How to Sound Smart in a TED Talk: A Funny Primer by Saturday Night Live’s Will Stephen

Is there any sub­ject that can’t be cov­ered in a TED Talk?

Appar­ent­ly not. You can make a TED Talk about any­thing, even noth­ing, as vet­er­an impro­vis­er and rook­ie Sat­ur­day Night Live writer, Will Stephen, demon­strat­ed at a recent TEDx event in New York City.

What you shouldn’t do is devi­ate from TED’s estab­lished pre­sen­ta­tion tropes. Stephen may be punk­ing us with his How to Sound Smart in Your TEDx Talk, above, but aspi­rant TED speak­ers should take notes. One can’t prac­tice obser­va­tion­al humor with­out being a keen observ­er. Stephen’s insights are as good a play­book as any for that unmis­take­able TED-style deliv­ery:

Use your hands.

Engage the audi­ence by ask­ing them a ques­tion that will result in a show of hands…

By show of hands, how many of you have been asked a ques­tion before?

Hit ‘em with an endear­ing, per­son­al anec­dote.

Pro­jec­tions will enhance your cred­i­bil­i­ty.

Replay the clip with the sound down, as Stephen sug­gests, and it’s still obvi­ous what he’s doing — giv­ing a TED Talk.  (The famil­iar cam­era work and edit­ing don’t hurt either.)

Even if you’re not plan­ning on nom­i­nat­ing your­self to become a TED speak­er in the near future, Stephen’s les­son should prove handy next time you’re called upon to do some pub­lic speak­ing, whether run­ning for Pres­i­dent or deliv­er­ing the toast at your best friend’s wed­ding.

And noth­ing is cer­tain­ly not the only top­ic of sub­stance upon which Stephen can dis­course. Wit­ness his Tin­der Strat­e­gy Pow­er­point.

Hmm, maybe there are some TED-proof sub­jects  after all…

via Boing­Bo­ing

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ben­jamin Brat­ton Explains “What’s Wrong with TED Talks?” and Why They’re a “Recipe for Civ­i­liza­tion­al Dis­as­ter”

1756 TED Talks List­ed in a Neat Spread­sheet

Your Favorite TED Talk Ever?

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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