May 22, 2012

Book Review: How to deliver a TED talk

I received a free copy of this book 'How to deliver a TED talk' from Jeremey Donovan and finished it super fast. The best part about the book is that it has got only 107 pages. So if you have to deliver a talk in a few days time, just pick up a copy of the book and within hours you will get lots of ideas to improve your talk.


In this review I cover the contents of the book, who is this book for, how good is the book and what are its drawbacks. I recommend the book for speakers who are preparing for their first TED talk or any other short speech or talk. If you are a veteran speaker, skip this one.


Contents of the book

1. How to choose a topic?
2. How to make it memorable?
3. How to get introduced?
4. How to open your talk?
5. How to construct the body of your talk?
6. How to conclude your talk?
7. How to tell stories?
8. How to verbally deliver your talk?
9. How to add humour?
10. How to deliver your talk (gesture & body language)?
11. How to create visuals?
12. How to overcome stage fear?


The starting portions are pretty good especially on how to get introduced, how to open your talk and how to structure the talk. I wish the book elaborated more on the humour and stories part. It is always a challenge to understand how to narrate stories.


Compliment reading the book with watching the TED videos mentioned in it to really get the most out of the book. Reading about Sir Ken Robinson's humour is one thing and watching him do it is totally another. Watch his TED talk here.


This book is not for you if
If your presentation is just a normal information sharing one or it is very slides heavy. This book is really about talks which are more of you and very very less of slides. The way most TED talks are. So if you are looking for some more tips on slide design, go for something else. Why not The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, my last reviewed book on presentations or the evergreen classic from Garr Reynolds. This book is for ordinary people with extraordinary ideas. Someone who is looking to inspire people. To touch them and to make them act.


Overall I recommend the book and give it 4 stars out of 5. Read it if you are nervous about yout upcoming talk. Read it if you want to quickly improve yourself. This book does not contain everything that can be said on this topic but is definitely a good place to start, especially if you are an amateur. It costs only $9.95 on Amazon. The Kindle version is only for $2.99. If you are in India, you can buy it here for Rs. 420 on HomeShop 18.


Disclaimer: I do not get any commission when you click on these links and buy.