Nancy Duarte delivering a presentation


10 Ways to Prepare for a TED-format Talk

It’s kind of reassuring to know that even a public-speaking icon like Nancy Duarte can run over time (even if it did take a nasty chest cold to make it happen). But reading through these tips, it’s hard to imagine much short of a ferocious virus forcing you off-schedule if you followed them.

But that’s not what really stood out for me in this list (although I’ll definitely be adding a few of these to my repertoire). It was point number four:

A lot of times, as the presenter, you know your material so well that you think you’re making each key point clear. You might not be. Your coach should make sure you are telling people why. It’s the “why” around our ideas that make them spread, not the “how”. Articulate the why so your audience understands what’s magnificent about your big idea.

Whether I’m writing speeches or delivering them, I’ve always found that’s what cracks the nut. Everything else falls into place (sometimes with some shoving, I’ll admit) when you have the “why”.

Filed under: Craft, Presentation Design, Speaking, Speechwriting Tagged: nancy duarte, ted, timing

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