Talk like TED, Carmine Gallo - Book Summary

In Talk like TED, you'll learn the presentation strategies used by some of the world's most influential speakers. Author Carmine Gallo analyzed more than 500 TED presentations to draw out the commonalities that make these talks impact and attractive.

Who should read this book?

  • Those interested in starting a start-up
  • Those who want to be able to make effective and impressive presentations
  • Those who want to learn how to market themselves better

Who is the author of this book?
Carmine Gallo has been a reporter for CNN and CBS, and authored several books, including "Steve Jobs Presentation Secrets" (also available on blinks or books). He has also worked as a coach for sales executives of companies such as Coca-Cola and Intel and is a regular keynote speaker at several important conferences.

What's in the book? Learn how to speak like a pro

If you have a great idea, how do you share it with the world? We are bombarded with information every day, so in order for an idea to really shine, the person with the idea needs to work hard to promote it. In other words, you need to "sell" the idea.

In "Talk like TED," author Carmine Gallo reveals the presentation secrets used by the world's most influential speakers. After analyzing more than 500 popular talks presented at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). Gallo pointed to three commonalities that, in his view, set these talks apart.

In all these talks, the content of the presentations is often very different, the speaker always tries to connect his emotions with the audience; and the content is always presented in the most memorable way.

You'll learn how to emotionally connect with your audience, make your presentations more impactful, and weave stories into your talks. You also learn why passion is so important to delivering a persuasive talk and why you should make sure your chosen topic can spark more than one sense.

Finally, you'll learn a few "butter & bread" tricks to design your presentation so that it sticks in your audience's memory.

In the summary below, you will discover:

  • How releasing a swarm of mosquitoes makes a TED talk so popular;
  • What do the American and Danish Dreams have in common;
  • How new information encourages the brain to remember.

TED Talks can help you improve an important area of ​​your life: Presentation skills

In 1915, Dale Carnegie wrote the world's first self-help book, The Art of Public Speaking . In this work, Carnegie explains how one can present a point of view in the most impressive and compelling way.

This shows that, as early as 100 years ago, people were trying to make themselves stand out from the crowd to succeed. If that was true a century ago, it is even more true today.

In today's globalized world, competition has become fiercer. In order for your idea to stand out, you need to learn more about marketing yourself.

Author Daniel Pink is also aware of this and mentions it in the book From Instinct to the Art of Sellingwhether we like it or not, we are all engaged in trading today. But where will you learn how to best market yourself? What is the counterweight in today's world of The Art of Public Speaking ?

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a prestigious conference where leaders and top inventors present their ideas. The presentations (all available for free online) are a prime example of effective marketing skills.

Starting in 1984, the TED conference was only held once. However, TED quickly became famous. Today, TED has a worldwide presence. In fact, every day there are 5 TEDx seminars held in more than 130 countries (under the franchise from the original events).

Because TED Talks feature the brightest and most successful people, they are invaluable resources for anyone who wants to be a successful speaker. With that in mind, the author has analyzed more than 500 TED talks and found many similarities between these presentations.

So what do these things have in common? What skills do TED speakers use to get their messages across? The following summary presents the most important tools used by sales professionals around the world

Passion is the foundation of a successful and persuasive speech.

What do successful people have in common?

Passion is the positive feeling of passion when you are pursuing a career that is deeply meaningful to you. Furthermore, pursuing something you are passionate about is also important to achieving success in that field.

Consider the case of Tony Hsieh, the founder of the highly successful online shoe retailer Zappos. Hsieh has a special passion – not about shoes – his passion is making his customers and employees happy. Passion for people's happiness helps develop Zappos into a company that stands out in the field of customer care and a good working environment for employees.

In addition to creating the foundation for success, passion is also an important ingredient for creating quality presentations.

In 2012, a group of researchers wanted to find out why investors spend money on some start-ups and not others. In this study, they observed how investors made decisions after they evaluated 15-minute presentations by startups seeking funding.

As researchers have discovered, one of the key factors contributing to investors' decisions is the passion the presenter exhibits. In fact, this factor is more important than the degree, experience and age of the entrepreneur.

But what if passion doesn't flow naturally in your veins? Fortunately, anyone can learn to be a passionate speaker. Simply practice. The human brain is constantly changing to process input. A study of London taxi drivers also found that the area of ​​the brain associated with route-finding skills - the seahorse pattern - tended to be larger than average, explaining the ability to navigate the fastest distance from A to B is better than average.

That way, if you constantly put yourself in a position where you have to give a speech and need to show passion, your brain will find a way to adapt to this task and you will improve the skill yourself.

So what are you waiting for?

Storytelling helps you connect with your audience emotionally.

Most people would agree that Steve Jobs is one of the best speakers in the world. But what makes his presentations so persuasive?

His talks are always filled with emotion – just as a successful and persuasive presentation should be. One of the first to think critically about persuasive communication was the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle believed that persuasion is created when all three elements are combined ethos, logos and pathos

The first element - ethos - refers to your personality or beliefs and is closely related to experience or your education, which reinforce the audience's belief in your point of view.

The second element – ​​logos – refers to the logical foundation of your reasoning, which can include statistics or databases that help give your audience solid reasons for your point of view.

The third element – ​​pathos – concerns the emotional bond you create with your audience. In his analysis of hundreds of TED talks by the author, he found that the most popular ones include 65% pathos, 25% logos, and 10% ethos.

Clearly, pathos is the most important feature of a persuasive speech. But how to include more pathos in your speech?

The best way is through storytelling.

Essentially, storytelling helps you connect with your audience by making your speech less abstract and easier to understand. There are three types of stories you can use to go this way.

The first type is your own stories. A story of your own will prevail to answer questions like “what are your earliest childhood memories?”

The second type is the stories of people around, for example a story of a friend who failed miserably with the first idea for a start-up project but succeeded with the following idea and attracted many people. many investors.

The third type is the story of successful brands, companies or organizations. Ludwick Marshane, the investor in DryBath, a shower gel that cleans without the use of water, entertained audiences in one of his TED Talks with the story of how his brand has helped people in different parts of the world. country lacks water.

Emotional bonding is only achieved when the speaker harmonizes the tone of voice, gestures, and body language

Have you ever listened to a presentation where the speaker spoke so slowly that you felt like you could fall asleep right away?

But speaking quickly is not necessarily the solution. The speed at which the speaker speaks depends on what the audience is doing at the time. Assuming you're doing something - say, driving - while listening to an audiobook, you want the reader to read it relatively slowly. However, if you put all of your attention on the presentation, you will want the speaker to speak much faster.

So what speed is perfect for a speech? The author found that most speakers speak at a rate of 190 words per minute.

However, controlling your voice is only the first step. To connect with your audience, you need to pay attention to body language.

We get a lot of information from the way we move. In one research paper, students were shown a video or audio recording of the testimony of criminal suspects and then asked to see which of the suspects was lying.

As a result, students who watched the video were more likely to point to the right suspect (success rate of 65%) than students who only listened to the recording (with a rate of 55%).

So what kind of body language should you use?

US Commander Matt Eversman suggests that leaders stand up straight and exude confidence. This also applies to speakers: stand up straight in front of the audience and show confidence in your ideas.

An important feature of body language is gestures. In fact, several studies have shown a link between a speaker's gestures and the level of trust the audience has in that speaker.

To be able to use gestures effectively, you should limit the gestures between the eyes and belly because movements in this area always have a great impact.

In addition, you should also limit open gestures (such as extending arms) and only use when you are emphasizing the most important points.

So we know how to establish and maintain an emotional connection with your audience.

Now we will focus on how to make your speech stand out.

To make your speech new and unforgettable, introduce new information to your audience.

Think back to the last time you were really surprised, the “Oh! Really?" perhaps brought you closer to that new source of information—whether it's a book, a TV show, or a lecture.

If you want to get the same attention and imagination from your audience, you should incorporate fresh and cutting edge information into your presentations.

In a very popular TED talk, seabed explorer Robert Ballard convincingly explains why people should spend more money on ocean floor studies

. many of the events he shared, two of which were particularly striking.

The first is the annual budget of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NAS) which is equivalent to that used by the US Oceans and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for 1,600 years.

The second fact is that the great mountain ranges on earth lie not only on the land but also under the sea.

New and interesting information helps the audience sit back and pay more attention. And of course that information is also easier to remember.

This is because memory depends on dopamine, a substance found in the brain. When you learn something new, your brain releases dopanine which functions like a "save" button. The more novel and interesting the information is, the easier it is for dopamine to be generated and therefore better memory capacity.

As another example, Susan Cain discussed the power of introverts in a TED talk, a topic that sounds boring and forgettable at first.

However, Cain knew that the audience needed a nudge, so she said that “a person can have a good idea but not necessarily deliver it well.”

Immediately the managers in her audience were start to pay more attention: Cain's opinion debunks the common belief that those who talk the most in meetings are the most creative (based on the fact that these people seem to get more attention than others). quiet introvert in meetings)

Because she interpreted her point of view in a whole new way to the audience, the audience's ability to remember the idea improved as well.

Make your presentation memorable by sharing a special moment or an unusual metric.

What did you do on September 11, 2001? What about September 11, 2002?

Without a doubt, your memories of 2001 will certainly be clearer. Special moments are often unforgettable – and if there are moments during your presentation, your audience will be more likely to remember your talk and share your talk with friends

. 2009, Bill Gates was the speaker of a TED talk that soon went viral. His presentation even caught the attention of Brian William, the NBC news anchor - who mentioned Gates' televised talk - despite such events. is not usually considered “news”.

So what was so special about those talks that made such an impression?

Gates' presentation was about deadly mosquito-borne diseases like malaria. Gates thought there was no reason only the poor should suffer from the threat of disease from mosquitoes, and he showed the audience a jar of mosquitoes and let them fly. Although Gates was quick to add that these mosquitoes were not infected with malaria, this unusual act made his talk quite controversial. The presentation has reached 2.5 million views on the TED website and a Google search for the talk has yielded over 500,000 results.

But it's not just the unusual actions that make your presentation stand out. Shocking figures can also capture the audience's attention.

When preparing for a presentation, you should look for interesting facts or figures that illustrate your argument.

Here are two examples from popular TED talks:

“In 1972, more than 300,000 people were incarcerated and imprisoned. Today the number is 2.3 million. The United States currently has the highest prison incarceration rate in the world” (Bryan Stevenson)

“One in 100 people has a mental illness. There are 1,500 people in this room right now, so 15 of you are mentally ill.” (Jon Ronson)

These two metrics have made speaking engagements much more memorable and enjoyable.

Adding humor to your speech makes your audience perceive you in a more positive light

Try looking back at the presentations you really enjoyed? Is it funny at all?

Humor is a positive element in our relationships with others. Studies show that we often attribute favored or positive traits like friendliness, intelligence, and composure to people with a sense of humour.

Likewise, humorous people can also play an important role in starting a business or in the making of a presentation.

In a study published in the Harvard Business Review, a sense of humor was shown to reduce aggression, reduce stress, and improve morale among co-workers.

Another study that looked at the difference between average and excellent business managers found that those who were classified as excellent were twice as likely to have a sense of humor as those in the average category.

If you already have a sense of humour, you should learn how to incorporate this element into your presentations. There are many ways to do this. One way is to share anecdotes. Maybe it was just a funny thing that happened to you the day before. It is also not necessary to make the audience laugh, but just need the audience to smile or giggle to achieve the goal.

In a TED talk, Dan Pallotta, founder of an organization that raises money for medical research and aids AIDS, commented on his role at home. Pallotta openly shares that he is gay and the father of triplets, Pallotta considers family life to be the most creative and entrepreneurial flourish he has.

Another approach is to use comparisons and metaphors. In a talk on the negative social consequences of economic inequality, University of Nottingham Professor Richard Wilkinson describes Denmark as a country with low levels of inequality and a healthy, happy population. You might think it's not exactly the stuff that makes smiles, but Wilkinson sees a deeper side to the problem: "If Americans want to live the American dream, they should go to Denmark."

Now you know how to make your presentation different. The following summary shows you how to make your presentation memorable.

The presentation should cover no more than three topics in 15 to 20 minutes

Do you ever find yourself exhausted after sitting through a long talk? Your audience may also face the same problem. So what's the solution? Let's be brief. This helps your audience grasp and remember the content much faster.

As an example, Paul King, Professor of Texas Christian University, divided the weekly 3-hour study session into 3 shifts, each lasting 50 minutes.

What about the results? Students memorize a lot of information and often score well in exams.

TED presentations are typically 18 minutes long, which is considered a perfect fit with optimal length of about 15-20 minutes.

In addition to keeping the presentation short, you should also keep in mind that the presentation should not cover more than 3 separate topics.


In 1956, a Harvard researcher discovered that most people have trouble remembering 7 new pieces of information.

However, the researchers later revised the theory and divided the data into three or four basic units of information – or so-called “chunks.”

For example, the number 2.222 is easy. remember more than the number 3,948.

Why? The first number describes one data file (“2”) and the second, at least two data files (39 and 48).

Therefore, the fewer data files, the easier it is to remember – which is why each presentation should not include more than three topics.

These topics can be sorted by message map.

To make a message map, you must answer the following questions:

“What is the most important message I want my audience to bring?”

Once you have the answer, write the message on the top of a piece of paper – like a title.

Next, you must find three (or fewer) arguments to support the headline message, and list them under that heading.

Finally, under each of those supporting ideas, you can outline the specifics or the core of your presentation.

Engaging all of the senses during a presentation helps your audience remember your ideas.

Try to remember the last time you sunbathe. How does your skin feel? What do you smell? What are the things around you? How well can you remember?

We remember things more clearly when we experience with all our senses.

Richard Mayer from the University of California at Santa Barbara found a link between promoting multisensory perception and improving memory, and thinks this will be a hot topic for future cognitive psychology research.

In Mayer's experience, students who experience multi-sensory environments (with video, text messages, and images) perform better at recalling information than receiving information through a single channel (seeing or reading text).

Accordingly, if you want to create a memorable presentation, you should communicate in a way that arouses more than one sense. Here, we will see how information is exchanged through the two main sense organs, sight and hearing.

There are two basic ways to communicate visual information: images and text.

If you pay attention you will find that the best TED talks use more images than text-heavy Powerpoint presentations.

This also makes sense since we have limited capacity to absorb information. As a result, a Powerpoint presentation filled with text can overwhelm and distract the audience.

Instead, use visuals to complement your presentation alongside a few keywords that support your idea.

Hearing can also be motivated by rhetorical measures, such as repetition.

Take Martin Luther King's famous speech as an example, in his speech he repeated four times many times: "I have a dream".

These words are still remembered today and we immediately associate them with King.

Another recent example is Barack Obama's "Yes, we can" phrase that focused voters on this message and helped him win the election as President of the United States.

The main message in the book

The ability to deliver your message persuasively is one of the key skills you need in the 21st century. When you give a presentation, it's important that you make it stand out. To do that, you need to connect emotionally with your audience. If you want your audience to remember your talk, keep it short, cover no more than three topics, and awaken your audience's senses.