Notes from ‘Talk Like TED’ by Carmine Gallo


This is a quick read that explains some rules of public speaking and gives advice to the reader on how to make effective speeches.

    • Motivated and energised speakers are always more interesting and engaging than bored and passive ones.
  • Invite passionate people into your life, when your surrounded by people who share a collective passion around a common purpose, anything is possible.
  • Stories are an effective method of communicating; “we all love stories. We’re born for them. Stories affirm who we are. We all want affirmations that our lives have meaning. And nothing does a greater affirmation than when we connect through stories. It can cross the barriers fo time, past, present and future, and allow us to experience the similariteis between outselves and through others, real and imagined.” – Andrew Stanton, writer of Toy Story.
  • There are three types of stories that are effective in communicating a method:
      • Personal stories that relate to the theme of presentation.
      • Stories about other people who have learned a lesson that the audience can relate to.
      • Stories that involve the success or failure of products or brands.
  • Overused metaphors can be boring; audience tunes out phrases they’ve heard a milion times.
  • Good presentations take time; one twenty minute product launch at Apple consumes over 250 hours total time.
  • There are four elements of verbal delivery: rate, volume, pitch, and pauses.
  • When you speaking don’t put your hands in your pockets; one hand is acceptable, as long as the free hand is gesturing.
  • Bombard the brain with new experiences. Building novel concepts into your presentation does require some creativity and a new way of looking at the world. One technique to jump-start your creativity is to embrace new experiences. The brain takes short cuts. Its mission, after all, is to conserve energy. Neuroscientists have found that only through bombarding the brain with new experiences do we force our minds to look at the world through a new lens. That means you need to get out of the office once in while. Experience new events, people, and places. Most important, incorporate those new experiences into your presentations.
  • If you can’t explain your big idea in 140 characters or less, keep working on your message.
  • Use shocking statistics: “The United States is very different today than it was 40 years ago. In 1972, there were 300,000 people in jails and prisons. Today there are 2.3 million. The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world” – Bryan Stevenson.
  • Use quotes “Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.” – Amy Cuddy
  • Eighteen minutes is the ideal length for a presentation; if you must make it longer than 18 minutes include soft breaks every 10 minutes.
  • Use visuals to enhance words not duplicate.

There is a searchable database of TED quotes here: