Reading List: Talk Like TED

UPDATED: March 29, 2014
PUBLISHED: March 29, 2014

Ideas are the “currency of the 21st century,” writes communications coach Carmine Gallo. And there’s “nothing more inspiring than a bold idea delivered by a great speaker.” Gallo, author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, set out to identify the techniques and styles that great speakers share by analyzing hundreds of top TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks, interviewing the most popular TED speakers as well as experts in the science of communication.

He distilled his research into nine secrets in three categories: emotional (touching the heart), novel (teaching something new) and memorable (presenting content in unforgettable ways). His advice goes far beyond the usual “think positive and show enthusiasm” generalities, focusing instead on specific tweaks and tactics to elevate the caliber of a presentation and explaining the science behind the secret.

For example, “have a conversation” (Secret No. 3) considers why the wrong gestures (fiddling, hands in pockets, standing rigidly in place) diminish a presentation. “Deliver jaw-dropping moments” (Secret No. 5) works because “these moments create a heightened state of emotion that makes it more likely your audience will remember your message and act on it.”

Talk Like TED is crammed with valuable insights as well as practical do’s and don’ts. Read it and you, too, can stand and deliver a compelling, convincing and memorable talk, speech or presentation.

by Carmine Gallo

St. Martin’s Press; $24.99

Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.