from a distance while also lessening your credibility.

Like other disruptions, this can lose your audience’s interest and prevent your presentation’s success, no different from how poor delivery and cluttered PowerPoint decks make the crowd zone out. However, is walking over the beam and covering your projection really all that bad all the time?

Can It Really Be Effective?

In every rule, there’s an exception. While it’s true that blocking off the audience from viewing your slides is a mistake, it could still work for certain situations.

In her article, presentation trainer and public speaker Olivia Mitchell explains that delivering a pitch with statistical concepts can be difficult, with all the numerical data displayed. However, it can be better understood by using visual illustrations, such as graphs and charts, to make it more interesting. TED speaker Hans Rosling, a data visionary and global health expert, is an example of a professional presenter who brings complex statistics into life. While speaking, he likes to get into the beam. But instead of distracting audiences, it makes it easier for them to understand the statistical facts that he’s presenting.

What Does It Indicate?

Making your data sing doesn’t only provoke interest. It also convinces your audience to listen attentively. This is what Hans Rosling does to show his enthusiasm in interacting both with his slides and audience. He makes sure that the crowd understands his message by exaggerating body movements that emphasize his words.

In doing so, he considers his PowerPoint presentation as his partner in conveying his main idea. While laser pointers can help you emphasize a certain point, circling around a particular word or phrase can be distracting, putting the focus on the pointer instead of on your speech. Simply pointing to it using your finger can work to deliver a clearer idea.

How Do You Get in the Beam?

To help you out, here’s a few guidelines for getting into the projector’s beam:

1. Be aware of your position. Going to the venue prior to your performance can give you an idea on where to put yourself come presentation time. You can also practice walking around the podium and plan the right location to stay in.
2. Don’t block off your audience’s view. Allowing the crowd to see your slide completely is one of your goals as a presenter. You don’t want to hinder your audience from comprehending your message. Once you display your text or visual onscreen, you can get into the beam and let your body language heighten your performance.
3. Interact with your listeners. Explaining your slides is important, but focusing on your audience is more important. You can physically go into your visuals but make sure not to set the crowd aside.

To Beam or Not to Beam?

Getting into the beam while presenting can be distracting. However, considering your audience can help you pull it off for a more interesting and persuasive presentation. Though it’s frequently considered a recipe for a disastrous performance, there are always exceptions to the rule.

Be conscious of your body language, your venue, and your audience so you can judge for yourself if you should be jumping into the beam. Our PowerPoint professionals can assist and offer you a free quote to craft PowerPoint decks that stand out.

Check out and share this infographic!


Mitchell, Olivia. “How Getting in the Beam Makes You a Better Presenter.” Speaking About Presenting. September 17, 2009.

Know Your Role: When to Use Sway and PowerPoint

Microsoft Sway is an app that lets you create storyboards with Web content. It’s been considered a more user-friendly substitute for PowerPoint thanks to its accessibility and importing features. Some even lauded it as Microsoft’s response to complaints thrown at the long-standing presentation aid.

Launched August 5 last year, Sway imports social media and Web content to create scrolling Web-based presentations. According to Stu Robarts of Gizmag, it’s also connected to other apps that optimize your work. Despite these functions, its has been met with some apprehension from both loyal PowerPoint users and skeptics alike.

Is it really an alternative for corporate presentations? Can it really tell stories in a visually engaging way for the boardroom? Or is it meant for a more general audience on the Web?

Strengths and Weaknesses

Like any product, this latest alternative still needs to prove its long-term efficiency. However, there are traits we can take at face value to compare with PowerPoint.

According to Sway’s senior product manager, David Alexander, it was designed with the intention of moving away from PowerPoint’s originally paper-based analog format to digital presentations. This may explain Sway’s inclination for app collaboration and its scrolling format. Its easy edit and layout options, as well as its optimal performance on mobile, make it perfect for on-the-go individuals who have no time to meticulously attend to their decks but still want visually engaging presentations.

On the other hand, PowerPoint still stands its ground as the leading visual aid, not just because it’s been around longer but also because of its wider range of features to choose from, particularly in terms of animation and transitions. While Sway may have an auto-edit option, the more hands-on approach PowerPoint offers allow corporate pitches to be shown exactly the way its presenters want it.

Since both tools bring individual strengths to the table, it’s time to take a closer look at Microsoft’s new little brother:


Lopez, Napier. “Microsoft’s Sway App Takes on PowerPoint with New Features and a Windows 10 App.” TheNextWeb. August 5, 2015.
Robarts, Stu. “What Is Microsoft Sway?” GizMag. August 12, 2015.
“Sway Is Not Replacing PowerPoint: The Real Story.” Think Outside The Slide. November 21, 2014.
“Sway Preview Expands and Delivers More Feature Improvements.” Microsoft Office. December 15, 2014.