Born in 1984, taking hold in the ‘90s and finally reaching the masses post 2006; TED has had a tremendous journey to becoming a household name. TED Talks generate over 450,000 views per day and almost as many mentions across various platforms. They have emerged as a benchmark for public speaking and presenting, most often being highly engaging and empowering.
A majority of these talks possess a few attributes that make them endearing to viewers. Inculcating these attributes can help you bolster your presentation skills to that of the best of TED speakers. Here’s what you can learn from them:
Passion is a wonderfully strong emotion that has the power to engage and coax. Speak passionately and expressively with the intention of conveying your conviction in what you are presenting. Most MBA courses require students to speak effectively as it is an important managerial trait. Manifesting your passion is an unparalleled way to show that you’re in it to win it.
- Build a connection
Anecdotes and personal experiences are a one-way ticket to being more relatable. It stipulates that the topic at hand is close to your heart, provoking the listeners to connect thereby leaving a deeper impression.
Cameron Russell, model-turned TED speaker has delivered one of most popular TED talks – ‘Looks aren’t everything, believe me, I’m a model’. With over 12 million views, she managed to connect to hundreds of scores across the globe by drawing on her experience and vulnerabilities, throwing light on the deceivingly silver-hued life of a supermodel.
- Resort to humor and satires
Studies show that a little humor has the power to uplift the mood and sharpen the attention span of an average person. Do not hesitate to crack a few jokes, maybe even at your own expense. You would come across as more likable and the cacophony of laughter is bound to awaken even the soundest of sleepers in your audience.
- Practice! Practice! Practice
TED speakers are lauded for the effortless delivery of their speeches. They cruise through with hardly any stammering or stuttering, almost as though they’re speaking to a few good friends rather than a room full of strangers. As cliché a tip as this may be, it is one that the best of speakers swear by.
- Time yourself
An average TED talk lasts between 15 to 20 minutes. This has been found to be an adequate period to convey one’s message. It is neither too long, like the hour-long educational lectures that have us snoozing, nor is it too short that it leaves the listeners with hardly any clarity on the subject.
BBA students and even those learning through distance education or correspondence courses from top universities in India are required to deliver presentations both as a part of their coursework and later in their jobs. Time is always of the essence in such cases and your competency in sticking to stipulated period can make you a front-runner at your organization.
- Stimulate your audiences’ brains
Gone are the days when droning, dragging sounds were tolerated for a speech. Images, videos, sounds and movements are a sure way to enrapture your audience. Body gestures effectively show that you’re involved and invested in what you are saying; it serves a great visual medium to emphasize certain points.
Different people respond to different methods of learning. Some show results with audio stimulation, visual stimulation and others learn better just by doing and getting involved in the activity. You can target more groups by incorporating various such elements.
One of the TED Talks, which convey the indispensability of such stimuli would be that of Amy Cuddy on how your body language shapes who you are. Evidently, she discusses the aid of gestures in making an impact, but she does so with images and clips, which brings us to the next point.
- Visuals and presentations
We are living in an age and time where most people are rather tech-savvy. Presentations on PowerPoint and Keynote are accessible to everyone. A good quality presentation can be one of the best aids to your performance. A good presentation is ripe with colors and images.
Cascading sentences, long bullet points and endless text are taking a backseat now. Instead resort to keywords. Use visuals, but do not let them do all the talking for you.
Source – Ted.com
- Pose questions
This age-old technique exploited by teachers everywhere is a brilliant attention garnering tool. It works to interact with the crowd, getting them to participate and be involved. A memorable presentation is often one that prompts questions and provides answers. It is one that succeeds in leaving its mark on all those in attending.
If you are an aspiring MBA degree holder looking to find a foothold in the industry, you certainly need to nurture powerful presentation skills. The ability to move listeners is the biggest trick up the sleeves of every strong leader, and with these tips, you can be one among them!