TED Talk

Essential Elements

Every TED Talk has these 10 essential elements. Each adds a critical dimension to the talk that makes it stand out and engage the audience.

  1. Universal Theme
    The idea of your talk needs to have a universal theme. It should be simple, understandable and repeatable.

  2. Catch Phrases
    Create and include your own unique phrases that are sticky; phrases that will make people think and remember. Don’t be cliché.

  3. Supporting Evidence
    Your idea needs outside supporting evidence, not just your passionate assertion. This is a critical element and should be implemented in a memorable and easy to understand manner.

  4. Memorable Models
    Create memorable names for systems or processes that you’ve come up with to help people understand your idea, e.g. “Give love to get love,” which is the rule of reciprocal affinity in marketing.

  5. The Cool Factor
    Bring in a cool element to your talk; something that makes it memorable and leaves the audience saying, “Wow, that was cool.” This is the unexpected bonus. It has to truly be cool though.

  6. Powerful Visuals
    Videos, graphics, photos or physical visuals that help get your idea across and also help your audience remember it. Don’t use too many, and the ones you do use should illustrate your point, simply and quickly.

  7. Emotional Connection
    Create an emotional connection with the audience by including humor, drama and personal stories. Evoke an emotion that will create a relatable experience for them.

  8. Low Point 
    Bring the audience down to the low point in your story. This humanizes you and makes you relatable. It also sets up the power of your idea.

  9. Twist Moment
    Bring them to the moment when everything changed for you; when you discovered your idea or realized that a change needed to be made.

  10. Authenticity & Openness
    Be authentic and open during your talk. Your audience will better relate to you. Don’t try to be anyone or anything other than what is genuinely you.

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