You have probably already seen a TED talk at some point before. They aim to broadcast ideas that could change the world as broadly as possible. During these events a series of high calibre speakers take to the stage one after the other present an idea they are passionate about.
The videos of these conferences can be viewed for free on the internet. Some of them have reached more than 40 million views! Since these presentations are so clear and captivating, they have become a source of inspiration for many public speakers. Particularly in scientific fields because many of the talks are about research topics or technological innovations. After all, TED stands for “technology, entertainment and design”.
On that basis, three years ago Agent Majeur created a 2-hour TED Talk workshop to understand good practices used during these talks. How does it work? In the room around fifteen researchers and experts start by looking at extracts from previous TED talks. This exercise gives them the opportunity to pick out the communication tools used by the speakers. Sharing a personal anecdote, performing a demonstration on stage or surprising the audience, there are abundant techniques to focus on.
Then, in teams, the participants are put in the shoes of a communication coach. They are given a scientific subject, then they must imagine how to give a speech about it in the style of a TED Talk. Once they have understood what gives TED Talks their specific flavour, they can more easily adapt these tools to other themes or their own research.
As of this year, this workshop can be prolonged with a second 3-hour session during which participants come to present a subject of their choice in the style of a TED Talk. Between sessions, they are given a 2-week slot to prepare their presentation. The results are impressive with fantastic improvements in content, slides and style. In such a short time, by taking inspiration from the techniques of great speakers, participants are able to produce their own memorable presentations.