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TED videos: Do they really make one a great presenter?


Just watching TED videos, if one could have been made a hell of an impactful presenter!, then we would have long left the data point that “Speaking in Public is the No. 1 Fear”.

And probably it would have been close of business for many of us who specialize in training and coaching people on Hi-Impact Presentation Skills.

So what happens when one does watch TED videos regularly?
My 2 bits coming from having many training & coaching relationship with aspiring presenters is that many of them who watch these videos regularly, end up just becoming good if not great  ‘mimics!’.

Because consistent watching of TED videos (as the environment is completely different from an organisational setting) you may tend to pick up styles that large group speakers use in such open forums.  You may love the pizzaz and the oration they use, but frankly, can you really use these mannerisms back into your workplace and what if you end up using such oration in client presentations. Rather than ebing an enabler, it may just end up being a derailer.

So then, why would we advise watching of TED videos?
To be honest, how many videos from the business side are really available in open space and then, can they be really made available? I mean, any competitor worth his salt, would have to just watch these videos and viola!, you be able to gauge strategies and execution plans biengo.

And, what about insider trading laws? Recent videos of reviews, proposals, plans, ideas, launches etc. may give the viewer soo much inside information that one can go make a killing in the stock market.

So, why then? The amazing element in TED videos is that there are people with loads of passion and high energy that led them to their goals and/or vision, many are corporate honchos, well attired & groomed and they yes, speak to a ‘live’ audience. Most of them use slides (calling them ppt’s is a no-no) and their slide decks are visual delights! (I hear some of them get the decks made by designing professionals). And yes, some of them do really have great presentation skills and make mesmerising presentations.

Now with many TED chapters around the world even if say (just for e.g. sake) 1% of the presentations are great, we still have a sizable no. of videos available. And, before I forget, the very fact that these videos are OPEN to DOWNLOAD, let alone SEE!, makes them an amazing library of Presentation Videos.

So, if you want to be the next GREAT PRESENTER, what should you really lookout for when watching these Videos?
A few tips:
1.       The Start!  How does the speaker begin? What powerful ‘hook’ are they using?
2.       The Engagement! How does the speaker engage with the audience? The verbal and the non-verbal reactions and/or responses they generate that moves the presentation from a monologue to an interactive dialogue.
3.       The Framework! What’s the structure of the presentation? Is it the classic Tell 3 (according to me a boring old school style) or maybe the speaker has used impact framework such as PCS, PPF, AIDA, P&C (more on frameworks in the next article).
4.       The Closure! How did the speaker end? Was it Drib with a “That’s It” or maybe ended with a Flourish (audience genuinely applauded)
5.       The Speakers Body Language! How’s the Posture? How did they move on stage? Did they?
6.       The Oration! How was their voice? Feeble or with baritone of power?
7.       The Eyes! Did the speaker look to the whole audience? Or just to one side of the room or maybe one person. Or maybe just to the camera (this would mean bad eye-contact)?

The sad part of TED Talks is that there are no Questions from the audience. Whereas,  in reality, in organsiations, the Questions form the pillars (maybe not in town halls) of organisational presentations. These can make or break your presentation.

So next time you watch a TED video…
Observe intently for the performance points above, reflect, think of your own presentation and start applying the choices you wish to, so that you really become a High-Impact Presenter and not just a Mimic.

Your style, Your Way!


Ajit Kamath CPF is the Principal Trainer & Facilitator at WizTalks primarily working out of India. He has been in the field of #Lecturing, #Training & #Facilitation since 1993.His flagship program in the initial years of training was “The Fascinating World of Public Speaking” and “POWER Presentation Skills” having trained in Companies like Philips, National Stock Exchange, Castrol and others.  He delivers programs primarily for senior & mid-level Leadership Teams across industries. He has had experience in the Theatre field that he integrates seamlessly into his training & facilitation. He is also a Story Teller and Certified Professional Facilitator using Group Process Facilitation techniques. He can be contacted on wiztalks@gmail.com, tweeter: @AjitWiz


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