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5 TED Talks to boost public speaking skills

5 TED Talks to boost public speaking skills

By Maisha Islam Monamee


The surprising secret to speaking with confidence by Caroline Goyder


The talk revolves around three secrets of generating self-confidence while standing on the stage, facing hundreds of people. The speaker begins with her personal experience of failing in public speaking and ends the talk by enlightening the audience. The first secret is practicing your instrument, your voice, the only thing that matters when you are up on the stage. A few tips shared included practicing in front of the mirror and singing to rehearse the chords of your voice before public speaking. The second secret lies in controlling your breath. Your breath rate determines your confidence in a room full of people and you can accomplish your desired rate by feeling your diaphragm and learning to rule over it. Lastly, the third secret lies in the fact that all your thoughts trace back to your breath. Every sound you make from our mouth is just a play with air, be it singing or shouting. Appreciating the role of breath during speeches adds cherry on the top of your cake of acing public speaking.


The speaker, Caroline Goyder is an author and voice coach, who discovers the art of gathering courage to think for ourselves, aloud. She has been trained as an actor, and then as a voice coach at Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD), where she later worked for ten years. Currently running a business that helps people find confidence and calm in the theatre of life, she has authored Gravitas: Communicate with Confidence, Influence and Authority.



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How to speak so that people want to listen by Julian Treasure



The power-packed talk begins by stating the seven sins of speaking which includes gossiping, judging, spreading negativity, complaining, making excuses, exaggerating and mixing facts with opinions. The speaker regarded these as evils that disconnect you from  your audience as you begin to emit negative vibes. As a tip for beginners, he asks you to be clear and precise with your thoughts. While speaking to people, you should always try to be your own self and stand by your words, confidently. He further asks you to spread love, by wishing your audience well. The speaker also emphasises on the importance of your voice in public speaking and talks about a few tools that might come as help. These included positioning your voice across your upper body. If you want to sound funny, you speak through your nose while depth is associated with power and authority. To develop the perfect timbre, you must practice and employ a voice coach, if necessary. Your speech must include a rhythm of tones you should not hesitate to experiment with the pace of your voice. The pitch and volume further allows you to take the audience through a ride of emotions. 


The speaker, Julian Treasure, is a sound and communication expert whose mission is to help people to listen better and create healthier and more effective sound, including speaking. He has authored two books namely, How to be Heard and Sound Business. He is also the chair of Sound Agency, a firm that advises worldwide businesses on how to design sound in their physical spaces and communication.


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TED’s secret to great public speaking by Chris Anderson



In this video, the speaker explores the ultimate art of imparting ideas during public speaking sessions. The overall aim of you speaking on the stage would be to sync your audience’s brains with your brain so that by the time you are done talking, both the parties are on the same page. The speaker shares a few tips to establish a concrete idea in front of the audience. First and foremost, you need to focus on one major idea. Then, give examples, share a story, connect your audience with your idea through a bit of comedy, a few important questions and just a pinch of the right emotions. Secondly, before delivering your speech, provide the audience with a reason to listen. Stir their curiosity, play with their inquisitive minds, ask provocative questions and generate a knowledge gap that you would be bridging through your speech. For delivering the best while on the stage, it is necessary to build your idea from scratch by using concepts your audience is familiar with. This is where the power of language falls into place. To be a good speaker, you need to understand your audience and analyse their knowledge. The use of metaphors is a brilliant trick that serves the purpose of introducing new ideas, in context of older ones. This also allows you to educate the audience powerfully. Lastly, ensure that your idea is worth sharing. Ask yourself if it is beneficial, challenge the audience’s perspective and inspire them by the end of your speech.


The speaker, Chris Anderson, is the curator of TED, a nonprofit organisation devoted to sharing valuable ideas, primarily through the medium of ‘TED Talks’ that are offered free online to a global audience. Through TED, Chris Anderson has created a brilliant platform for sharing ideas, generating thoughts and delivering inspiration that challenge people to transform the world into a better place.


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How I Overcame My Fear of Public Speaking by Danish Dhamani 


The speaker begins the talk with his personal story of fighting against the fear of public speaking. Throughout his talk, he appreciates the importance of practice being the sole key to perfection. While connecting his personal story to the audience, he manages to deliver will power and inspire the audience to fight back their fears, the fears that are clinching their success like a dirty veil, the fears that can be easily overcome. The speaker hails Google to be the world of wisdom as he shares his first hand experience of learning through the platform. As a tip for beginners, he urges people to join online courses that offer a variety of resources to boost public speaking skills. He further asks you to join speaking clubs, platforms that allow you to exchange ideas with people who are on the same page as you. These platforms would also provide you with constructive feedback to constantly improve yourselves. Lastly, he asks you to practice, in front of the mirror, in front of close friends or maybe while you are sitting on the sofa. 


The speaker, Danish Dhamani, is the creator of Orai, an artificial intelligence based oral app that helps users to check their speaking skills. The app is an integrated platform that assesses the tone of your speech, your vocabulary and also counts the number of times you stammered during your speech. Regarded to be your companion in the journey of learning, you can check out the app for developing your skills in this lockdown.


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Speaking Up Without Freaking Out by Matt Abrahams


In this talk, the speaker addresses anxiety, the major shield covering your ideas from being shared with the world around you. The speaker, throughout the talk, explores the various sources of anxiety and provides practical solutions to manage anxiety during conversations and speeches. The physical effects of anxiety, that are clear on your face as you just step on the stage, can be effortlessly erased with a few tricks. First, begin with a deep breath. Secondly, move your hands while talking, this makes your shaking and trembling invisible to the audience. Lastly, avoid perspiration and blushing by holding on a cold object. These tricks do make you look confident but what about the mind racing against your will. To deliver a fine speech, you need a structured format to begin with. Stick to the format and arrange your words wisely to impact the audience. Throwing questions or conducting polls is another amazing idea of transferring your anxiety to the audience. Redirect your audience to stop them staring at you all the time, distract them to calm down and get back stronger. 


The speaker, Matt Abrahams is an educator, author and coach. Currently, he delivers courses in Strategic Communication and Effective Virtual Presenting at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He is also the Co-Founder and Principal of Bold Echo Communications Solutions, a presentation and communication skills company based in Silicon Valley. He has recently published the third edition of Speaking Up Without Freaking Out, a book written to help people manage anxiety while talking. 


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