The business book you need to read this month: Talk Like TED

Want to communicate your ideas with confidence and gravitas? ConnectTVT's Louize Clark recommends this "who's who of inspirational speaking"...

Name of entrepreneur: Louize ClarkeTalk Like Ted
Company name: ConnectTVT

What is Talk Like TED about?

If ideas are the currency of the 21st century, how we present these can change the world. Talk like TED is about identifying the techniques shared by some of the world’s greatest communicators to wow their audiences, from the TED platform.

It’s also a great a great snapshot into the history of TED. Author and communications coach Carmine Callo also wrote the bestseller The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

Target audience?

This book is for anyone who wants to speak with confidence, authenticity and gravitas. As business owners, we need to communicate our ideas constantly – be it pitching, selling, seeking investment or leading our teams. Talk Like TED is a must for anyone looking to up their speaking style.

What’s the best bit of Talk Like TED?

Aside from breaking down the best TED talks (and therefore, all good presentations) into emotional, novel and memorable categories, the importance of leading with stories runs throughout the book. As an entrepreneur, you always need to think “What story can I include?”

For instance, TED speaker Malcolm Gladwell succeeds because he combines a “hero” story about a particular individual with a successful brand story. Your audience wants someone or something to cheer for. They want to be inspired. Give them a hero. Captivate their imagination with stories about yourself, other people, or successful brands.

Why should business owners read Talk like TED?

The book is a mine of storytelling mastery, basically a who’s who of inspirational speaking from Lincoln and Churchill through to modern masters. Colin Powell, Seth Godin, and Bill Gates all have roles via personal anecdotes and references to now legendary TED talks.

There are surprises too. I hadn’t realised Sir Ken Robinson’s talk on why schools kill creativity was in fact the most popular TED talk ever, beating Conan O’Brien, J.K. Rowling and Oprah. Guaranteed, you’ll be able to start conversations on this book for months and there’s lots of science to back it up.

3 top takeaway points for start-ups:

1. Dig deep to identify a unique and meaningful connection to your presentation topic. For many of us this will be the ‘why’ in our business:
“Ask yourself, “What makes my heart sing?” As passion is something that is intensely meaningful and core to your identity. Your true passion should be the subject of your communications and will serve to truly inspire your audience.” (p.21)
2. The Brené Brown anecdote that “stories are just data with soul”:
“As Brown suggests, we’re all storytellers. You’re telling stories every day. In a business presentation, you’re telling the story behind your campaign, company, or product…In a marketing pitch, you’re telling the story about your idea.” (p.52)
3. Stick to the 18-minute rule and only focus on three core pieces of information:
“Everyone reading this will have experienced death by PowerPoint at some stage in their career. A fundamental TED rule is that presentations must not exceed 18 minutes. For me, nor should any other talk or presentation, ever.” It’s something we use at all ConnectTVT events too. The rule of only featuring three core features of information also applies here too:
“People can remember three pieces of information really well…it’s one of the most powerful concepts in writing and communication.”

Excerpt business owners can learn from?

“Introduce heroes and villains. Whether it’s a movie or a novel, every great story has a hero and a villain. A strong business presentation has the same cast of characters.

“A spokesperson reveals a challenge (villain) facing a business or industry. The protagonist (brand hero) rises to meet the challenge. Finally the townspeople (customers) are freed, the struggle is over, and everyone lives happily ever after.

“In some cases the villain can be an actual person or competitor, but tread carefully in these cases. Above all, make sure your hero – your product, your brand, or your idea – comes in to save the day.” P.73.

Book name: Talk Like Ted: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds
Author: Carmine Gallo
Date published: March 2014
RRP:  £9.99 (paperback)
Synopsis: TED Talks and associated Tedx conferences are typically viewed around 1.5 million times a day and, in the words of Gallo, these presentations “set the world on fire”. Using interviews with successful TED speakers and entrepreneurs, Gallo defines the lessons business owners can take to deliver a TED-style presentation and talk to customers and clients in a way that is engaging, persuasive and memorable.


To get inspiration from other highly-recommended business books, follow the links below:


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