#CBR8 Review #152

TED Talks by Chris Anderson

This semester coming up, I’ll be teaching a Communications class for the first time ever. Also: I never took a Communications class, because I did the Honors track in college. I was and still am a little nervous about teaching the course, but I’ve got some ideas for the course, including a TED Talk each student must create. With this in mind, I was excited to see that Chris Anderson, head of TED, as he describes himself, had written a book on public speaking, as particularly related to TED Talks. As it turns out, this book can be more general for your public speaking life. Hooray!

Anderson talks about what “makes” a TED Talk, and then he pieces apart the components of a successful TED Talk to help improve your public speaking skills. He uses specific examples of various TED Talks in order to illustrate the points that he makes. He gives you potential ways to organize your speech/talk, and what pitfalls you must avoid for success. Finally, he has a section for reflecting on your specific goals for your speaking events/venues and how you can best achieve your larger goals through your small, attainable goals.

I found this book to be practical and helpful. It goes over big-picture things, like your setup, arc, and narration, to the small details, such as tone, dress, and even where/how to place notecards. This is a practical and doable guide, and very applicable to other areas beyond just TED Talks. I think I will refer to this if I ever have to give a job talk (please, Universe, I have faith! Make it happen!). You don’t have to be an amazing public speaker to give an amazing and inspirational public speech. You just need to be prepared and to organize appropriately. That’s what this book has taught me. I hope my students find it as beneficial as I did.


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