Book Review: TED Talks

TED Talks written by Chris Anderson

I love TED talks. TED.com has been my favorite source for inspiration, education, and personal growth now for many years. My favorite TED talks include Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, Daniel Pink… the list goes on and on.

The President of TED, Chris Anderson, has recently written a great book on public speaking based on his amazing experience as its leader since 2001. Many of the book’s references are to TED Talks given on a wide variety of interesting topics. While these talks are brief (15-20 minutes) and geared for a particular audience, the techniques used can easily be applied to any presentation.

Several of my favorite takeways from the book are:

  • “The only thing that truly matters in public speaking is not confidence, stage presence, or smooth talking. It’s having something worth saying.”
  • “Remember that the speaker’s job is to give to the audience, not take away from them.”
  • “Great writing is all about the power of the deleted word. It’s true of speaking too. The secret of successful talks often lies in what is left out. Less can be more.”
  • “Knowledge can’t be pushed into a brain. It has to be pulled in.”
  • “It’s no surprise to discover that many of the best talks are anchored in storytelling.”

Whether you need help in making presentations or are the king of public speaking, I am confident that you will benefit from reading this book. Who knows…you may be asked to give a TED Talk one day or even speak at the next Small Business Matters Conference.