What does every successful TED talk do?

TED curator Chris Anderson shares this secret. But is it really a secret seeing as so many speaker coaches out there can teach you how to do a TED talk?

When Inception Training started putting together the 8-week Professional Speaker Development Program, speaking to collaborators we wanted to work with, we discovered quickly Small Business owners don’t really need to be taught how to speak. In fact, getting them to shut up seemed to be a harder task.

The question was how do I write a speech? Speakers want to know what to say. And particularly when speaking one-to-many, how do you please everyone?

How to get everyone on the same page?

Stop TRYING to talk to everyone would be the first advice.

To do this, you have to trust that the organizer has not just attracted anyone to the room. then you’ll have a fighting chance of captivation your audience.

TED curator Chris Anderson says “your job as a speaker is to get everyone in the audience on the same page” (literally if you have a book). This is why TED talks are so successful and have propelled speakers like Tony Robbins and Simon Sinek into a continuing long-term speaker career.

There’s no single formula for a great talk, but there is a secret ingredient that all the best ones have in common.

In the video below, Chris Anderson shares this secret – along with four ways to make it work for you. Do you have what it takes to share an idea worth spreading?

So if you accept that your number one task as a speaker is to build an idea inside the minds of your audience, here are four guidelines for how you should go about that task: 

  1. limit your talk to just one major idea. Ideas are complex things; you need to slash back your content so that you can focus on the single idea you’re most passionate about, and give yourself a chance to explain that one thing properly. 
  2. Give your listeners a reason to care. Before you can start building things inside the minds of your audience, you have to get their permission to welcome you in. And the main tool to achieve that? Curiosity. Stir your audience’s curiosity. 
  3. Build your idea, piece by piece, out of concepts that your audience already understands. You use the power of language to weave together concepts that already exist in your listeners’ minds — but not your language, their language. 
  4. Here’s the final tip: Make your idea worth sharing. By that I mean, ask yourself the question: “Who does this idea benefit?” And I need you to be honest with the answer. If the idea only serves you or your organization, then, I’m sorry to say, it’s probably not worth sharing. 

You can watch the video here. And just to show you the skill of a true speaking professional, Chris Anderson’s talk is under 8 mins, 10 mins under the TED talk time limit.

Giving more doesn’t add value if your audience can’t use it right now.