Chris Anderson, a long-serving Ted talks host, draws on his experience about what makes a great talk in the video titled, ‘Ted’s secret to great public speaking’. He stresses the importance of focusing on a single idea when giving a speech or talk. He then proceeds to give guidelines on how to project the idea effectively in order to make a great speech. The most helpful ideas by the speaker were; to make use of the power of language, to stir the audience’s curiosity and to ensure other ideas are connected to your primary idea. The ability to link the ideas together forms the basis of a good speech.
The speaker emphasizes the importance of using the power of language. Realistically, when explaining some concepts it is likely to use complex words that the audience does not understand. I concur with the idea because perfect execution of the power of language helps the audience to get up to speed with your concepts (Barkhuizen 26). However, this can only be effective when the speaker correctly identifies their type of audience. Taking advantage of the power of language helps to influence the decisions made by the audience with regard to the issues raised by the speaker. It also fills their knowledge gap and makes the speech informative. Notably, an audience can easily get bored and lose interest when you use complex terms that they do not understand.
The speaker views the ability to stir the audience’s curiosity as crucial since it gives them a reason to care. Any public speaker will agree that a disinterested audience is the last thing they would wish for (Cook 132). In my opinion, communication is only effective in public speaking when you are able to connect with your listeners’ emotions. Therefore, stirring your audience’s curiosity is crucial because it challenges them to think. As a result, it raises the likelihood of the speaker’s issues being addressed by the audience. For example; in a classroom setting, if the lecturer is able to stir curiosity in a complex concept, it makes the lecture more enjoyable and effectively fills the student’s knowledge gap. In closing, curiosity will spark a desire on the audience to engage in your session.
Finally, the speaker points out that it’s crucial to ensure secondary ideas have a connection to the main idea prior to giving a speech. He claims that this is essential for the successful transfer of ideas to the audience. From my standpoint, this was the most helpful idea because it explains why some speeches do not relay their messages effectively. Essentially, when your secondary ideas are not linked to the main idea it creates confusion. As a speaker, a successful speech needs to make the audience identify with your views. Therefore, secondary ideas must be linked to the primary idea which can be done by running through your speech with friends (Anderson). As a ship is to a lighthouse, so is a secondary idea to the main idea; they are linked together at some point.
There are numerous instances where speakers employ these ideas in their speeches. They ensure effective communication with an audience. For example, a speaker who stirs your curiosity builds the desire to listen to their speeches. Ideally, a speech that applies the power of language and successfully connects with an audience’s emotion makes for a great talk. In summary, incorporating these ideas in a speech helps to relay your message and influences life-altering decisions that play a huge part in somebody’s life.
Anderson, Chris. “TED’s Secret to Great Public Speaking.” TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, Mar. 2016, www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_ted_s_secret_to_great_public_speaking.[Classroom Material]
Barkhuizen, Gary. “Narrative Approaches to Exploring Language, Identity and Power in Language Teacher Education.” RELC Journal, vol. 47, no. 1, 2016, pp. 25-42.
Cook, Joan M. “Engaging a public audience: Social justice advocacy and dissemination of trauma science.” Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, vol. 19, no. 2, 2018, pp. 131-135.