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Public Speaking TED Talk Book Review: Talk Like TED

One book I have found to be a great resource on the topic of a public speaking TED talk is Talk Like Ted.

In my quest for lifelong learning, I always have an abundance of books waiting to be read. Some I will devour from cover to cover whilst others deserve a longer peruse. I personally love the books I can pick up and put down, especially when I learn something new each time.

I have many books on public speaking, communication, and leadership.

Here are my thoughts on Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo.

Talk like TED. The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds

Carmine Gallo is a public speaking TED talk coach who has studied 1000s of hours of TED talks and put together his views on what it takes to make a TED talk successful. He is also the author of the popular book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

Ideas are the currency of the 21st century

According to Carmine Gallo, ideas are the currency of the 21st century. If you want your ideas out there and people to successfully pitch your ideas to others, you need to be able to do so in a persuasive way.

Carmine has interviewed some of the most popular TED talkers as well as researchers in communications, psychology, and science and has put together the 9 secrets of all successful presentations.

I feel that there are no new revelations in the book; the nine “secrets” can be found in most books on public speaking, but what makes this book stand out is the research and knowledge given by the author and his stories and opinion on what works well in a public speaking TED talk.

If you have ideas that matter to you and you want to get them heard then this book will be useful for you.

I personally enjoyed reading chunks of the book, putting the book aside to watch the relevant video on TED.com then referring back to Carmine’s comments. It was an interesting exercise to compare what appealed to me and what the author wrote about the talk. Being able to read about the talk, then see and hear it gave me a multifaceted experience. That is what made the book stand out.

The 9 secrets are conveniently broken into three parts with a chapter covering each of the components of a successful public speaking TED talk. This slide share has great images for those who would rather get a glimpse of the ideas in the book.

One drawback for me is that I think the book could have been a bit shorter, maybe in line with the brevity and concise nature of the TED talk. There was a fair bit of repetition in the book, but as I took time out to go to watch the talk before moving on to the next piece this wasn’t too much of a concern for me.

Trying to inspire an audience with one idea in only 18 minutes is a challenge and this book shows what works and what doesn’t with multiple examples.

If you read this book, make sure you have a computer nearby. To get the most out of this book, it’s best to look up the talks mentioned along the way.


About the author

Lisa Evans helps leaders and entrepreneurs to craft compelling business stories and become exceptional speakers. Lisa is a certified speaker coach, TEDx speaker coach, four times author, NLP practitioner, graphic recorder and visual storyteller, and improvisational actor. 

She has coached thousands of leaders across a range of industries, including resources, banking, finance, engineering, retail, and sales as well as not-for-profit and community associations. 

If you wish to take advantage of a complimentary session in order to chat about how you can become an exceptional and successful speaker with a stand-out brand, then use this link to book a time to chat.

Here’s how I may help you

Whether you have a hidden story of your feet, or you want to nail your next presentation, I can help you.

My services include:

Business Storytelling Coaching – together we can get started to create your suite of stories. A minimum of three sessions is recommended 1:1 in person or virtually via Zoom.

Executive Speaker Coaching – if you have an upcoming guest speaking opportunity, funding pitch, conference talk or you want to be an outstanding speaker, we can work together on your technique. You will see the results after one session.

Storytelling for Leaders Interactive Workshops – I can come to you, or we can host a workshop offsite for your team. From half-day to two-days immersive, this customised workshop is an ideal way to kick start your business storytelling strategy and get the whole team telling stories.

Keynote/Guest Speaking at your next conference or event – I have several topics to choose from ranging from a 30-minute talk up to a 90-minute interactive session.