Better Presentations – II

In this post, I will write about the TED talk by Mr. Richard Greene, author of the book, “The Words that Shook the World: 100 Years of Unforgettable Speeches and Events”.  In the talk, “The 7 secrets of the greatest speakers in history“, Richard first explains seven ingredients of a great talk, and then he shows video snippets of few great speakers including Loe Gehring, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, among others. Here, I will re-phrase only the seven ingredients of his talk in five bullet points

  1. Words, Voice tone, and Body language: Richard’s experience/research shows that words, voice tone, and body language affect 7%, 38% and 55% of the audiences respectively. This means that uttering correct words/speech and neither having a variation (fast/slow according to condition) in voice tone nor using body language (looking, moving) will attract only 7% of the audience and the remaining will feel lost. Therefore to remain connected with the audience during the entire presentation, the presenter should ensure all three in appropriate proportions.
  2. Compelling Message: Ensure that your presentation has only one idea and try to plant the same idea in the audience.
  3. Only Conversation: Richard explains the difference between performance, presentation, and conversation. He further points out that a speaker often thinks his “talk” as a performance or a presentation. Thinking talk as “performance” is absurd because performance relates to acting and the talk is not acting, thinking talk as a “presentation” is not fully true because then you only think of the audience and not of yourself. Instead, talk is “conversation”. In the words of Richard, “Talk/public speaking is nothing but a conversation from your heart about something that you are authentically passionate about. “
  4. Four Languages of Communication: Presenter should ensure that his(r) presentation has following four languages. (i) Visual: Show visual representation of as many concepts as possible (ii) Auditory: Summarize findings through stories (iii) Auditory digital:  Support findings with analytical and statistical measures/numbers (iv) Kinesthetic: Develop means of connecting with audience, i.e., audience should feel the message/idea
  5. Authentic Passion: This is the most important one among all the previously mentioned. The presenter must ensure that the message is worth to present.
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