Here are Best Ted Talks 2019. They are Secrets Worth Spreading.

Here are Best Ted Talks 2019. They are Secrets Worth Spreading.

With respect to whatever you do in life, we totally understand that you don`t have endless hours to lean over your macbook watching all those recently released Ted Talks, especially when (if talking frankly) not all of them are worth your time. So we have done the work for you! Not  just we watched all the most recent Ted Talks and picked the best in terms of structure, voice, and body language, which (if you are following us for a while, you already know) are three pillars of public speaking, but also, right here and right now, in simple words we will explain you why these talks are good and which tools the speakers successfully used. Naturally, if you are not a professional public speaker, these tools and techniques tend to elude your attention, leaving you wondering: why the hell was this talk so catchy? Reading this article will shed light on the subject and give you a nice, valuable take away.

TED talks with powerful voices

My Identity is a Superpower – Not an Obstacle

Minority stories are important. They inspire us and dare to change our image of success and opportunities, claims an actor, director and activist America Ferrera.

She will take you through her life journey while applying the whole range of vocal variety to encourage, persuade and gain empathy from the audience. She shouts out when the triumph sparks and turns to unconditional passion when tells ideas that might have never crossed your mind before. Starting the speech with a personal story, she tends to rush through a sentence up to the point where the insight hits. Then she makes a pause and takes a deep breath allowing the information to sink in. In that way she builds up a big point, accumulates the tension, speeds up more and more and more, and then… in a well-conditioned voice she emphasises every word and every syllable when it comes to the key message. There is no monorhythm, no monostyle in her presentation. She mixes up all the elements and that is the reason why her voice fascinates us so much.

Watching this speech can teach us how to take a full benefit of the pauses and be variable in tone, volume and speed.

The Case For Having Kid

Wajahad Ali tells about startling figures of global fertility rate and explains why in a situation of global warming and planet overpopulation it is still a good idea to have kids.
First thing that grasps attention is speaker’s deep, powerful voice. This can be achieved by speaking from a diaphragm, instead of a throat. It is not a secret that a voice that comes from a diaphragm sounds stronger and more persuasive, not to mention sexy. So using this technique helps him almost effortlessly resonate well in the room. Another thing to consider is his tendency to stress every last word in a sentence, and even last sounds in a word, hence eliminating the risk of being misheard. Wajahad Ali’s voice is easy on the ears, has a wide range of natural pitches and is simply pleasurable to listen to.

Watching this speech can teach us how to speak from a diaphragm to create deep and powerful voice.

TED talks with powerful body language

Digital Humans Thay Look Just Like Us

Doug Roble delivers a speech through a virtual copy of himself on the screen to confirm that technologies have gone way further than we could imagine, and it is yet to figure out which possibilities and concerns they will bring with them.
As a person whose face and body have been repeatedly scanned, Doug is highly aware about his mimics and gestures. Everything he says is mirrored by his body language and facial expressions. Talking heads era is left behind. Now, people want to see the whole body engaged into speaking. Important to mention that Doug Roble uses closed hands gesture as a comfortable “stand-by” position, that is sometimes overused by speakers and can indicate nervousness and tension. However, in this video we can see a loose clasping of hands instead of locking them up, which prevents him from getting stuck in this position for too long as it is easy to naturally continue gesturing. Doug Roble takes physical expressiveness to the next level and still looks natural and comfortable in his own body.

Watching this speech can teach us how to mirror everything said with gestures and communicate the message through the body.

Sleep is Your Superpower

Matt Walker, a sleep scientist, tells about the crucial harm that the lack of sleep brings to our health, and shares a bunch of advice to those who suffer from tossing and turning in bed.

In this speech, we can see Matt Walker`s gestures reflecting everything he says, as if he was using so called invisible props. Notice how his hands follow and complement the spoken word. Even watching the video on mute can be entertaining as there is a whole sub-story told with body language itself. Moreover, the confident stance of the speaker (he is neither shifting weight from one leg to another, nor pacing unpurposely around the stage) completes the picture of experienced and prepared presentation.

Watching this speech can teach us how to vary your body language and have a confident stance on the stage.

TED talks with powerful structure

How I Climbed a 3000-Foot Vertical Cliff

What drives a man to climb a 3,000-foot vertical cliff without a rope? What preparation routine stands behind it and which thoughts circulate inside the head in the culmination moment, will tell a professional rock climber Alex Honnold.

He starts his story in the middle, providing us with spoilers about the end result and then unfolds the chain of events gradually in a main body. He reverses the formula of typical storytelling. This may sound like a bad idea at first, but surprisingly, it builds the anticipation. Why? Because he gives the audience a promise that the juicy part is coming and is worth waiting for. Once the audience`s attention is caught, he returns to the beginning of events, explains the mechanism, gives some numbers, compares it to something people can relate to and then wraps it with a witty conclusion.

Watching this speech can teach us how to play with the sequence of events in a presentation to draw attention and make the audience lean forward in anticipation.

The Disarming Case to Act Right Now On Climate Change

Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist who initiated a school strike for climate change, warns us that if we don`t take the thread seriously life of her generation will be doomed, let along the life of her children.
Greta Thunberg starts her powerful speech with a personal insight, smoothly extands it to the global level, then she recklessly blames the humanity in neglecting the climate change (not without inserting jokes every now and then to keep it easy for the audience to absorb the information) and crashes the unspoken rule of positive ending, leaving us with a heavy heart. This combination of a personal story in a world-wide problem context gives us no choice but to relate to every word and realize that each one of us is involved, each person contributes to the spiraling crisis, even by doing nothing. The speaker masters the tension by using frequent well-placed pauses, confirming what Mark Twain once said: “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”

Watching this speech can teach us how to discuss a general topic through a personal perspective and use pauses to strengthen your message.

Are you still here? Awesome! Then you can have a look at a bunch of other articles below where we distribute for free all those amazing public speaking secrets. Or, if you feel like you have had enough of the theory and it is time to get into serious business with your own presentation.

Olha Minchenko

Content Manager @ Get Sandwich

An entrepreneur in the past, Olha built a career in translation, working on a variety of projects from fiction books to medical manuals. Currently exploring the field of Content Marketing she finds inspiration in good writing and promising authors.

How to Write a Killer Intro

How to Write a Killer Intro

The introduction is your chance to captivate the audience. Their attention and willingness to listen to you for the next 5, 15 or 30 minutes depend on the way you start the first 15 seconds. 

In 1962, Bennet Murdock in his article called “Serial Position Effect of Free Recall” stated that people remember the beginning and the ending long after they have forgotten most of what was said in the middle. So introduction and conclusion not only frame your speech but also they might be the only things that people will remember out of your presentation. And you do not want either of them to fall flat. As Margaret Atwood once smartly noted: “A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used.”

Now, recall the poor introduction I`ve started with. If my goal was to bore the listeners to death – I`ve reached it. After 20 seconds your brain started to send signals that it is the right time to draw a phone out of the pocket and check how things are on Instagram.

Let us focus on three good ideas of how to actually start a speech.

1. Once upon a time …

One of the best ways to start a speech is to say: “Once upon a time…” However, these words would sound odd within an academic topic. So let us rephrase it. Start your speech with “Once…” “In the year 19……” “At the dawn of a new century…” You got the point. Start with a short story that is connected to your topic. Introduce a real person, remember, even if you talk about software, there are always people behind the production, tell about the founders, consumers, your own experience. Be creative, nothing grabs attention better than a well-told story.

2. Start directly in the action

Find a context where your presentation will be relevant to a specific audience. Use descriptive language to help them visualize what you are telling about. Start your sentences with “Imagine…” Or ask the audience questions: “When was the last time…”

3. Brief preview

If you are totally stuck – no ideas on how to best orient your audience, no ideas on the topic or context – at minimum give a preview of what you are going to talk about. Start with the words: “I will talk to you about 3 things: the bread, the butter, and the cucumber…”

Now, when you got one step closer to giving a successful presentation, let us learn to avoid the common mistakes in the introduction:

Presentation intro is not an introduction of yourself

Usually, the audience already knows who you are and what you will talk about before you step on the stage. So no need to tell your full name, occupied position or the years of experience you have in the current job. This will not make them lean forward in anticipation. Rather start with why should they listen to you. How your topic is related to their lives. How they can use this information. If you do need to introduce yourself, it is better to do it right after the intro when their attention is already hooked. And of course, make it short and clear.

Presentation intro is not a sound check

Even though this might sound obvious, many speakers still enter the stage apologizing for a technical delay, checking the sound and taking time to adjust the equipment. Even worse, they start with apologizing for being nervous. It will not benefit your presentation no matter how confidently and easy-going you act afterwards. Respect people’s time and prepare everything in advance. If possible, make friends with the staff and ask them to help you with your slides so that the moment you are on the stage everything goes smoothly.

Presentation intro is not a brief outline

Don’t go through the outline in your intro. You do not want to open the cards before the game even starts. Your task is to orient the audience towards the body of the presentation, not giving them all the “meat”. What you can do is explain the topic, tell why it is important and how the audience will benefit from getting this information. But don`t go into details.

Presentation intro is not a conclusion

Imagine that introduction and conclusion are two bookends holding up your speech. They have to be equally strong but not contain the same information. Leave your punch line for the end of the speech and focus more on arising listeners curiosity, perk up some interest from the audience towards your topic. Place them in a scene or in a situation that is similar to what you are trying to teach them. Let them understand the practical value of the presentation, because eventually, their ultimate goal is to learn something new and apply it later on.

For any outline there are 1000 ways to start a presentation – don`t get stuck with just one of them. Play with different approaches, find several that works the best for you, be creative and exlore.

An example

I created a sample outline in the previous lesson on outlining. If I want to create an introduction to it, I need to ask these questions:

What’s the most common experience people in the audience have where my topic is relevant?

Since the outline is about a career change, I can start with:

  • A situation where I just got made redundant/fired.
  • A daily mundane routine that I have to do every day just to get paid salary.
  • My friend did a career change and I got very envious.

After that, I look through the above; and decided I’ll tell a story about my day that I found super boring (the second point). Once I do that, I can decide on some format for the first sentence. The format is easy to choose once you pick the context for your intro. These are some examples of the first sentences based on my super boring routines:

Question: Have you had a bad day?

Story: I woke up this morning at 6 and went to work at 8. I’ve done that for the last 10 years, and I’m bored with it.

Quotation: “I tend to get bored quickly, which means I must be boring”, Sir Anthony Hopkins. That’s what I thought every morning, but I was wrong.

Statistic: According to The Forbes 70% of employees hate their jobs

Startling statement: Suicide is the leading cause of death in England in adults below the age of 50, and past research shows that some occupations are at particularly high risk.

Personal anecdote or experience: Today, I woke up, got dressed and took the bus to work. When sitting on a back seat I saw that I still have my slippers on, I suddenly realized how much I hate my job.

Humor: “To bore or not to bore, that is the question”.

Expert opinion: Scientist says…

What to do next?

Make a list of 3 possible contexts for your introduction where the audience can easily relate to

For one of the context, write five sentences of how you will start your introduction. Note that I won’t ask you to write your entire presentation, but I find writing intros are very useful because it improves your confidence when you first start talking. Once you have the intro done, usually it’s much easier to get into the flow of speaking.

Olha Minchenko

Content Manager @ Get Sandwich

An entrepreneur in the past, Olha built a career in translation, working on a variety of projects from fiction books to medical manuals. Currently exploring the field of Content Marketing she finds inspiration in good writing and promising authors.