youth ministry book reviews

How To Deliver A Great Ted Talk [Book Review]



This is the one book on speaking/preaching that you need to read this year!

I stumbled on this book after reading a post from Tim Ferris on what CEO’s were currently reading.  I thought this book would be at least interesting.  Quickly, I realized that this book, “How to Deliver a Great TED Talk: Presentation Secrets of the World’s Best Speakers (How to Give a TED Talk)“, should be a must read for any one training to be a pastor.

Preaching today is more like giving a ted talk than anything else.  And actually, if my sermon was close to as good as a TED talk I would be more than happy.

Here are a few things I loved about this book: 

1. How simple it is.  Constructing a message is brutal, but with the author’s guidance it becomes easier to deliver a message.  The best part is if you listen to TED talks after you will notice that a lot of the great talks do these simple, yet effective things.

2. The way the book is laid out.  I felt like I was reading a blog.  It was really easy read.  It is what every ebook should be like.  I loved being able to learn a way to deliver a message and watch the TED talk the author was talking about.  All the examples were spot on.  I wanted to finish this book, and that rarely happens.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book, “How to Deliver a Great TED Talk

  • “delivered in the form of an advertisement or a presentation – needs to be simple and clear to understand.”
  • “The best messages are shocking and say something unexpected.”
  • ““Your life tells a story and there is someone out there who needs to hear it. You may think your story is not sensational, but it does not have to be sensational it just has to be sincere.”
  • “Even though I don’t know you, I believe that you have a message that you need to share with the world.”
  • “What transformative experience have I gone through that can help others? What knowledge do I have that can make life easier for others? If I were to die today and had to leave my son/daughter/niece/nephew with only one message about living life, what message would I leave them with?”
  • “If your audience was to forget everything else that you said, what is the one single thing that you would want them to remember?”
  • “For example, the core message of Simon Sinek’s popular TED talk, “How great leaders inspire action,” was the phrase “Start with why.”
  • “By the time your audience leaves your presentation, they’ve forgotten 20% of what you said.”
  • “Within four days, they’ve lost 80% of your message.”
  • “One important thing about your Power Phrase is that it should be less than 10 words. If it’s any longer, it will be too long to remember.”
  • “The opening of your speech is important for several additional reasons. It gives you a chance to do the following: build rapport with the audience members, create a first impression will that determine how receptive or hostile your audience will be towards your speech, set the mood for the rest of the speech, and grab your audience’s attention within the first 30 seconds, so that they don’t mentally check out of your presentation.”
  • ““I’d never given much thought to how I would die – though I’d never had reason enough in the last few months – but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.” The opening line shocks and leaves”
  • “Use the following anchors to build the body of your presentation: Anecdotes Acronyms Analogies, Similes or Metaphors Activities Academic research Statistics Case studies Product demonstrations Customer testimonials Quotes”
  • “What do you want your audience members to do differently as a result of listening to your speech?”
  • “Close your talk with an impact by: Signaling you are closing Summarizing your main points Linking it to the conference Providing hope for a better future Providing a clear call to action Selling the benefits”
  • “Talking about something new Looking at an old topic from a new perspective Arguing against conventional wisdom Digging out stories from academic research Interviewing interesting people Using personal stories”
  • “Turn your scenes into mental movies using the VAKS: Visual – what could you see? Auditory – what could you hear? Kinesthetic – what could you feel? Smell – what could you smell? Pack in as many of the senses as possible Keep your descriptions short”
  • “Before you offer a solution, build up people’s pain. Highlight all the pain that people are experiencing before you offer a solution. The more pain your audience feels, the more enthusiastic they will be about the solution.”
  • “Don’t overwhelm your audience with too many ideas on one slide. Use as many slides as you need, but stick to the rule of one idea per slide. This will keep your slides clutter-free. For example, if we go back to your presentation on the impact of global warming, instead of listing all the consequences of global warming on one bullet-filled slide, have a slide for each consequence and display a visually stunning photo, chart or image that shows the consequence. This is by no means an exhaustive list”
  • “Use a PowerPoint presentation only if you have lots of visuals to display If you and your PowerPoint are saying the same thing, one of you is not needed Use large, visually stunning pictures Use large fonts Only one idea per slide”

Have you seen this book before?  Have you read it?  I would love to know your thoughts on it.

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