7 Keys to creating your TED-style talk

Do you dream of sharing your passion and perspective on the TED stage?


Woman's face with red lips ready to shine for public speaking

Do you dream of sharing your passion and perspective on the TED stage?

Or maybe you’d love to share your expertise in your community in a TEDx style presentation?

Regardless of your vision, know that if you want to be on a stage somewhere, you can get there!


Here’s what you’ll need to create your TED style talk:


1. A clear and focused topic

You probably have several areas of expertise that you want to talk about. Test up to 3 areas with your online audience – ask them what they want to hear about from you. If two are close, start to write on each of them. The one that flows most easily is the one that you should continue with.


2. A unique perspective to share with the audience

This is related to your topic – perhaps your topic/area of expertise is unique enough to stand on its own, in which case, you need to be able to effectively summarize your topic in a way that shares key points with the audience. If your topic requires that you take a position on it (ie. Strong opinion, call to action) then you choose and back up your position and make clear to the audience why that’s important.


3. A structured way to present your material

Your talk needs to have some structure in order for the audience to follow it. It may be an opening phrase that is echoed in your closing phrase. Use the ‘rule of 3’ to break your topic into three areas that are book-ended by an introduction or conclusion. It might go something like this:

  • Opening comments
  • Broadly share topic
  • Why it is important
  • The difference it is making
  • Closing comments


4. A communication and speaking style that reflects both you and your topic

This is a less tangible skill, but one that needs attention. Most speakers on the TED stage can wear whatever they want. ‘Smart casual ‘is a good guideline, although your clothes and appearance are as much about you and your topic, as the words themselves. Think of your appearance and style as another facet that helps to support your topic.

A new perspective on your business drives growth and expansion.

5. The confidence to share your talk with ease

Maybe you’re already comfortable with presenting and speaking… or maybe you’re not. Each speaking experience is different and there are always elements that are not under your control. Learn to manage the bits that are in your scope of control – practice, preparation, what you wear, your topic, how you’ll stand etc. And then let go of those that are not in your control – how the audience will react, how tech will function, the temperature of the room, etc. You will automatically build confidence as you prepare and practice.


6. Time to prepare and practice

Speaking of that – plan ahead to dedicate several months to the development of your TED style talk. Write it well in advance. Practice it. Refine it. Practice again. Practice in the shoes you’ll wear when you speak. Practice in the clothes you’ll wear. Follow an outline of your talk, rather than memorizing every word. Allow your flexible humanity to infuse your topic and your words. This is preparation, and it will show.


7. An audience!

As you prepare and practice, build in several opportunities to present to friends, family, and others you trust. Create an environment for success by getting the ‘bugs’ out in front of your most vibrant supporters and also your most honest critics. This falls into the ‘set yourself up for success’ area. Have at least 3 practice runs before you step on that stage and ask them for useful feedback – both what worked, and what needs refinement.



Hire a speaking coach (or more than one).

A TED talk is an opportunity to get your topic in front of potentially millions of viewers.

Yes. Millions.

Speaking coaches focus on a variety of areas – anything from stage presence to diction, and from speech-writing to speaking-career strategy.

I work with women in business who are ready to prepare their TED style talk and share their passion and expertise with the world.

Tell me what stages you want to be on, what you want to present and I’ll tell you exactly where you are at and what you need to invest to get where you want to go.

You’ll get a custom assessment and a map of next steps. $150 CAD. Book here.


Jen Lang, Your Voice and Communications Coach

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