Presentation tips from a first-time TED speaker

Tim-Urban-on-Inside-the-mind-of-a-master-procrastinator_755x9999

Speaking and presenting forms a big part of what we do as marketers. The ability to articulate an idea that generates interest, enthusiasm and unity is a skill that is often underrated but is nonetheless hugely valuable and can pay huge dividends when executed well.

For anyone that isn’t aware, TED is a conference held in North America every year that covers big topics related to technology, entertainment and design. Speaking at TED isn’t easy – it’s often by invitation only and the audience have very high expectations (past speakers include Al Gore, Seth Godin and Bono!). So when the writer Tim Urban was invited to speak at TED he panicked – and then blogged about his experience in the run up to the big day.

Tim’s talk on procrastination proved to be a hit and it was delivered in the same tone, verve and humour as his blog. Tim’s presentation looks so casual, when in reality he spent many months crafting and editing to get it just right.

Whilst you can read about Tim’s experience yourself, I thought I’d summarise some of the nuggets of wisdom that I took away from Tim’s approach which I believe offers some great advice for anyone preparing to stand up in front of an audience and give a presentation.

Tim’s top three presentation tips

1. When asked to speak in public we generally have three main options:

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 22.56.50

2. Each method has its own pros and cons but for a big presentation (such as a TED talk or a pitch) a well-memorised script is probably the best bet for most of us:

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 22.57.09

3. However, beware: if you choose to go with a script, the risk of disaster increases unless you go all out to memorise, practice and refine what you’re going to say!

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 22.57.26

Of course, every speaker is different and will have their own preferences as to how they should deliver a particular talk or presentation. However, it’s nevertheless interesting to get an insight into how a real-life TED talker planned, procrastinated and then ultimately delivered a talk that has generated over 4 million views to date!