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.
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.