Here’s what 25 TED talks tell us about delivering winning presentations

By Published On: August 30th, 2021Categories: Presentation Tips
Here’s what 25 TED talks tell us about delivering winning presentations

Originated in 1984, TED talks have come a long way from Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) to the treasure trove of ideas worth spreading. The popularity of TED talks is clear evidence that we are interested in listening to people who can tell the story right. We all have relied on TED talks to improve our presentation and communication skills.

Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to have effective communication skills to make your mark in the world, regardless of the career choice you make. There are certain characteristics that are common of the world leaders and their communication style. This includes both verbal and non-verbal aspects, starting from saying your name right to engaging the audience to creating an impact. To know this better, we watched all 25 TED talks on presentations that speak about the different aspects for a great presentation. Here are the key takeaways from the talks, each of which practices what it preaches.

Biggest takeaways from TED talks to improve presentation skills

1. Form a connection with the audience

Any form of communication from public speaking to a business meeting to a friendly conversation requires you to establish a connection with the person you’re communicating to. Don’t try to impose your ideas without understanding your audience and what they want. So, in the first few minutes of the presentation, try to analyze your audience and tweak the parts of your presentation to fit the context and audience well.

Introduce yourself and tell them why they should listen to you, and ask them what they expect from the presentation. Find ways to engage and interact with them. This way, they will feel included in the presentation and would be ready to listen to you.

2. Avoid the jargons, tell a story

Remember that you are talking about something you have expertise or training in. Hence, there will be terminologies that may seem trivial to you. But if your audience can’t get around the jargons, you have lost them already. The real challenge is in breaking down the jargons and handing them over to the audience in bits they can chew.

Your job is not to give them definitions and technical definitions which they can easily find elsewhere. They need to know why and how that matters to them. They have come to listen to your story, so tell them one.

3. Train your voice well

Apart from the PowerPoint templates or pamphlets, your voice is the most significant tool in any kind of presentation. You should do warm-up exercises before an important presentation to ensure your tone of voice aligns with the context and objective of the talk. If you want people to take actions based on the ideas you proposed, an aggressive tone wouldn’t help to connect with them. You should try an empathetic yet affirmative tone to convince the audience to trust you.

However, maintaining the same tone throughout the talk will only bore people. So, employ different tones and pace in your speech so that you can take the audience with you as you progress. For examples, a high pitched and fast voice indicates urgency whereas a low and composed voice indicates authority.

4. Focus on transforming, rather than informing

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom”. Your job as a presenter does not end with passing on the information, it’s just a start. Your aim is to give a purpose to the information in hand. You need to understand the pain points of your audience and convince them how they can use the shared idea to make a change.

To do that, you should be clear of the ideas and the perspectives you want to instill in the audience. So, before the presentation, identify the key takeaways of your talk, and direct your presentation to the main ideas. Use analogies from daily life to tap in to their emotions, and make a transformation within them.

5. Prepare well, but be ready for changes

You can prepare all the slides in advance, rehearse the main points many times, warm up your voice, and yet something might go wrong on the day of presentation. For instance, the mic may not work, your file may not open, venue may change, you may forget lines, someone might ask an unexpected question, and so on. How you deal with these unexpected situations tell you how confident and efficient you are.

Remember not to panic and focus on what could be done to proceed with the presentation. To start with, have an extra copy of all relevant files you may need. Reach the venue early and double-check the technical stuff. Memorize the main pointers so that you can pick up from where you lost the lines.

6. Sound confident and authentic

Be it in business, education or politics, you need to sound confident if you want others to listen to you. No matter how innovative or groundbreaking your idea is, if you don’t sound confident about it, no one will buy it. It’s okay to feel nervous about public speaking, but there are ways to overcome it. You can try conscious breathing and wide arm gestures to overcome your nerves.

Another thing to take care is the authenticity of your idea and your presentation. You have a distinct voice and a unique story, so tell your original narrative in your true style. This will make you stand out in a crowd.

7. Work on your body language

A presentation is not merely the delivery of ideas in a structured way or choosing the right words to greet your audience with. It is also, if not mostly, about the way you present yourself in front of the audience; from the way you enter a stage to the way you smile to the way you move around to the hand gestures and different facial expressions you use. Learn different hand gestures that imply different meaning, and practice them to develop your presentation skills.

A firm handshake and a warm smile can go a long way in industrial collaborations. Even before you utter the first word, your body language gives away a lot about you. People use these cues to assess you as you appear in front of a crowd. So, work on them to create a good impression and even better connections.

8. Observe other speakers and learn from feedback

Most people miss out on this. If you observe keenly, there is a lot you can learn from the people you communicate with. The next time you listen to someone talk, notice the good and bad aspects of the presentation. Practice the factors you found interesting and try to avoid the ones you didn’t like. This doesn’t mean you should imitate them; you have to find what excited you about their talk and find your own way to use it in your presentation.

You may like the use of simple analogies or the organization of ideas or the hand gesture. Look for both verbal and non-verbal cues and analyze your own presentation with reference to other great speakers. This helps you to naturally absorb the skills for an effective communication.

9. Add personal stories to sound credible

With internet overflowing with information, there is nothing a person cannot find online apart from the personal stories. So, your narrative determines the success of your presentation. Adding personal touch not only makes you sound credible; it also enhances bond-building with your audience. That will make them want to listen to your version.

Besides the qualifications or expertise you possess in the field, your personal experience can enrich your presentation. But, don’t brag too much or promote yourself since that may distract others. Stick to the story and elements from your personal life that supports your claim.

10. Practice, practice, practice

This goes without saying, yet many speakers overlook the power of practice. Anyone would want to listen to a person who seems like they know what they are speaking. And you will gain the confidence only by practicing the speech several times. Each time, you will find areas where you can improve and working on them gives you the edge to be the best communicator in the room.

Practice in front of a mirror or in front of your friends and improve the subtle details with every rehearsal. Record yourself and watch it later and observe the areas where you can improve. Keep a conversational tone so that you don’t sound mechanical while talking.

Things to do before your presentation

No one has ever entered a stage without their heart racing up. It’s inevitable to have the adrenaline rise before any big event and managing them starts before you enter the stage. Here are the TED talks that focus on the aspects which you can work on before your presentation which will help you deliver a confident and compelling presentation.

The three magic ingredients of amazing presentations by Phil Waknell

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A leading expert in presentations, Phil Waknell helps thousands of business leaders, speakers and entrepreneurs daily to design and deliver powerful and engaging presentations. By using the three proposed ingredients wisely in his presentation, Waknell proves that he practices what he preaches.

  • The audience, the speaker, and the transformation created in audience: these aspects in harmony can make a presentation successful.
  • It’s very important to know your audience, show them you care and tell them why they should care. Understanding the context helps you in designing the presentation well and adding a personal touch will help you deliver it better.
  • There’s a major misconception that presentations are all about passing on the information to the audience. In reality, it’s what they feel about and do with the information in hand that matters.

The surprising secret to speaking with confidence by Caroline Goyder

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Caroline Goyder is an author, an actor and a voice coach who also runs a business in helping people find calm and confidence in life. She tells us how our understanding of anatomy can help us improve confidence and delivery by regulating our body parts.

  • Everyone has a unique voice and it’s very important to explore different expressions of your voice to use it effectively. Modulating the tone and expression of your voice according to the situation takes practice, which will eventually make you stand out in a crowd.
  • Diaphragm is the center of all expressions and it regulates the whole body. Focusing and regulating its movement with each breath would calm you down.
  • Inhale with strong emotions and it will reflect on whatever you speak in the outbreath. This way, you can control the tone of your voice by picking the right emotion to convey to the right audience.

Factors to focus on during the presentation

There are many ways you speak to your audience while on stage. This includes the voice tone, hand gestures, facial expressions, choice of words, emotions conveyed and your movements. Here are the TED talks that help you own the stage and eventually the heart of your audience.

How to sound smart in your TED talk by Will Stephen

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Will Stephen is an actor and writer who has worked with many magazines including New York Magazine and College Humor. The speaker is using satire and sarcasm to explain the main factors to sound smart while you talk. He unconventionally walks us through the different verbal and non-verbal aspects to take account of.

  • This TED talk with no researched topic or message is a clear indication that the way of presentation is often more important than the content of the presentation.
  • Use hand gestures and voice modulations to take the audience with you as you build the moment.
  • You need to present yourself well, pace yourself properly, and take timely pauses to add beauty to the speech. Showing a well-researched data followed by smart conclusions tells the audience you know what you’re talking about.

Speaking up without freaking out by Matt Abrahams

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Matt Abrahams is a coach, author and an educator who is passionate about strategic communication and presentations. In this talk, he addresses the anxiety everyone faces in any social scenario, and gives some tips to overcome the nerves and stay confident.

  • Many people experience quick-paced breathing, shaking and sweating right before an important presentation. In such situations, take a deep breath and make use of broad hand gestures to ease the physiological symptoms of anxiety.
  • If you are afraid of forgetting the lines, have a mind map so that you adhere to the preferred structure of the talk.
  • If you’re concerned about the people judging you, divert the attention to the audience by asking a question or passing over a pamphlet. This not only helps you take the load off; it also keeps the audience engaged in your talk.

How to present to keep your audience’s attention by Mark Robinson

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Mark Robinson has worked in different software companies as consulting specialists and team lead, and has conquered the fear of public speaking. He gives us insights into how to grab the attention of our audience and to make the presentation more interesting.

  • Even the most enthusiastic audience would lose the attention few minutes into the talk. So, your challenge as a speaker is to earn their attention back every time it drops.
  • One primary way to do this is by asking questions to the audience. You can pose a question and get answers from the audience, or you can pose a question and answer it yourself as a way to get into the next topic.
  • Another tip is to tell stories as a bridge between different topics. You can get them hooked to your story by sharing personal or inspirational stories.
  • Be clear about the problem that you’re addressing, and tell your first story of how you encountered this problem why it’s important for the audience. Give them glimpse into how you investigated the problem, and suggest some possible solutions. Then, back it up with valid statements to further prove your claim.

Want to sound like a leader? Start by saying your name right by Laura Sicola

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Dr. Laura Sicola is a writer, vocal coach and trainer who works in the field of vocal impact training and she talks about how the vocal delivery influences how the message is perceived by the audience.

  • One of the most compelling skill of a leader is the executive presence—the ability to project confidence and substance while remaining composed.
  • Vocal executive presence determines if the way you sound while declaring a decision enforces it or undermines it. To sound credible, there should be a correlation between your choice of words and their execution.
  • Your voice has a persuasive influence on the listener, and you can decide which part of your presentation you want them to remember by focusing on your delivery.
  • You can use a higher pitch for the most important clauses, and stick to the diplomatic, funny, friendly, or empathetic tone as the situation demands.

Speak like a leader by Simon Lancaster

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Simon Lancaster is one of the leading speechwriters who has worked with politicians, industrial leaders and entrepreneurs. Through this captivating talk, Simon Lancaster shares the secret language of leadership which make the most absurd arguments seem plausible. From ancient times, leaders across different domains like politics, business, literature and art have used the ancient art of rhetoric to highlight the desired parts and translate emotions.

  • Rule of three is the most commonly used rhetoric. It exploits the human conditioning to create, pack and memorize everything in a group of three. You can use the magic number of three to draw the attention of your audience when you speak.
  • Using repetitive statements is another trick to create the sense of importance in people.
  • You can also use balancing statements (e.g., to be or not to be) to make your presentation more convincing. If the sentences sound balanced, we are conditioned to believe that the underlying thinking is balanced.
  • The two factors that most leaders use in their speech are exaggeration and rhyme, which could be used wisely to create desired effect. Practicing these in daily life will help you give a killer presentation on the go.

The 110 techniques of communication and public speaking by David JP Phillips

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David JP Phillips has spent years observing and analyzing both amateur and professional speakers, and devised different techniques of public speaking. He speaks about various combinations of verbal and non-verbal gestures to include in your presentation.

  • Anyone can ace the presentation skills by consistent practice if you know how to gain trust through your gestures and how to display empathy through your words. If your body language is telling a different story than your words, it leaves the audience confused.
  • Pacing yourself properly will help the listener to identify what is important. Many people forget the power of silence in a speech and tend to fill the pauses with filer sounds, which will only distract the people listening to you. Use timely pauses and see how you can build anticipation with no words.
  • There are minor non-verbal cues that can pique audience’s attention. If you look up for a second and inhale audibly, people will believe you’re about to say something exciting. A pleasant smile in between will help you connect and have a sense of presence on stage.

6 communication truths that everyone should know by Antoni Lacinai

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Antoni Lacinai has spent over 25 years studying communication and psychology in different forms, and he mentions the factors to be taken care of to sustain the essence of an effective analog communication. With a fast-paced digital world, the level of empathy, the attention span and the ability to listen are going down and this is a major concern.

  • In business or politics, it only takes a few seconds for someone to make an opinion about you. So, it’s very important to display your best traits in the initial moments to form a good impression.
  • Ask questions and listen to understand, not to respond. This can help you form a bond of trust with a potential customer, and you can win the business.
  • The energy, clarity, and empathy in your speech translates to the audience and has a prolonged effect on how they feel and act.

The magical science of storytelling by David JP Phillips

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Having spent years analyzing different speakers, David JP Phillips claims that embracing storytelling in professional realms can build better bonds and foster profitable businesses.

  • Stories have the potential to induce hormones and neurotransmitters that will blind you to the objective explanation of something. This is why businesses spend a lot of money, time and energy in sales copy and product description.
  • Using suspense and cliff hangers in your story increases the levels of dopamine, which enhances memory, focus and motivation.
  • You can induce oxytocin by being empathetic, which helps in gaining trust and building bonds.
  • Endorphin could be induced by using humor in your story, which makes people more relaxed, focused and creative.
  • A firm that tells better stories have a chance of selling more products since they all trigger our emotional investment towards them. The more emotionally invested we are, the less objective and critical we are.

The power of non-verbal communication by Joe Navarro

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Having worked in FBI and interviewed many criminals and spies, Joe Navarro has spent a lot of time learning the non-verbal cues in communication, and he speaks about the limbic system in our brain which does not think, but betrays the deepest emotions via our body language.

  • Right from the way you look at someone to the way you carry yourself communicate a lot of information about you. From furrowed foreheads indicating concern to pursed lips indicating stress to wrinkled nose indicating disgust, there are many gestures you can know about a person’s emotion.
  • Empathy is the faucet through which you can tap into someone’s emotions and that’ possible only if you pick the right non-verbal gestures to make people comfortable in a conversation. Regardless of the conversation you’re a part of—business conferences to scientific seminars to marriage ceremonies—you need to be empathetic to connect with the other person.
  • It’s important to understand their state of mind in order to tune our choice of words and tonality of our voice. Read people in front of you and refine your presentation to instill the right emotion in them.

The 7 secrets of the greatest speakers in history by Richard Greene

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Richard Greene strongly believes that every human being can be a great leader whose words can create a tipping point and make a difference for the years to come. After quitting his law practice, Greene has mentored political leaders, business leaders and celebrities across 44 countries. He shares tips to improve presentation skills which can help us become a better speaker and even better leader.

  • 41% of the world population is terrified of public speaking because people think of it as a performance, while in reality, it is a conversation.
  • Choice of words, tone of voice and body language are important elements to modulate in order to deliver a great presentation.
  • Even with the most polished non-verbal cues, you don’t add any value if you don’t have a compelling message to convey.
  • It all comes down to how you share about your authentic passion and trigger the sensory organs so that people connect with you, and feel included in the conversation.

How to speak with impact by Peter Hopwood

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Peter Hopwood works with startups, business leaders and firms as a communications and presence coach. In this talk, he tells about polishing the small details that can improve the presentation skills.

  • As a speaker, your vision is to create impact with your words and make it worth the time people have invested in you.
  • Before you start to speak, you need to manage your nerves and regulate your breathing to sound calm and composed. You need to feel good in order to sound good.
  • The gestures and the stance in front of a crowd tell them a lot about you even before you have uttered a word and you have a window of time to catch their attention. Keep your legs steady and open your arms and move around as you speak to establish credibility.
  • Unpredictability is one of the most important factors in a great presentation. So, take them surprise by both verbal and non-verbal actions.

How to manipulate emotions by Timon Krause

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Timon Krause, active in the area of mindreading, talks about anchoring or conditioned response in human beings and how you can use it to influence their decisions.

  • An anchor is a specific cue that induces a predictable response. Not only you have the ability to control those cues to trigger the desired response, but you can also set up a new trigger response system at will.
  • Human brains recognize pattern and remember the past decisions when a cue had appeared, and use this learned response in a new similar situation. This is helpful in not making the same mistakes over time. The fascinating part about this is that simply imagining a cue can stimulate the same response in a person.
  • Many speakers use conditioned response system to make connections with the audience. Often in business, you have to manipulate the emotions by identifying where in the marketing funnel the user is on. By making a smart cue, you can turn your potential clients into customers and your customers turn into loyal users.

Talk nerdy to me by Melissa Marshall

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Melissa Marshall talks about the huge gap between the people doing science and receiving the impacts of the scientific and industrial studies. She shares some tips to breakdown complex scientific jargons to accessible information to the public.

  • You can either define the jargons using simple terms or eliminate the jargon altogether if it’s not necessary to talk about the topic.
  • Many people do it wrong by dumbing the audience down and refraining from giving them the essential information they need.
  • A good place is to start is by telling them how your research impacts their lives, and get them interested in the story ahead. Instead of distracting them with tedious data and statistics, tell them a story connecting the major results and prospects of your work in a language that is accessible to them.

How to have a good conversation by Celeste Headlee

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Having worked as a host, reporter and correspondent, Celeste Headlee addresses the inability of people to listen to each other at a ground level and slowly builds up on how to have a good conversation. She stresses that the most wanted skill of this century is the ability to sustain a coherent and confident conversation.

  • What often goes wrong in the business or industrial fields is the urge to convince and impose our claims on others without having a conversation. It’s important for both parties to feel inspired, engaged and understood.
  • It starts with being genuinely interested in other people. While you are proposing a business idea, think about the users and find out what they expect from the service. If disagreements arise, pose open ended questions and listen to the other while they speak.
  • Be present in the moment, try not to repeat yourself and stop seeing every conversation as a promotional opportunity. Understand that people don’t care about the exact details, they are here for the story.

Body language, the power is in the palm of your hands by Allan Pease

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Allan Pease is a professor of psychology who specializes in human relationships and connections. He speaks about creating a good impression in the first few minutes of interaction.

  • The first form of interaction in any form of professional meeting happens through a handshake, and it influences our judgment about the person. It is best is to have a firm hand and give the same pressure you receive.
  • Our palms have the most number of neural connections with the brain. Hence, how we use it in a presentation sends out significant signals to the other person.
  • Whether you are using the front or back side of your palm during hand gestures makes a difference to how people respond. By using a trivial fact that open palms gain trust and pointed fingers repel people, you can improve your presentation and build meaningful connections with the audience.

Communicate for success by Michael C Webb

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Michael C Webb, through his personal story of being in the recruiting business reasserts the importance of communication skills in any kind of career.

  • If there are two people who meet the prescribed criteria for a job, the better communicator among them would get hired for the job. If you have an edge for effective communication, all other skills and degrees could be acquired over time.
  • Now imagine you have a great business idea or a scientific proposal, the way you pitch it determines whether it will get approved or not. No matter how fantastic your idea is, if you can’t convince them through your presentation, you are in no luck.
  • It’s very important to acknowledge your weak points and work on them to be a better speaker people want to listen to. He strongly puts across the message that resumes don’t get the job, people get the job.

The beauty of data visualization by David McCandless

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We are loaded with information from different sources every single day, and visualizing the data is an efficient way to perceive and recollect it. The speaker David McCandless states that designing data in a way where the patterns and connections are visible allows us to stay clear of unwanted information.

  • We know that all the modern-day presentations in business, industrial and educational sectors are aided by audio-visual tools, where they present their ideas or findings in slides.
  • Our eyes are exquisitely sensitive to the variation in patterns and we remember the information with the mind’s eye. It’s important to pick the right color theme and font sizes to make the presentation more memorable.
  • You should use right labels and segregate the scattered data neatly into tables or columns so that you can come back to it at a later stage. It’s difficult to process and recollect absolute information compared to the data comparing two or more similar entities.

How to speak so that people want to listen by Julian Treasure

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Julian Treasure starts by stating four cornerstones to stand on when you communicate: honesty, authenticity, integrity, and love. He then speaks about regulating the different qualities of your voice to be a better presenter.

  • Our voice is the toolbox to open the corner stones to give an impactful presentation. Find the register of your voice that brings out different responses from people. Speaking from the chest gives a depth to your voice, which is often associated with power and hence can be used to persuade people.
  • Another thing to take care of is the timbre; the way your voice feels. We prefer to listen to voices that are rich, warm and smooth. You can play with different pitch and volume to break the monotony.
  • You can time pauses and regulate the pace conveniently to impart the desired meaning to the audience, and use some exercises to warm up your voice so that people can’t stop applauding after you.

Voice branding: How your voice shapes your communication image by Wendy LeBorgne

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The voice pathologist Wendy LeBrogne talks about the aspects of voice that gets people hired for a job or approved for a deal. For anyone, the voice is the most important element of your personal brand and polishing it regularly will help you for any kind of conversation.

  • Intensity of your voice is often perceived in terms of how loud you are, and depending on the context, people pass judgments on you.
  • It’s important to have the right intonation to bring out the interest and curiosity in the listener.
  • Lately, there has been a trend of using upspeak; ending every statement with a question which is highly looked down in the professional world.
  • How you pace yourself gives the audience an idea of how passionate you in what you deliver. Depending on the pitch of the voice, peoeple decide if you’re nonchalant or serious about the matter. Finally, the clarity of speech and hoarseness contribute to the voice quality.

Own your behavior, master your communication, determine your success by Louise Evans

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A coach, a facilitator, and a trainer, Louise Evans talks about how the choices that we make have a direct impact on the relations we build and the conversations we have.

  • In every situation, you have a choice to attack and judge the other person, to judge and degrade yourself, to observe and be conscious of the situation, to introspect and be aware of yourself, or to find ways to connect and be empathetic with the other person.
  • In both personal and professional relations, empathy and genuine curiosity are most important to build a meaningful connection.
  • If you can see your potential client only as a bag of money, you won’t benefit from the interaction in a fundamental level. But if you can look at them as people with their own ideas and perception of the world, it becomes easier to empathize and connect with them.
  • The key to success in any enterprise is to make a calculated choice based on rational thoughts.

Connect and inspire using your tone of voice by Janina Heron

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Janina Heron works as a voice consultant, and educates about mastering our unique sounds. This talk is about understanding how we are wired to respond to different tones of voice in different manner.

  • We pick up on tone clues and use them to impart meaning more than on words. Tone tells us if we can trust them or if they are a potential threat to us.
  • Voice coaches and great leaders believe that training your voice can improve the way you communicate and hence build trust with the people you are interacting with.
  • The simplest way to train your voice is to regulate breathing since voice is audible air.
  • By incorporating the feelings of warmth, acceptance and compassion in your voice, you can win over anyone even in the fact-driven debates. Your voice should brim with passion to convey the emotion across, and when you do that in presentations, people immediately trust whatever you tell them.

Think fast, talk smart by Matt Abrahams

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An expert on interpersonal communication and presentations, Matt Abrahams states that how we communicate depends on the approach we take, the audience we talk to, the context we find ourselves in and the structure we follow.

  • It helps if we see every opportunity to speak as an opportunity to express ourselves and to build strong connections. Focus on what the audience expect to hear from you as opposed to what you want to tell them.
  • While observing the context of the talk, look what time of the day it is and try to resonate with the energy of the room.
  • You should change the way you deliver according to the location; the way you talk to a virtual audience is much different from how you talk to a live audience.
  • Humans perceive information better if it is structured. Having a structure in your presentation helps both speaker and the audience to remember it later.

The art of effective communication by Marcus Alexander Velazquez

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Marcus Alexander Velazquez is a public speaker, voice-over artist, actor and an author, and states that an effective communication takes place when the information is perceived well by the audience to the point where they can share it to another person.

  • A trait of a good speaker includes stumbling upon questions or remarks you didn’t anticipate and handling them well with confidence. If you’re in the middle of a conference and you need to redirect your speech to bring the audience’s attention back to you, following the script would not work. You have to adjust to the changes and go with the flow.
  • Since no two people are the same, you cannot be adamant about your choice of words or the gestures. If you want to have a meaningful conversation, you need to navigate the words and questions in a way put both parties at ease.
  • Speak with the intention to deliver value and information, rather than wanting to be heard. Understanding you could be wrong and being open to new perspectives make the interaction fruitful.

Can you improve presentation skills after your presentation?

So, you delivered an amazing presentation and connected well with the audience. What next?

Remember learning never stops. So, keep looking for ways to improve your presentation by getting feedback from people you trust. Being open to criticism can help you in the long run. Get a copy of your presentation from the organizers and watch it repeatedly and note down the aspects that need polishing. Here is a TED talk that tell you how effective feedback mechanism is, and why we should embrace it both hands.

How to use others’ feedback to learn and grow by Sheil Heen

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Sheila Heen works with different industrial leaders and organizations to coach them about handling tough conversations at work. She discusses the psychological factors and triggered responses of giving and receiving feedbacks, and how we can learn faster and grow better if we are open to feedbacks.

  • We find it hard to accept feedback because it’s a competition between a need to grow and a need to be accepted the way we are. The key is not to take it personally and to focus on learning.
  • Actively seek feedbacks from peers and friends who can give you honest opinions. Ask specific questions and find out things you can improve on.
  • Don’t judge yourself for the shortcomings. Stay patient, work on yourself and come out brighter on the other side.

If you watched the above TED talks, you will observe that many people speak about the same topic in a unique angle and style. Every speaker added a personal anecdote to amplify the message they were trying to convey. Some shared the moments of failure and how they bounced back so that audience could relate and empathize. None of them spoke the same; each had their own voice, their own story, their own tone.

Every human being is a storyteller by nature. It’s sad how many stories remain untold either because of the lack of tools or the lack of confidence. It’s very important to fight all the insecurities and present ourselves in our most confident self to progress in both personal and professional life.

Find your unique voice and tell your story.