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TED Talks on how to become great at public speaking

These powerful talks will show you how to craft memorable and compelling presentations.

As a leader there’s no getting away from public speaking. Whether it’s at a board meeting, investor meet, company offsite, Christmas party or office town hall, it’s an art all leaders have to master. Here are five insightful TED Talks that will help you hone your skills.

Chris Anderson

1. Chris Anderson: “TED’s Secret to Great Public Speaking”
TED founder and curator Chris Anderson reveals that there’s a key ingredient to any successful talk. In this candid video he explores the elements of this ingredient and the four guidelines that follow from it. It’s almost like a four-step path to building an idea in people’s minds in an interesting and impactful manner.
Watch it here.
Photograph: James Duncan Davidson/TED/Creative Commons

Gordon Kangas

2. Gordon Kangas: “Giving Presentations Worth Listening To”
Gordon Kangas is an attorney, but more importantly, he’s also the founder of Fluent Presentations, which helps companies as well as individuals learn how to improve their presentation skills. And this is exactly what he discusses in this TED Talk. To make your presentation a success, Gordon outlines a simple approach that will improve its effectiveness, engage the audience, and inspire people to act.
Watch it here.

Nancy Duarte

3. Nancy Duarte: “The Secret Structure of Great Talks”
Is there a story structure that defines great speeches? Nancy Duarte thinks there is. In this insightful talk she shares what we can learn from some famous ones, from Steve Job’s iPhone launch speech to Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. Nancy discusses how to deliver a talk so that people can envision your idea, ingest it, get enveloped by it and are fired up for action.
Watch it here.

Amy Cuddy

4. Amy Cuddy: “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are”
Whether we realise it or not, our body language is an important communication tool. It affects people’s perceptions of us and our abilities. In this talk, Amy draws on the links between posture and psychology to show how one can have a huge impact on the other. She reveals how people can use ‘power posing’ to boost confidence, make an impression, and project their authority.
Watch it here.
Photograph: PopTech/Flickr

Megan Washington

5. Megan Washington: “Why I Live in Mortal Dread of Public Speaking”
This talk is for those who are painfully shy of public speaking. Megan Washington is a singer and songwriter who has struggled with a speech impediment since childhood that has made public speaking traumatic. Over the years she’s come up with a variety of ways to cope with her stutter, from tricking her mind to finding unusual tricks. The idea isn’t to wallow in what’s holding you back, but to find a way around it so that you get the job done.
Watch it here

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