Stellar storytelling: 3 tips for TED-caliber speeches

Learn to transform your presentations, speeches and talks into passionate, attention-grabbing events.

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Presentations can be the most challenging. Here are three tips—gleaned from TED talks and Donald Trump alike—to help you win over audiences the next time you step up to the podium:

1. Apply TED’s most vital lesson—find your passion. The best TED talks are about something important, says Rob Friedman, a former senior director of global executive communications for Eli Lilly and a past editor of Ragan’s Speechwriter’s Newsletter and The Ragan Report.


A look at the most popular TED talks shows this is true: Sheryl Sandberg asserts we need more women in leadership, Michael Porter describes a new vision for corporate philanthropy, and Bill Gates explains the importance of tackling global problems such as malaria.

“This is why most TED speakers are passionate,” says Friedman, “the topics they’re discussing are important—to their audience, the world and them .”

The lesson: “Take on topics or issues of real importance,” he advises. “Aim to make a difference. Like the best of TED, try to make the world a better place. Your audience will respect you for it—even if they disagree with you.”

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