A carefully crafted talk can be the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, spreading knowledge, and promoting a shared dream. As the Head of TED, Chris Anderson knows this firsthand. He’s had a ringside seat listening to many hundreds of amazing TED speakers including people like Sir Ken Robinson, Amy Cuddy, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Salman Khan, Amanda Palmer, and Monica Lewinsky whose talks have been viewed millions of times. He’s learned that a talk done right can electrify a room and transform an audience’s worldview.
In this course, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to use public speaking to share powerful ideas. Chris will walk you through real life examples of TED Talks that worked and also share firsthand stories of mistakes to avoid. You’ll get a series of worksheets and exercises to plan your own talk that draw from Chris’ latest book TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking. Whether you are an entrepreneur pitching a company, a nonprofit professional making a fundraising request, or teacher looking to captivate your students, this course will help you become a powerful public speaker capable of leaving a lasting impression. After completing this course, you’ll be ready to structure your own talk and deliver it memorably to an audience.
Post a brief message to introduce yourself to others taking this course and share your learning goals
Understand the key elements that all powerful talks share
Use these exercises to come up with an idea for your talk
Learn about the four types of talks you should avoid giving
Take this quick quiz to test your understanding of what can go wrong with talks.
Master the art of structuring your talk with a throughline
Use this worksheet to develop the unifying theme for your talk
Learn to connect with your audience and establish authentic empathy
Learn how to thoughtfully and powerfully intersperse stories in your talk
Learn how to explain complicated concepts clearly and articulately
Learn rhetorical techniques for getting your audience to grasp a new point of view
Learn to powerfully reveal new information and ideas throughout your talk
Plan how you will incorporate connection, narration, explanation, persuasion, and revelation into your talk
Learn techniques for becoming less nervous when you stand in front of a crowd
Learn from how one of the most nervous speakers Chris has ever seen overcame her fears and confidently delivered an incredibly popular TED talk
Learn about two methods of preparation that you can use to get ready.
Create slides, props, and other visuals that enhance--rather than distract from--your talk
Learn the most powerful techniques for beginning your talk in a powerful way
Practice methods for ending your talk in a truly memorable way
Use this worksheet to plan the beginning and ending of your talk
Optional: Record your talk and share it with the course community to receive feedback.
Understand why today's global economy demands the ability to share powerful ideas
Chris shares his final thoughts on how to deliver talks that convey powerful ideas
Acumen is a non-profit changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $88 million in 82 companies across Africa, Latin America and South Asia and was named one of Fast Company's Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies in 2015. We also run +Acumen, a global learning community for social change-makers. Be an effective force for change with Acumen's online courses and chapters.
CHRIS ANDERSON is the curator of TED. Trained as a journalist after graduating from Oxford University, Anderson launched more than 100 successful magazines and websites before turning his attention to TED, which his nonprofit foundation acquired in 2001. His TED mantra -- "ideas worth spreading" -- continues to blossom on an international scale, with more than one billion TED Talks viewed annually.