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5 TED Talks that will teach you the art of public speaking

Priyanka Gupta
posted on 6th December 2016
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Public speaking is one of those highly sought-after soft skills which one has to develop to climb the ladder of success.  Be it a job interview or an investor meet, some tips on how to conduct oneself during these important rendezvous can really turn things to your advantage.

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TED is a foundation that revolutionised the way public speaking was viewed. It is a platform where people come from all walks of life and share their life lessons. Not only does it give people a chance to share their experiences but also provides a learning tool to millions.

Learning about public speaking from those who redefined the skill, here are the best TED Talks on public speaking.

  1. What to speak: TED’s secret to great public speaking

This one is a candid talk delivered by the TED curator and founder, Chris Anderson. He spells out a four-fold mantra to unlock the secret ingredient which makes a speech impressive and interesting. He tells the speakers to work towards developing ideas in their audience’s mind, ideas which are worth spreading.

  1. How to speak: Your body language shapes who you are

Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and associate professor at Harvard Business School. Speaking about public speaking in a different light, Amy stresses upon the great influence of posture and positions in any conversation/speech. The talk mentions how ‘power posing’ can instil confidence even if the speaker doesn’t feel so. Her research establishes links between posture, feelings, and chemical secretions in our body. This is yet another fascinating discovery leading towards the holistic growth of public speakers.

  1. Call to action: How great leaders inspire action

A public speech/talk is incomplete without a call to action. Simon Sinek, an author, speaker, and  leadership management consultant in his simple and power-packed talk presents a model for inspirational leadership. His take on public speaking is inspiring action through words. Using examples from Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright Brothers, his message to the audience is,

“And it's those who start with ‘why’  that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.”

  1. Why to speak: The danger of silence

Clint Smith, poet and teacher, touches the hearts of the audience in this candid and touching talk. He talks about finding the courage to speak up, especially about ignorance and injustice.

Even though this talk is more focused on social speaking, you can find elements to relate to corporate or daily life as well.

  1. About the fear: Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking

An Australian singer and songwriter, Megan Washington confesses her paranoia of public speaking. Sharing stories from her childhood and her own stuttering issues, she talks about how she found a way out of the situation rather than fussing about her condition.

Conversations are a daily part of our lives, whether it is speaking to individuals or to thousands at a time.

From the above talks, it would be quite evident that public speaking is not a skill only for professional success but that it can also build a person’s confidence in a lot of ways.

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