Talk Like TED

Talk Like TED

Summary of the book Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo: in this book, the author shares 9 secrets to become a good speaker and make impactful and inspiring presentations, thanks to personal accounts from people who made the most impact with their TED talks.

By Carmine Gallo, 2014, 303 pages,

Full Title: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds 

Chronicle and summary of Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

Part 1: Emotional

Chapter 1: Unleash the master within

In the first chapter of the book Talk Like TED, author Carmine Gallo begins by telling us the story of Aimee Mullins, who was amputated below both knees just after her birth due to an illness.

Despite her prosthetic legs, she refused disabled status, and Mullins competed in athletics races, beating several world records. She also become a model and actor and appeared in the list of 50 most attractive people in the world compiled by People magazine.

Her TED talk in 2009 touched the public and helped to change how society viewed people with disabilities.

Secret number 1: Unleash the master within 

Here Carmine Gallo shares the first secret to becoming a good speaker: passion.

He says that it is essential to find your passion if you want to touch people’s hearts. Passion is contagious and allows you to captivate your audience, he insists.  Aimee Mullins, for example, was not passionate about prosthetics. But her passion to release human potential gave her access to the stage of a TED talk, where she created a bond with the public, because she is outstanding in her chosen field.

Unleash the master within Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

So, the common point among the best communicators, no matter what area of activity, is the passion they have and the desire to share it with other people. In short, to inspire others, you have to be inspired.

A word of warning, however; your passion is not just a hobby. It has to:
  • Have meaning,
  • Be a key part of your identity,
  • Influence your daily activities,
  • Integrate your professional life,
  • Constitute the theme of your communications,
  • Allow you to genuinely inspire your audience.

The author goes on to explain that he regularly coaches company directors who want to tell the story of their brand in an effective and convincing way. So the first question he asks them is this: “What makes your heart sing?”

Using several examples, Carmine Gallo shows how Cameron Russel, Tony Hsieh, Howard Schultz and Matthieu Ricard successfully captivated their listeners with the passion that comes from within.

He also explains that to have a big career, you have to be passionate about your work. If you don’t enjoy what you do, it will be hard to convey enthusiasm in your presentations. And therefore it will be hard to become a good speaker. According to Carmine Gallo, career, happiness and inspiration are connected.

Share your passion in a positive state of mind

To illustrate these words, Carmine Gallo tells us about Larry Smith, a professor of economics passionate about professional success. In his TED talk: “Why you will fail to have a great career”, he explains that students who choose their profession based on factors such as money or status will be less successful than those who choose to do what they love. In other words, people whose job makes them happy are often the best speakers.

Larry Smith TED talk, he refers to Steve Jobs, who explained that doing a job you love is the only way to be truly satisfied. So, if you have not yet found what you truly love, you should keep looking. You will find it if you don’t give up.

Carmine Gallo says that to become a good speaker, you need broad experience and total commitment to sharing your ideas. You also need a positive mind set and you need to choose to want to succeed.

Become more eloquent by embodying and communicating your passion.

According to neuroscience, passion and the art of public speaking are connected. Passionate speakers, just like major leaders, are more inspiring and eloquent.

Passion is not easy to explain or to determine.

Melissa Cardon, a university professor, studied how passion is crucial to the process of success. It increases the level of energy and involvement. Melissa Cardon wanted to understand how passion is defined and also its importance. She offers the following definition of passion:

“a positive, intense feeling that you experience for something that is profoundly meaningful for you as an individual” 

Her analysis of passion explains that the best speakers create a bond with the public, because they talk about subjects related to their identity. According to Melissa Cardon:

“Passion is core to their being.” 

Carmine Gallo gives us the example of Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic, to illustrate his point. Having met him, the author tells us that the British tycoon talks enthusiastically about the services he offers his customers. This is not surprising: In her studies, Melissa Cardon shows that passionate business people:

  • Are more creative,
  • Have higher goals,
  • Persevere more,
  • Perform better.

Passion plays an important part in raising funds for a start-up business or finding investors prepared to help you.

Carmine Gallo also notes that through passion Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

Carmine Gallo also notes that through passion, the founders of companies like Google or Apple raised funds in order to develop at the beginning. The “perceived passion” by investors can help a company to develop. In these examples, it was a more important selection criterion in choosing than the entrepreneur’s training, experience or age.

To create a company with making money as your sole motivation is a mistake, according to Melissa Cardon.

Carmine Gallo goes on to talk about the neuro-anatomist Jill Bolte Taylor who suffered a stroke. The event changed her life. Jill Bolte Taylor turned her stroke into the topic of her TED talk. She talked about how she decided to make her stroke an opportunity to study her own brain from within. This authentic event, while very serious, was related to her passion for neuro-science. Her talk was a big hit.

This example shows how a speaker who is passionate about their topic, with personal stories to tell about it, can captivate and fascinate their audience.

Practice regularly

Carmino Gallo goes on to show how the brain continues to develop throughout life. Repeating a task creates neural pathways and strengthens them. The best speakers excel at public speaking because they have made more efforts than other people to strengthen their communication skills through intensive practice.

Learn to be charismatic, be enthusiastic and passionate to be contagious

Carmino Gallo ends the first chapter of his book Talk Like TED by tackling the subject of charisma.

Charisma is closely related to passion. It plays a key role in becoming a good speaker.

The author tells us about charismatic people:

  • They express and feel positive emotions and are able to influence and convince less charismatic people and transmit their positive energy.
  • They tend to express more positive emotions in oral and written communication. Passion is one of these emotions, along with enthusiasm and excitement. And these emotions are contagious.

The best TED speakers agree with the theory that success does not lead to happiness, but happiness leads to success. The way we think and our state of mind have an impact on every aspect of life. The passion we feel for a subject gives energy and this is passed on to others.

Basically, being passionate and knowing how to surround yourself with passionate and enthusiastic people is one of the keys to success.

Chapter 2: Master the art of storytelling

In the second chapter of his book Talk Like TED, Carmine Gallo tells us the story of Bryan Stevenson, a well-known lawyer in the field of social justice. During his TED talk, he touched the public with his story and raised 1 million dollars for his organisation that helps disadvantaged people in the criminal justice system.

Secret number 2: master the art of storytelling

The author shares his second secret to becoming a good speaker: to touch people’s hearts and leave a mark on their minds, you have to tell them stories. Telling a story stimulates the brain of the person listening and makes them more attentive. That is what Bryan Stevenson did during his talk.

master the art of storytelling Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

But simply telling a story is not enough. It has to allow you to make an emotional connection to the public. Like Stevenson says:

“You have to get folks to trust you.” 

You have to talk about personal things that your listeners can identify with.

Storytelling can go on to change the minds of people who are reticent about your ideas at first.

Arouse emotions 

Pathos is a term created by the Greek philosopher Aristotle. It involves calling upon emotions. The author mentions two other important concepts: “Ethos” and “Logos”.

  • Ethos represents the credibility of the person in their area of expertise,
  • Logos represents statistical data, logic.

After analysing Bryan Stevenson’s talk, Carmine Gallo shows us that among the 4057 words used by Stevenson, 65% were related to pathos, and therefore emotions. Emotion is key to the art of persuasion. That is why, before a conference, the author advises preparing your talk so that it contains as much pathos as possible. This will considerably increase your chances of success and can truly turn you into a good speaker.

Use storytelling to plant ideas and emotions in your listeners’ brains.

Professor Uri Hasson conducted experiments on the brains of people listening to stories and measured their brain waves using fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging). He noticed that when listening to personal anecdotes, the brains of the listener and the narrator were “synchronised”. Similar areas of the brain were activated in both people.

Remember that stories stimulate the entire brain. They allow us to bond with other people. So, if you have ideas you want to get across, tell stories. We all have a story to tell.

Use these three types of simple and effective stories to become a good speaker.

Here Carmine Gallo describes three types of stories used by the best communicators:

  • Personal anecdotes: sharing personal stories is characteristic of authentic leaders. Tell them in the most realistic way possible, arouse curiosity and make the public want to know more.
  • Stories about other people: these stories communicate a lesson that the audience can identify with. As an example, the author tells the story of the choreographer Gillian Lynne: her teachers thought that she had a learning difficulty. But after consulting a specialist, it turned out that she was attracted to dance. The doctor advised her mother to sign her up for dance classes. Later, Gillian Lynne made a career in dance and helped stage worldwide successful musicals. This story sends a message to the audience. You have to educate the whole being and not just stick to intellectual criteria, which often happens in school. The story of the importance of dance in Gillian Lynne’s life helps the public to better understand what “educate the whole being” means.
  • Brand stories: they explain how brands succeed or fail. Stories give a faceless company or brand a “human” side. They introduce real people into the products on sale. Potential buyers can associate the brand with a human person.

Generally speaking, storytelling allows the public to better understand the narrator’s world view. If you add a hero to the stories, you can truly inspire your listeners.

For Carmine Gallo, a well told story can convince people about the usefulness of your product or your idea.

We often forget the emotional aspect during presentations, especially in the world of business. But telling a story is generally much more interesting than listing facts and figures. Storytelling should therefore be the basis for a speech that aims to get an idea across or to convince.

Remember to use metaphors and analogies and to make your descriptions lively. Avoid overused expressions that your listeners will ignore. Master storytelling. This will help you become a good speaker.

Carmine Gallo goes on to talk about the writer Kurt Vonnegut. He explained that it is crucial to create characters that people will remember. This is his advice:

“Give the reader at least one character he can stick up for.” 

The author also talks about the novelist Isabelle Allende. During her TED talk, she revealed her technique for creating the right characters:

 “I need mavericks, dissidents, adventurers, outsiders and rebels, who ask questions, break rules and take risks. People like you all in this room.” 

Carmine Gallo ends by writing:

“Ideas are the currency of the 21st century and stories facilitate the exchange”.

Chapter 3: Have a conversation

The main concept in the third chapter of the book Talk Like TED is the following: practice is the key to success.

Secret number 3: have a conversation

Carmine Gallo explains that you need to practice speaking in order to be as comfortable making a speech as if you are having a conversation.

In addition to this, the goal of your speech is to persuade your listeners. To do this, you have to inspire confidence and this requires similar verbal and body language.

Be authentic 

Being authentic is vital in becoming a good speaker.

Carmine Gallo talks about how Amanda Palmer prepared for her TED talk. Amanda Palmer is a musician and performer. She prepared for four months to be as authentic as possible. To be authentic, you have to work on yourself, to find the right words to describe your feelings. Your communication must be consistent with the message you want to get across.

Be authentic  Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

Prepare your speech in three stages

Speaking naturally in public requires time and practice.

These are the three stages followed by Amanda Palmer to prepare her speech:

  • Ask for help with the preparation

Amanda Palmer asked readers of her blog to offer feedback in order to get a good overall view.

  • Adjust based on feedback

Amanda Palmer then practised with people around her to get their initial feedback. This initial feedback helps to make changes and adjustments to your speech. Some speeches at Apple are worked on for hundreds of hours before launching a product. Filming yourself can also be a good exercise.

  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

The TED talker continued to prepare by rehearsing a number of times with as many people as possible to get a variety of opinions.

Take four key elements into account to express yourself better and get people to listen

Carmine Gallo lists the four key elements for verbal expression:

  • Pace,
  • Volume,
  • Tonality,
  • Pauses.

During an oral presentation, most people slow the pace of their speech, which makes it quite unnatural. When you speak in public, don’t make a presentation, have a conversation.

Apply the 10,000 hours theory

The theory of 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill also applies to speaking in public. Steve Jobs applied it. He was not very good at first, but he practised. By the end, Steve Jobs was recognised as one of the most charismatic leaders in the world. He worked very hard to achieve that.

Be attentive to the way you say things, not just the content you want to convey.

Carmine Gallo goes on to talk about Lisa Kristine and her TED talk about slavery. She explains that the way you say things is just as important as what you are saying. You must not neglect this skill.

So, to be a good TED speaker, the way you express yourself must be consistent with the content of your talk. You have to stage your story and embody it. Speakers that succeed in making their presentations entertaining and visually attractive stand out and successfully have an impact on the public.

Express yourself verbally and physically

The author reminds us that verbal and non-verbal expression and communication are equally important when speaking in public. The legend according to which body language is more important than words to get a message across is untrue.

The author of Talk Like TED teaches us that body language is very useful during CIA and FBI interrogations to find out whether or not someone is telling the truth. Tests carried out into these interrogations demonstrated that body language is more effective than words when it comes to figuring out whether a person is lying or not.

These techniques can be used in other contexts than just a TED talk. When we pass on information that we do not believe in, we have the same body language as a suspect involved in a criminal investigation.

Have the confidence of great leaders

Great leaders have confidence. They express themselves in a concise and precise way. Their gestures are open and their voice carries because it comes from the diaphragm. They have a confident gait and are often better dressed than other people. They give the impression that they are in control no matter what is happening.

Developing the skills of great leaders is necessary if you want to become a good speaker. They are also useful in everyday life. In many ways, we are always selling something. We are selling our services as an entrepreneur, selling ourselves at a job interview. The same applies to our private lives.

Talk, walk and introduce yourself like a leader

University professor David McNeil shows that gestures, thoughts and language are interconnected. In more concrete terns, the way you carry yourself changes the way you feel when you speak in public. As a speaker, your posture and gestures:

  • Reinforce your natural authority and your verbal message: a good argument gains in strength with the appropriate gestures. Studies have shown that animated, broad and open movements, as well as leaning forward, are effective ways to encourage supermarket shoppers to buy products in-store.
  • Bring your words to life: great leaders and the most charismatic people have body language that makes a statement. They use broad gestures when speaking.
  • Gain the confidence of your listeners.
Carmine Gallo shares four tips to improve your gestures:
  • Allow your hands to express themselves freely.
  • Be moderate in your use of gestures: in other words, don’t overdo it. The gestures need to remain natural.
  • Make use of gestures at key moments: keep broad gestures for the highlights of your presentation. And bear in mind that they need to match your personality.
  • Try to keep your gestures inside your sphere of power: you can visualise your comfort zone between your eyes and your navel, to the tips of your fingers when you stretch out your hands.

The author stresses that a gap between non-verbal language and the message can negatively affect your presentation.

Work on your body language problems using these three solutions

Work on your body language problems using these three solutions Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

Carmine Gallo has identified three problems that leaders encounter during a presentation:

  • An agitated body, busy hands: moving constantly demonstrates a lack of confidence and preparation. You need to avoid unnecessary movements. Recording yourself helps you to notice them.
  • Rigid immobility: standing completely still gives an impression of rigidity, boredom and a lack of involvement. Feel free to walk around the stage or the room.
  • Hands in pockets: take your hands out of your pockets to appear interested and involved.

Generally speaking, if you lack confidence, act as if this is not the case and your attitude will improve. Do this until it comes naturally.

To end the first part of the book, Carmine Gallo emphasises two key points, two ideas to remember to become a good speaker:

  • Appropriate physical preparation will increase your energy level and change the public’s perception of you.
  • Your strength comes from within: Prepare and control your gestures and this will help you greatly. Also, if you do not feel passion inside you, this will reduce your presence and your energy.

Part 2: Novel 

Chapter 4: Teach me something new

Carmine Gallo begins the fourth chapter by mentioning Robert Ballart’s TED talk. In his conference about oceans, Robert Ballart tried to offer a new vision of the planet to his audience. He wanted to help his public see the world differently. To do this, he invited them to observe what they could see in the oceans and assured them that our knowledge of the depths of the ocean today is very limited.

Secret number 4: Teach me something new

To become a good speaker, the author mentions a key point. He says that you have to give the public new information or give them solutions to a problem. The brain likes new things and unexpected elements attract attention.

Learning is addictive. As John Medina said in his TED talk, humans are born explorers. We have a thirst for knowledge and learning. In fact, if humans had not been so curious, they would have disappeared by now. The human brain has adapted to all kinds of environments in order to survive.

Your public wants to learn, even if they are not passionate about the subject at first. That is why, for the author, it is essential to establish a bond with the public by teaching them something they can use in their daily lives.

Increase the dopamine level in your audience

Professor Martha Burns is convinced that neuroscience can help us to teach better. According to her, learning gives us a “buzz”. This activates the reward, gambling and drug-related neurone circuits.

If we find learning so stimulating, it is because of dopamine, a molecule released in the brain when we are confronted with something new or with a reward. In many people, this dopamine release helps them to remember new information and makes learning addictive. Without dopamine, she notes far less interest in the topic. For Martha Burns, we need to increase the dopamine level if we want to make a piece of information stimulating. That is what the best teachers do when they find new ways to pass on knowledge.

Be original and entertain your public

The statistician Hans Rosling monitors worldwide trends in the field of health and poverty. He presented this data as part of a TED talk. It could have been very boring indeed. But Rosling chose to give his talk using software that he designed specially to make his talk stimulating. In the end, the public were entertained; they clapped and laughed.

To arouse the interest of your listeners on any subject, find unusual information and present it in an original and unexpected way. It is an excellent way to become a good speaker.

Turn away from established ideas

Susan Cain is an introvert. During her talk, she showed her audience the power of solitude and her vision that extroverted, sociable and animated people do not have all the ideas. To do this, Susan Cain first demonstrated that many world leaders change history despite being introverts. She went on to explain that solitude is crucial to the creative process in a society that tends to favour the group. In her view, an introvert who is free to be herself will find unique solutions to certain problems.

What Carmine Gallo wants to show us with this story is that here, once again, Susan Cain forces us to see the world differently, and it works.

Explore outside your own field

For Carmine Gallo, to become a good speaker and a more interesting person, you should acquire knowledge in fields outside your area of expertise.

The greatest innovators found inspiration in a variety of fields. So don’t be afraid to try new experiences. Neuroscience has proven that when you bombard the brain with a lot of new information, you can begin to see things differently. Share this experience with your listeners.

Master the art of conversation: tell a unique story. 

For the journalist, interviewer and TV presenter Charlie Rose, a big conversation is a discussion that takes you on a journey. It is an exchange that brings out new ideas and allows you to reinvent yourself. The art of conversation consists of telling a unique story. Look at the events in your life: if they taught you something worthwhile, then other people are surely going to want to hear about them.

Educate your listeners and introduce them to the world. 

Professor James Flynn of the University of Otago carried out studies to compare the current young generation of 18 year olds with those of the same age thirty years earlier.

He noted that IQ increases with each generation. This is due to the fact that access to education is easier today thanks to the internet. TED talks are a form of online educational content: they have been watched more than 1 billion times.

The people who watch or attend TED talks are explorers. They want to feel things, to get involved, to feel alive. TED talks allow people to get out and about, to explore new areas with the help of brilliant minds. Be able to meet this demand: introduce the world to your listeners and offer them something of value.

Clarify your message and condense it into a headline you can tweet.

The author encourages speakers to develop their idea – a single big idea – in 140 characters maximum. Aim for this size – the length of a tweet. It is an excellent way to clarify your message. The author advises the following:

  • Be careful to not get bogged down in details.
  • Adopt the mind of a beginner so that everyone can understand the material.
  • Offer the overall view before going into details.

Carmine Gallo reveals that he scanned the titles of 1,500 TED talks without finding one that exceeded 140 characters.

Chapter 5: Deliver jaw-dropping moments

Carmine Gallo starts this chapter by explaining that the brain does not register things that it finds boring. He takes the example of a talk by Bill Gates about world poverty and infant mortality. Gates used strong words to leave his mark:

“Malaria is spread by mosquitoes.  I brought some here. I’ll let them roam around. There is no reason only poor people should be infected.” 

The public began to laugh and clap. Gates had made his point successfully.

Secret number 5: deliver jaw-dropping moments

deliver jaw-dropping moments Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

Stupefying the audience is about creating a surprise to attract attention and reach the public, who will remember the moment. Creating a strong emotional moment increases the audience’s memory capacity. Gates, for example, talked for 18 minutes. His mosquito speech only lasted 5 % of the time, but that is what people remembered. In journalism, it is equivalent to a hook, something that leaves an impression and is convincing.

To become a good speaker and get the public’s attention, you have to create a surprise. You can do this in different ways.

Organise an event that has an emotional element 

This type of event tends to remain in the mind for longer. It is also generally better remembered than neutral events. We remember intense events and forget the ordinary ones. The brain remembers the emotional side of an experience better than other aspects.

Create a stirring effect

Carmine Gallo gives us the example of Steve Jobs who was well known for his spectacular presentations. For each of his products, Steve Jobs successfully impressed the public.

When his first Macintosh came out, his presentation was memorable. He created an atmosphere with shadows and music. Then, he got the Macintosh to talk. This initiative was a huge success, and the video was viewed millions of times. His event was unexpected and unique. Rich in emotions, it stuck in the minds of the people present.

Create a Wow moment

For Carmine Gallo, this “wow” moment can be a simple story, but it has to be an emotionally charged moment. That is what the listener will remember long after the talk ends.

The author shares five ways to create a “wow” moment for your next speech:

  • Accessories and demonstrations: an accessory can be useful to facilitate and amplify the message you want to get across. The opinion of an independent person can also help you.
  • Unexpected and shocking figures: statistics can make an impression. If you combine logic and emotion, find impressive and astonishing facts. Find the way to make data more interesting.
  • Drawings, photos or videos: visual aids have a strong impact. An evocative image, a funny or impactful video clip or a striking demonstration are original elements that can make a difference.
  • Memorable titles: the idea that you want to get across can be summarised in a clear and concise sentence. It should hook people and be easy to remember. Futurologist Stewart Brand, for example, came up with a prediction for his audience. His conference was about the rapid progress of biotechnologies. He made this statement: “We will get woolly mammoths back.” You too can create and express this kind of focalising quote.
  • Personal anecdotes: the greatest speakers are great storytellers and their stories can create strong moments. They arouse emotion in the public.

The key point to remember in this chapter is strength. A speech needs to be powerful to have an impact on the minds of your public and arouse emotions. That way, you will create an event that people will still be talking about tomorrow.

Chapter 6: Lighten up

The most popular TED talk of all time was by Sir Ken Robinson, who talked about school and the reasons why it kills creativity. This is a serious topic and many other more well-known speakers have never had as many views for their talks. Its popularity is a combination of new ideas and humour. Robinson tackles an old subject, but he does it in an original way, using humour.

Lighten up

The brain loves humour. Make your audience smile, says the author. This will make the public more receptive to the message and make you more appealing.

Lighten up Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

Carmine Gallo explains how Ken Robinson alternates between anecdotes, stories and humour in his talk. He received a standing ovation from 1200 people and his talk has inspired millions of people online.

If you want to become a good speaker, humour is a key part of your talk. However, use it in a creative and natural way. Be careful to not make vulgar or distasteful jokes. They will add nothing to your presentation.

About this, Carmine Gallo insists that the best speakers do not tell jokes.

He offers five light alternatives to jokes:
  • Anecdotes, observations and personal stories: the best speakers use humour to tell stories about themselves or things they have observed in other people. The goal is not necessarily to make people laugh until they cry, but to make people smile and make the speaker more engaging.
  • Analogies and metaphors: an analogy can compare resemblances between two elements. Analogies and metaphors are ideally used to explain a complex topic. They can be enough to make the audience smile.
  • Quotes: you can also say something funny. Some speakers add a humorous remark about the quote. Creatively inserting quotes to a presentation also gives your audience a mental break.
  • Videos: it is rare to watch videos during a TED talk. And yet, it is a good way to add a touch of humour to your presentation.
  • Photos: integrate amusing images to your presentations to relieve the serious nature of your topic.

Carmine Gallo notes that it is not advisable to want to make people laugh at all costs. Sometimes simply highlighting the humorous side of a situation can raise a smile among the audience members.

Use humour in complex topics

Do not take your topic or yourself too seriously.

When you are speaking, associate humour with astonishing information and statistics from time to time.

Making jokes can be risky. Many people do not want to take that risk. And that is why many professional presentations are boring and repetitive. However, something that makes you laugh will probably make your audience laugh too. To demonstrate a sense of humour, you need to be prepared to show vulnerability, to be able to laugh at yourself and not seem too serious.

So if you are hesitant about using humour in your public speaking, Carmine Gallo reminds us that laughter reduces blood pressure, strengthens the immune system, improves breathing and increases energy. It also offers a different point of view about a situation. Finally, humour lowers our defences, releases endorphins and help us to feel good. And if you feel good, your presentation will be all the better.

Part 3: Memorable

Chapter 7: Stick to the 18-minute rule

Stick to the 18-minute rule Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

In chapter 7 of his book Talk Like TED, Carmine Gallo assures readers that eighteen minutes is the perfect length of time to send a powerful message and retain the attention of the audience.

A TED talk should therefore not exceed this length of time.

Secret number 7: Stick to the 18-minute rule

Eighteen minutes is the perfect length of time for a presentation. Excessive information can prevent your ideas from getting across. That is why Chris Anderson, a member of the TED talk organisation, considers this to be an excellent format. It forces speakers to think about what they genuinely want to say.

Understand that your audience will get tired if they have to listen to you for a long time.

Studies by Professor Paul King from the University of Texas into students showed that the longer a conference, the greater the mental load. It can even become a source of anxiety. Listening is tiring.

A short speech is easier to remember 

The longer the speech and the more information it contains, the more the capacity to remember and retain the main concepts decreases. A presentation that is too long will annoy your listeners, unless you make it more humorous, with breaks. A shorter speech is easier for memory to assimilate.

Even at university or at school, prefer short formats to improve learning.

The more the brain learns and listens, the more energy it consumes.

Learning and listening demand a lot of energy. This energy comes from the glucose that is the brain’s fuel supply. A long presentation consumes a lot of energy, and during that time, the brain activity rapidly diminishes the supply of glucose.

This makes the eighteen minute format perfect because it gives the public the opportunity to think about the presentation, share the ideas and put them into action.

Allow your creativity to emerge

According to Carmine Gallo, if you try to observe the eighteen minute rule, your future presentations will be more creative.

Setting limits for a presentation means that you set a framework. This forces you to focus on the essential points and allows your creativity to emerge.

Explain simply 

Albert Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you haven’t understood it enough.” 

So, to become a good speaker you need to be able to explain something complex in a simple way. And if you succeed in this, then you know your subject. That is why it is wise to stick to short and simple presentations.

The rule of three

Carmine Gallo shows us how the rule of three can help us to condense information into an eighteen minute format. This is due to the fact that people can only hold onto three pieces of information.

The author gives several examples of this to understand:

  • The example of Neil Pasricha who based his TED talk on the 3 As that are Admirable: the first A for Attitude, the second for Attention and the third for Authenticity. His talk was divided into 3 parts, which facilitated listening for the public. Parischa intuitively used the rule of three. But this is an efficient rule, because the more things you add, the fewer things people tend to remember.
  • The three rights of the declaration of independence of the United States: the right to life, the right to freedom and the right to seek happiness.
  • Other countries have done the same thing, like France with the motto: “Liberty, equality, fraternity.” 
Carmine Gallo also highlights the fact that this rule of three can be found in other aspects of our social and professional life:
  • Take the story of the “Three Little Pigs” or the “Three Musketeers”.
  • The dinner table has three pieces of cutlery.
  • Aladdin was granted three wishes
  • The three primary colours
  • Three medals at the Olympic games…

Finally, the author suggests that to become a good TED speaker, you should introduce your message in three easy stages:

  • Come up with a tweetable title,
  • Enhance your title with three key messages
  • Strengthen the three messages with stories, figures and example.

To summarise this chapter: avoid long and boring presentations or your risk losing your public’s attention. Observe the 18-minute rule. It is a good exercise in discipline, and it means that you will avoid a cognitive overload in your audience.

Chapter 8: Paint a mental picture with multisensory experiences

Paint a mental picture with multisensory Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

To start this chapter, Carmine Gallo returns to Michael Pritchard’s TED talk about drinking water in which he explains how to purify contaminated water. The talk was composed of photographs, statistics and demonstrations. By bringing together these three dimensions, Michael Pritchard made it a memorable experience for his audience.

Secret number 8: offer a multisensory experience

In other words, create presentations that mobilise several senses. Sight, smell, touch, taste or hearing.

The brain does not like being bored and it is almost impossible to be bored when several senses are in use. The public may not notice it, but by mobilising the senses, you will leave a mark on their minds.

Use a multimedia experience to strengthen learning

Professor Richard Mayer of the University of California shows that it is easier to explain ideas when you use different senses and several formats: text, images, films… In addition to this, students with access to different forms of information retain data better than others. Among the different senses, sight is the most effective for people to memorise information.

To become a good speaker, think about how to create stimulating visuals with the goal of getting your ideas across.

Here the author mentions that one of the TED speakers whose visual aids had the most impact was Al Gore in his talk about global warming. Al Gore is a former vice-president of the United States. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. During his TED talk, he showed famous slides of planet Earth and signs of global warming. His talk had such a strong impact that it changed the lives of hundreds of people. After his talk, many people spoke about its effect on them:

“Al Gore’s talk at TED 2006 was a turning point in my life.” 

Avoid multitasking

Here the author brings up an important point. For a successful talk, do not force the public to listen to you and read slides at the same time. Under these conditions, it will be difficult to hold the attention of your audience and create an emotional connection. Neuroscience shows us that the brain is not made to pay attention to several things at the same time.

Use the superiority of the image, but do not neglect the other senses.

Scientists have shown that ideas supported by images are better remembered than when they are supported by words. So remember that visual aids are primordial. This is explained by the scientist Medina who states that the brain is designed to process visual information first, and images allow us to more easily remember complex ideas.

While sight is the predominant sense, don’t forget that we retain information better when several senses are called upon at the same time. Becoming a good speaker requires you to take this into account and to choose your words wisely. Along with the tone you use when you say them, this has a decisive effect.

Create a mental picture without showing images

The brain does not distinguish between what it sees and what it imagines.

The TED talk given by cross-country skier Janine Shepherd cumulated over 1 million views. This was because she gave her listeners the impression that they were in the place she described. Her words had a strong impact. She took the public on the ski slopes with her:

“As we made our way up towards the spectacular Blue Moutains west of Sydney, it was the perfect autumn day: sunshine, the smell of eucalyptus and a dream. Life was good. We’d been on our bikes for around five and a half hours when we got to the part of the ride that I loved, and that was the hills, because I loved the hills. And I got up off the seat of my bike, and I started pumping my legs, and as I sucked in the cold mountain air, I could feel it burning my lungs…”

Mobilise all the senses using imagination

The theme of paediatrician Elliot Krane’s TED talk was chronic pain. During his speech, he wanted to share how the pain is felt with the public. These are his words:

“Imagine that I’m stroking your arm with this feather. Now I want you to imagine that I’m stroking it with this blowtorch. What does it have to do with chronic pain? Imagine what your life would be like if I were to stroke it with this feather but your brain was telling you that this blowtorch was what you were feeling. That is my experience with patients with chronic pain.” 

It can be hard to successfully mobilise all the senses, but as we see with Elliot Krane, it can be done using a little imagination.

So, in this chapter, remember that to become a good speaker, you need to help your public to feel. To do this, create a multisensory experience (real or imaginary). Don’t be afraid to propose something unexpected or surprising as is the case in all these examples. Be brave enough to stand out. People find courage touching.

Chapter 9: Stay in your lane 

In the last chapter, the author of Talk Like TED encourages readers to honestly share their feelings and challenges with the audience.

Secret number 9: be yourself 

Carmine Gallo advises speakers to be open, transparent and authentic when speaking in public. Most people do not appreciate someone who is fake. To gain your public’s trust, don’t try to be someone you are not.

At the end of the book, the author asks the reader to leave all the previous techniques behind and listen to your heart. He believes that you will not make a strong impression unless you create something unique that matches the person you are. About this, the author emphasises that it takes a certain amount of courage to be yourself.

Many leaders behave differently in private to when they speak in public, reveals the author. This is in fact because they are not comfortable with themselves. As a counter example, Carmine Gallo mentions Richard Branson. He explains that Richard Branson does not play a part – he is genuine. He is the same on and off camera. Here are some words from Richard Branson that the author admires a lot: “Work is not separate from play and play is not separate from work. It’s all living.” 

So, always remember that the goal is to become a good speaker, not to give a talk.It is to inspire, move and encourage your audience to think bigger. This will not be possible unless you inspire confidence and remain sincere.

Carmine Gallo reminds us that becoming a good speaker requires hard work. If you allow your heart to speak, the public will believe in you because you are speaking the truth. To do this successfully, you need to prepare. Good preparation allows you to relax and let your heart express itself.

Find your own path, don’t copy other people.

TED talks are increasingly popular. The techniques examined in this book are used by the best public speakers. They will certainly help you become a good speaker too. What is fundamental, adds the author, is that you find your passion to be authentic. Don’t try to imitate others. Find your lane and stay in it, whispers Carmine Gallo.

Don’t allow yourself to be influenced, communicate what makes your heart sing.

Carmine Gallo ends by reminding us that we are all capable of much more than we think. Don’t allow the judgements of others, as well as your own, tell you that you are not capable.

To become a good speaker and inspire, you will need examples, techniques, passion and training. Above all, you will need to communicate what makes your heart sing.

The author ends the book with a quote from Larry Smith: “I wish you success.” 

Conclusion about Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

A series of nine tips to become a good speaker  

These days, TED talks have become a reference in public speaking.

In his book Talk Like TED, Carmine Gallo deciphers, decodes and analyses to extract the substance of the most brilliant and popular TED talks in the world. The result is shared techniques and ideas that the author converts into nine “secrets” to master the art of public speaking.

Enhanced with clear examples and captivating references, these tips teach readers how to make dynamic presentations that are convincing and memorable. He recommends using inspiring stories, communicating with ease and being authentic. Use slides to hold the audience’s interest, add something new and arouse emotions to leave a mark on minds.

An inspiring book that makes you want to take to the stage.

By sharing the “secrets” of the TED talks given by the best speakers, Carmine Gallo takes the reader into the world of eloquence. He also throws down an exciting challenge – to inspire other people by creating short presentations that have an impact, create an electroshock and are unforgettable.

Carmine Gallo is a well-known speaker and communication coach for prestigious brands. He is also the best-selling author of “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs”. Carmine Gallo initiates us in how to become a good speaker by sharing his experience with a great deal of enthusiasm.

Skills that are useful above and beyond the art of public speaking

The skills that Carmine Gallo invites us to develop to become a good speaker rely on major psychological research, as well as neuroscience and communication.

These skills will teach us to become more talented in the art of persuasion, the art of speaking and that of creating memorable moments. They will be precious when it comes to speaking in public.

Above and beyond conferences, you will notice that these qualities are just as essential in your personal and business life. They are useful in marketing to convince in a sincere way, and also in management to better inspire and motivate your teams.

Talk Like TED is a book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to have an impact on an audience and become someone more charismatic and captivating.

Strong Points:

  • Well-chosen advice that speaks to anyone who want to become a good speaker.
  • Many examples, stories, anecdotes and feedback to help readers put the advice into practice and make it an enjoyable read.
  • An inspiring book that makes you want to take to the stage..

Weak point:

  • I don’t see any.

My rating : Permanent Record by Edward Snowden Permanent Record by Edward Snowden Permanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward SnowdenPermanent Record by Edward Snowden

Have you read “Talk Like TED”? How do you rate it?

Mediocre - No interestReasonable - One or two interesting paragraphsIntermediate - Some goods ideasGood - Had changed my life on one practical aspectVery Good - Completely changed my life ! (No Ratings Yet)


Read more reviews on Amazon about “Talk Like TED”

Buy on Amazon “Talk Like TED”

The short practical guide to the book Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

What to take away from the book Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo.

  • Efficient narration
  • Simplicity, passion
  • Use of visual elements
  • Practice, connection with the audience
  • Creating a memorable impact

FAQs about the book Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo

1. What was the public’s reaction to the book Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo?

The book was well received by the public and is considered to be a useful resource to improve communication and public speaking skills.

2. What was the impact of the book Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo?

This book helped readers to improve their communication and presentation skills by relying on the effective principles used by TED speakers. It also made readers aware of the TED approach to communication, encouraging them to use persuasive and memorable narrative techniques.

3. Who is the book Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo for?

“Talk like TED” is aimed at a broad spectrum of people who want to improve their communication skills and increase the impact of their speeches and presentations.

4. What are the three simple and effective types of stories to become a good speaker?

  • Personal anecdotes
  • Brand histories
  • Stories about other people

5. What are the three steps that Amanda Palmer follows to prepare a speech?

  • Ask for help with the preparation
  • Adapt in relation to the feedback
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

The key elements to verbal expression vs Advice to improve your bodily gestures

Four key elements for verbal expressionFour tips to improve bodily gestures
PaceLet your hands speak
AbilityUse gestures in moderation
ToneUse gestures at key moments
PausesTry to keep gestures within your sphere of influence

Who is Carmine Gallo?

Carmine Gallo

Carmine Gallo was born on 26 July 1965. He is a well-known author, public speaker and communications consultant. Carmine is specialised in public speaking and persuasive narrative. Carmine has written successful books such as Talk Like TED and The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. He has studied effective communication techniques, in particular those used as part of TED talks. He advises companies and individuals on how to improve their skills in communication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *