TED talks are the pinnacle of public speaking. Their website is one of the best online sources for interesting speeches, and speakers can learn so much from watching how these talks are delivered.
However, this list isn’t highlighting general TED talks. It is highlighting five of the best TED talks whose topics can help you improve your public speaking today.
John Bohannon – Dance Vs Powerpoint – A Modest Proposal
Are powerpoints making audiences lose interest? John Bohannon thinks so. He uses the art of dance to express his scientific findings in a whole new way.
How does this apply to your next speech? Do you really need the powerpoint? Looking through TED videos, many speakers choose not to use a powerpoint. Of course, many times a powerpoint really adds to a presentation, so make sure yours isn’t just dead wood.
Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
Amy Cuddy discusses body language and confidence in a way that makes so much sense. We would recommend this video to absolutely anyone; she will help you improve your power non-verbals, which can inspire confidence.
How does this apply to your next speech? Getting power non-verbals right during your speech can help inspire your audience. The research in this video suggests you really can fake it til you make it – doing her exercises before your next speech will help you get an improved reaction.
Kelly McGonigal – How to Make Stress Your Friend
After years of telling people stress was bad for them, Kelly McGonigal read a study that changed her opinion about stress. In this video, she argues that stress is not bad for you, but believing stress will harm you is a self-fulfilling prophesy.
How does this apply to your next speech? According to some surveys, public speaking is scarier than death. Whilst fear and stress are different, fear can provoke a stressful reaction. This video can help you rethink your approach to stress.
Idriz Zogaj – How to Become a Master of Memory
Idriz Zogaj is a master of memory, and in this TEDx video, he teaches you how to become the same. Many of his tricks are based in making stories to link facts, a style of learning backed up by this NYT article.
How does this apply to your next speech? Knowing the facts behind your speech will give you more security. Mastering your memory is so important for a speaker – even if you don’t memorise your speech, you will get so much extra confidence from knowing your material.
Ivan Joseph – The Skill of Self Confidence
Ivan Joseph argues that being self confident is the skill he values most in his athletes. The argument is ‘catch them when they’re good’; don’t look at the negatives of a performance, look at the positives.
How does this apply to your performance? Look at your last speech and watch or remember what went well. Stop looking at your previous speeches in terms of what went wrong, look at what worked and decide to recreate that.