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Speaker Coaching to Craft your Talk Ted Style

Speaker Coaching to Craft your Talk Ted Style

photo-12I recently had the honor of supporting 5 experts to craft their speeches for a televised event shot at KLRU station at the University of Texas.

Each of them are media personalities and Phd experts in their specific field and most of them teach at a University level so speaking wasn’t something they were unfamiliar with. However, the constraints of the event posed a challenge for most and they benefited from my approach to speaker training that has several similarities to the best talks.

1. Brevity is Queen. The event required the speakers to speak for no more than 12 minutes. When you’re passionate about your subject matter many speakers will over shoot the time limit. A great coach will help you shave time but retain the power in your message. A little can go an awful long way!

2. Don’t speak from the mountaintop. Many experts unknowingly share their message with a tone and language that says I’m the expert and you’re not. They speak above the audiences head. Your talk should be structured to speak into the listening ear and feeling heart of the audience. The best Ted talks are approachable in tone and share from a personal perspective. The expert is not exempt from the message, they include themselves in the lessons learned in the message.

pre taping tv station3. Speak with passion and use words that invite and not repel. In the timeless classic the Master Key System, Charles Haanel says that words are the highest form of architecture and through words we create all the success we desire. Well, words are what a great talk thrives on. The right words create strong emotional stickiness and invite the listener to see themselves in the stories and make the information being shared more relatable. One of the experts I coached was amazed at the shift created by changing just a few words.

4. Speaking is equal parts connection and rapport along with information and transformation. The best Ted talks are strategic in their structure in that the speakers use the platform to build connection and provide information that isn’t static. The content has a the inherent goal of helping the audience create some kind of meaningful shift. They may be spurred to take action within themselves, their community or on a more global scale.

5. No selling allowed. Although New York Times Best Selling author, Danielle Pink states in “To Sell is Human,” that we’re always selling, that isn’t the focus in a Ted style talk. ┬áTo his point, in some ways, a great Ted talk is ‘selling’ something. We can get sold on the ideas the presenter shares and the presenter herself. Sometimes the talk does a terrific job of ‘selling’ and creating a brand. That may be true, but there is no direct or inferred selling allowed. This is actually one of them most beneficial ways for a speaker to increase the potential for direct selling at some other time.

At the event I’m happy to report that all of the speakers I coached did a terrific job. Here’s a sweet note from Scot Brown:

“Denise Hart is a fantastic and insightful coach. She worked with me in preparation for a televised lecture and encouraged to more effectively present for large public audiences. Her feedback was indispensable!”Scot Brown: Professor of African American Studies and History (UCLA). Music Historian, Commentator, Songwriter/Producer and Public Speaker


If you’re looking to up level your speaker game lets have a chat. Whether its a Ted style talk or you simply want to speak powerfully from any platform, I’m certain I can help you achieve your goals!

Hey, to grow your business with quality leads be sure to sign up for my free training List Building the S.M.A.R.T. way by clicking the image below!


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