Book Review: How to Deliver a TED Talk by Jeremey Donovan

TED talks are great! TED talks are inspiring! TED talks are typically 18 minutes or less. I am a 35 minute preacher in a 20 minute church, you see the challenge. I thought the solution might be to simply speak faster, but people suggested I slow down. I was tempted to say, “Listen faster.”

Then I heard of TED talks and became a fan of watching them, learning from them. TED stands for Technology Entertainment, Design. Even more it is a collection on their web page of outstanding communicators. When I saw Jeremey Dononvan‘s book, How to Deliver a TED Talk: Secrets of the World’s Most Inspiring Presentations, I knew it was a book I needed to read.

Like a TED talk, Jeremey cuts to the chase. His writing is focused, on topic, and directed to his readers. What I thought about TED talks (think Steve Jobs, think incredible visual presentations), missed the thrust of what they are ultimately all about. One type of TED talks are those with amazing jobs (pun intended). But there is a second type, ordinary people. I had thought TED talks would teach me how t use technology better to avoid death by PowerPoint to leveraging visuals in communicating. Turns out not all TED talks are visual displays, of the top ten watched TED talks four have no slides.

The inspiring idea is what matters. Developing that idea to a catchphrase and staying focused from introduction through the talk to conclusion is the thrust of the book. Like a TED talk, Jeremy keeps the book moving. It’s a quick read. Even more it has some great examples and excerpts from actual TED talks. Since reading the book it has been good to go and watch online and see how what I read works in the actual presentation.

I give How to Deliver a TED Talk, 5 out of 5 stars. I not only learned much about making presentations, I enjoyed what I read, even more importantly I am applying what I read. Still have to hit the 20 minute mark in weekend messages, but I appreciate the tips to leverage the world’s greatest message in a way that gets me out of the way so that lives can be inspired and transformed. As Chapter 14 says, “Stop reading and start speaking.”


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Filed under Leadership Book Reviews, Presentations

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