When you think of impressive public speakers like Brené Brown (The Power of Vulnerability) or Simon Sinek, one thing sticks out: authenticity. They are real, relatable and their talks appear natural. You experience that they are talking directly to you personally even while you know they are not.
Speaking like a TED Talk Pro involves public speaking tips and tricks that every speaker should know. If you’re up to learn more about TED Talk presentation tips, keep reading!
How To Make A Great Presentation Following TEDX Talk Format
Many speakers that come to our Impact Speaking Lab workshop to polish their public speaking skills believe that they need to learn to say the right thing and hone their content and polish their presentation skills. However, that’s not the case. It’s much easier than that.
After 24 years speaking to around 33,000 people and training numbers of speakers, I have some public speaking coaching for you. Whether you want to expand your public speaking resume, or just get better at presenting in front of clients, these tips and suggestions can help you meet your goals.
Tip #1 Establish a connection with your audience:
As a professional speaker, you cannot fake it. Authenticity rings true. And faking it is picked up just as easily. You must be connected to why you are speaking, so that people who you are speaking to can feel it. People will want to listen to you and will lean into your message when you are connected.
Connect to your audience members whether there are 3 or 500.
Connection is all about what you are there for, why they are there and what you want them to walk away with. If you have done the thinking, prepared sufficiently and are committed to an outcome, you will be connected to yourself, your material and each person in your audience.
Eye contact- an interesting phenomenon from the world of neuroscience- when you connect to another person you, and they experience what we call a good neurochemical cocktail. That means your brain gets some hormones of connection and it feels good. In my speaker training, I always say, connect to one person’s eyes, and speak to them. Then move to another one and speak to them. You are not actually speaking to a room of 500, for example- you are speaking to 500 ones. One person at a time.
Tip #2 Nail your material:
If you are going to present in a business meeting or a pitch, get crystal clear about what you are saying, the flow of it to such a degree that you are anticipating and able to answer questions and objections before you present.
To do a talk in a conference or other public setting, it is important that it is written well, flows and it is understandable and creates the outcome that you wanted.
PRO TIP: Use someone that has the ability to be objective to read through your material, look at your slides with you and be a ‘devil’s advocate’.
Tip #3 Preparation is one key to making a great impact:
I highly recommend practicing out loud many times, using a script and practice with a script. (You can let go of the script after you are well prepared. I always use a script only for preparation.) Deliver your talk to a mirror so that the person in the mirror has the experience of your talk.
Preparation is about getting yourself free so that you can connect to people.When you are worried you might forget or not know where you are going next, you are disconnected from people and cannot make an impact.
PRO TIP: Do not wing it. It dishonors the people-your audience members if you are not prepared and haven’t done the work to prepare.
Tip #4 Fear of public speaking can be powerfully overcome:
As most of us know, there are studies that show that people fear public speaking more than they do death. I hear it all the time- “I am great presenting in a boardroom or one on one, but when I get up to speak in the front of a room, I am terrified!”
What we know from neuroscience is that public speaking fear is simply a perception by your brain that there is a real threat, when there is not! It really is simply a brain pattern. Whenever your brain thinks you might fail, it goes into the fight, flight, freeze or appease reaction. You get a chemical cocktail that impacts your ability to think and be connected. When you discover that, you can look for signs- physical sensations as well as body language. Once you know it is a brain pattern, that is familiar, you will realize you are ok and will survive. You can begin to calm your brain down and get past the reaction!
Tip #5 Don’t rely on power posing or other ‘tricks’. It’s all about your mindset:
Perhaps you have heard about the power posing trick. Essentially it says that before a presentation, job interview, or especially challenging social situation, you sit or stand for two minutes in a stance that takes up as much space as possible. When you stand with your legs spread comfortably apart and hands on hips (often called the “Wonder Woman Pose,”) your hormones can actually shift your emotions from stress to confidence, from powerless to powerful.
This and many other tricks do have some merit, but that is not actually what works to be a great speaker. The secret is connection and when you are connected to yourself, your audience and your topic intimately, you won’t need to rely on this or other techniques!
Consider Joining A Speaker Coaching Program
There are many more tips and techniques to being an impactful speaker. Some people find the best way to develop yourself is hire a speaker coach like myself or enroll in a speaking training program. There are a number of different styles from the free ones like Toastmasters to speaking training like I do at the Impact Speaking Lab where we work with you on being connected and being reliably impactful as a speaker. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to check out what is possible for you as a public speaker with some training.