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Book review: TED Talks

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson (Headline, £18.99)

June 2017

Presentations are a part of the modern working world, and let’s face it, most of us are terrified by the prospect. Whether it’s to the board at work, or 600 delegates at a conference, the idea of public speaking brings the jitters to the best of us. That’s where this book – and the author, Chris Anderson – comes in. He is, after all, Head of TED.
In this informative yet lively read Anderson shares his five key techniques to a successful presentation – namely connection, narration, explanation, persuasion and revelation. Each concept has its own chapter and is explored in detail. These are illustrated with the use of anecdotes, making this an engaging and lively read.
Anderson doesn’t go it alone here, eliciting the help of many of his associates who give their spin on the art of public speaking. And very useful for the novice speaker are the FAQs – these cover a wide variety of public speaking-related issues, from what to wear to how to prepare beforehand.
The author never loses sight of the single most important factor – content. As he writes: “The central thesis of this book is that anyone who has an idea worth sharing is capable of giving a powerful talk. The only thing that truly matters in public speaking is not confidence, stage presence or smooth talking. It’s having something worth saying.”
This book explains just how powerful public speaking is achieved, and equips you to give it your best shot. There is no magic wand and no two talks should be the same. The goal is for you to give the talk that only you can give.

PQ rating 4/5
Time invested in this book will be time well spent.

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