So You Want to be a TED Speaker? How to Stand Out from the Crowd

With only 8 weeks to go till BILT ANZ, all of the speakers will be spending a lot of time over the next month or so preparing their material and practicing their delivery. While we have the speaker webinar  aimed at helping our new speakers, even as an experienced speaker, I know I can always benefit from advice as to how to improve my presentations – particularly if I am trying a different format to one I have given in previous years.  So while we recently posted some light reading…this week’s focus is more serious reading for our speakers.

Where better to start than TED?  For me, having attended a couple of TEDx events, I have seen personally how amazing their speakers are.  This is where I want to get to! (Having once had the opportunity to stand of the TEDx stage – the prompt screen in the floor really helps).  The TED blog has heaps of articles for speaker tips. Worth checking out.

One of the most important parts of any presentation is your slide deck. A few years ago I decided I was going to work on improving my slides. The two books I found amazingly inspirational and practical were Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds (who also has a website of the same name) and Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte (see her website here, she has also given a TED talk on great presentations).  Then find some great imagery – its amazing what you can get for free.  I use Flickr searching for images on creative commons license and usually find the best images if I set the drop down from ‘Relevant’ to ‘Interesting’.  Unsplash is also a great site with beautiful free images.  Over the years since I have read these books, I have had people tell me I have some of the best slides they have ever seen.   You can check out my slideshare for examples.

As well as imagery, you can find heaps of great graphic design, free icons, slides and diagrams all over the web.  Freepik has loads of different designs, and you can often customise your colours to suit your own templates.  I recently got a whole lot of free diagram type slides when I signed up to Your Exec mailing list.  There are other sites like Sketch Bubble that have a mix of free and subscription content.

Finally for some tips from some of the best of BILT’s past speakers, you should check out the episode of Marcello Sgambelluri’s Simply Complex podcast on Successful Habits from Top Rated Speakers  where he and Carl Storms discuss some of BILT’s top rated speakers and what makes their presentations successful.

One of the most important things is to make sure you give yourself enough time to do your research and testing, put together your slides and videos and then practice and perhaps test your presentation on your colleagues.  We know you like to leave things to the last minute…so take our advice and get started now.

And speakers – don’t forget you still need to register – do it now!  While you are there you can also enter our Golden Ticket competition – speakers are eligible to enter to win their flights (from any Australian/NZ capital city) and accommodation.

Image credits: Via Flickr Different” (CC BY 2.0) by Village9991

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