How to Give The Perfect TED Talk


The TED conferences in Long Beach and Palm Springs alto have featured some of the best minds in worlds of design, entertainment and technology. Famous for its 18-minute limit per presentation, TED talks have been streamed online millions of times. Recently, Fast Company published a controversial article titled “Is TED the New Harvards?” proposing that TED will become the Harvard of the future. I’m not sure about that, but one thing is for sure TED talks are a hot commodity. If invited to present, you’ll have less than 18 minutes to wow the audience that pays $6,000 to be there and the subsequent millions who might watch your presentation online. Talk about pressure. But don’t fret There’s help.

Sebastian Wernicke, an engagement manager at Oliver Wyman and former bioinformatics researcher, did a statistical analysts of all the publicly available TED talks and used it to create tedPAD—a TED talk generator that draws on the common phrases & keywords from popular talks to help you create the perfect TED presentation. Or, alternately, there’s tedPAD Black, which does just the opposite.

If you’re going to succeed, however don’t ever mention the New York Times. No one who has has ever ranked high.

What’s the best public speaking advice you’ve ever gotten?

  • Bill Sneider

    I read someone that I shouldn't have more than 5 or 6 words on my slides. I tried that and my have gotten much better reception from my presentations.

    • That's a great advice. I have changed my approach to more graphically than lots of words. It worked for me as well.

  • Daren Stone

    The best tip I ever got was to think that the people in the room wanted me do well and to imagine in my mind that they were all good friends and that they were there because they liked me. While I know that's not true, it causes to approach the audience differently, I can tell you that it works. The more positive I am towards an audience, the more they respond to my presentation.

  • Cool. Had not seen that tedPAD yet. Neat.

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