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
- 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.
- Compelling Message: Ensure that your presentation has only one idea and try to plant the same idea in the audience.
- 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. “
- 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
- Authentic Passion: This is the most important one among all the previously mentioned. The presenter must ensure that the message is worth to present.