#1 Stories You Tell
#2 Don’t Do Your Pitch More Than 10-18 Minutes
#3 Sell Your Ideas the Steve Jobs Way
The TED Talk 18 Minute Presentation
“Emotionally Charged Event”
'Using Hand Gestures"
“Emotionally Charged Event”
'Using Hand Gestures"
Prezi asks Carmine Why TED Talks Are Wildly Addictive
Posted by Carolyn Kilmer on September 22, 2014 in Talk Like TED.
Prezi blog: TED Talks Are Wildly Addictive for 5 Scientific Reasons
In the last ten years researchers studying brain scans have learned more about the science of persuasion than we’ve ever known in all of civilization. That means we know what moves people, and we can prove it scientifically. After analyzing more than 500 TED presentations (adding up to over 150 hours of talks) and speaking directly to successful TED presenters and leading neuroscientists, I’ve discovered that the most popular TED presentations share five common elements that are all based on the science of persuasion. Best of all, you can use these five scientific principles to create more awe-inspiring presentations.
1. Passion is contagious.
According to University of Waterloo economics professor, Dr. Larry Smith, “Passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent.” Smith’s TED talk, Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career, has been viewed nearly three million times. Smith’s message is simple: Follow your passion and you will have a great career. Don’t follow it and you won’t. Smith’s advice is based on his thirty years of experience as an educator. Today neuroscience backs him up.
Researchers studying “mood contagion” have found that if you meet someone who is genuinely and authentically passionate about his or her topic, it can significantly alter the way you perceive that person. In my 25 years of studying communication I have yet to meet an inspiring leader who is not abundantly passionate about the topic on which they’re presenting. Passion is, indeed, contagious.
When you’re passionate about your topic—obsessively so—your energy and enthusiasm will rub off on your audience.
2. Your brain on stories.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg started a movement with her 2010 TED talk, We Have Too Few Women Leaders. The talk was well-received, leading to a bestselling book and movement by the same name—Lean In. In the talk, Sandberg tells several personal stories, including one about her daughter crying and clinging to her leg before she left for the TED conference. Sandberg decided to include the stories at the last minute after a friend urged her to tell them. “Are you kidding?” Sandberg said. “I’m going to get on a stage and admit my daughter was clinging to my leg?” Sandberg overcame her initial reluctance and told the story. The stories made the video of the presentation go viral, which lead to the bestselling book, and eventually the movement itself.
Stories inform, illuminate, and inspire. Stories start movements. Tell more of them.
3. Your brain’s natural “save” button.
In 2009 Bill Gates gave a TED talk on the topic of reducing childhood deaths in Africa. “Malaria is spread by mosquitoes,” Gates told the audience as he picked up a glass jar sitting on a table in front him. He opened the jar and said, “I brought some here. I’ll let them roam around. There is no reason only poor people should be infected.” The audience sat in stunned silence for a moment, then laughed, applauded, and cheered. They weren’t happy about the topic, of course, but they knew that Gates had given them a novel way to consider the subject at hand.
Gates had created what neuroscientists called an “emotionally charged event.”
It’s a shocking, impressive, or surprising moment that is so moving and memorable, it grabs the listener’s attention and is remembered long after the presentation is over. When your brain detects something new or unexpected, the amygdala releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which acts as your brain’s natural “save button.” Dopamine creates a heightened state of emotion that makes it more likely your audience will remember your message and act on it.
Create a jaw-dropping moment that your audience will be talking about long after your presentation is over.
4. Pictures are superior.
It’s well established in the neuroscience literature that pictures trump text when it comes to searing an idea into a person’s memory. It’s called “picture superiority.” Simply put, if you hear information, you are likely to remember about 10 percent of that information three days later. Add a picture, however, and your recall rate will soar to 65 percent.
Our brains are wired to process visual information—pictures—very differently than text. Rock star Bono gave a master class in blending text, charts, and photographs in his now famous 2014 TED talk, The Good News On Poverty. Developed entirely in Prezi, the presentation brings statistics to life in visual form and uses photographs of real people—not stock photos—to reinforce Bono’s key messages. See Bono’s prezi below.
Use photos to complement the narrative.
5. The 18-minute rule.
No TED speaker is allowed to speak for more than 18 minutes. It doesn’t matter if your name is Bono, Gates, or Sandberg. Eighteen minutes is all you get. TED Curator Chris Anderson has said 18 minutes is long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention. He’s right. When you give people too much information it results in what scientists call “cognitive backlog:” the more information you ask someone to retain, the more likely they are to forget everything! Let me be clear. This does not mean that you cannot speak for more than 18 minutes. It does suggest, however, that you attempt to build in ways to re-engage your audience every twenty minutes or less.
Re-engage the audience every 10 to 18 minutes with soft breaks: videos, stories, pictures, or demonstrations.
You might not be preparing for the TED stage at the moment, but like it or not, you’re being compared to TED. Your audience expects to be inspired, engaged, and entertained.
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