Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Deliver a Ted Talk

I'd like to start out by saying that I know I'll never deliver a Ted Talk. For those of you unfamiliar with Ted Talks, I'll direct you here. Ted stands for "technology, entertainment, and design," and the Ted Talks are from two annual conferences that " bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less)." The talks are available online for viewing, and cover a wide variety of topics.

While I'd like to think that I have words worth imparting to the world, I'm enough of a realist that I know this isn't the case. One day a colleague and I had just been discussing Ted Talks and the unlikelihood of our ever being asked to present one. Later that day I was browsing through the NetGalley list and found How To Deliver a Ted Talk: Secrets of the World's Most Inspiring Presentations by Jeremey Donovan. I jokingly told my colleague that I should read it so that I would know how to deliver my talk when asked. We laughed, but then I decided I wanted to see what the author had to say, so I downloaded the book.

At 111 pages (in ebook galley form), it's a quick read. Chapters cover how to select a topic, how to build your speech, how to master your delivery, and how to overcome your fear. Donovan is also a realist, and knows that most of his readers will never deliver an actual Ted talk, but encourages anyone who may ever need to address a group to use the book as a guide to more effective public speaking.

As a former member of my college forensic team I've long enjoyed public speaking, and I appreciated Donovan's book for succinctly laying out the design for how to prepare a speech. How To Deliver a Ted Talk by Jeremey Donovan would be a useful addition to any public library collection.

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