This was a good set of guidelines and advice for public speaking and presentations. A lot of standard things, but well presented, and some information I hadn't heard before (discussion of the uncanny valley in scripted vs extemporaneous talks).
I want to give short, powerful talks for my clients and students, and this book lays out exactly how to do that, without forcing you into one method, style, or technique. It was a great learning experience.The book is inspiring and actionable, although the 4 or 5 wrap up chapters at the end felt tacked on for the true fans of TED. I wish the altruistic, change the world stuff had been spread throughout, rather than closing the book. Near the end, I had clear, action steps to apply for my speaking, and these chapters took away the rush to apply what I'd just learned. I highly recommend this book, but if you're reading this to speak better and give better talks, read these chapters first or save them for after your talk!
I am a huge fan of Ted. The one thing I had hoped in a book like this that it would cover this subject thoroughly, with some historical perspective. I expected that it would acknowledge that the art of public speaking is 2000 years old it wasn't invented by the Ted people themselves. There is next to nothing mentioned about Aristotle or Cicero or Quintillion or some of the important work by recent communication theorists. is someone who is top public speaking for 30 years, I can tell you it's not all oratory shouted or intoned slowly to large crowds. there is a lively group of people and practitioners who have much to teach. that said, I do think there's a lot of value in this book. We do live in an age where public speaking is becoming recognized once again it's important tool.
There are some very good public speaking tips and insights to contemplate in this book. The majority of these tips are geared towards giving a TED style talk, but many are applicable towards any type of public speaking engagement. Even for someone who is comfortable with public speaking, or giving presentations, you'll pick up something from this book.Interspersed throughout the book, the narrator does give somewhat of a history of TED, which is interesting if you are a fan of TED Talks. The history is usually interwoven or tied to some tip on public speaking, making the historical aside relevant to the chapter.
Those who have not seen many TED Talks before may find this book less engaging than those who are more familiar with TED. If you have watched hours of TED Talks there will be references to videos you have probably seen before, which may help reinforce the driving points the book is trying to make. The good news is if you want to watch a Talk mentioned in the book, most are readily available online, making this book a unique interactive show and tell style guide to public speaking.
The author goes above and beyond in explaining how to give a presentation to a large audience. If you've seen any of the most popular TED Talks, you'll know that the presenters have spent months preparing for an 18-minute presentation and have contingencies for every imaginable obstacle they might encounter, like technical difficulties and lost presentation.