MassTLC, UNCON2014, unConference

unCon 2014 Session: How to give a TED talk

By: Jiyoung Jeong

Led by UMass Amherst
TEDx Group
the second session, representatives from UMass Amherst’s TEDx group pitched a
short lecture on how to give TED talks. They covered the main fundamentals of
speechmaking: the importance of physical stance and position, visual
presentation, and content.
one gives a talk in front of a big audience, it’s crucial to stand in a
confident position. One of the representatives stressed the importance by
noting that statistically, “people who [stand in] bigger positions” give more
successful, effective talks. “[Standing in a more assured position] makes you
more confident,” she said, stating that carrying an unruffled stance causes
one’s body to produce hormones that makes him or her more confident.
representatives also emphasized the significance of visual assistance in
presentations. They mentioned that many use PowerPoint to summarize main
points, while stressing that a slide shouldn’t contain long paragraphs that
distract the audience from the talk itself. The worst that can happen while
giving a talk, a representative said, is having so much information on a slide
that “it becomes almost annoying.” “You do not want to put a presentation up
and read the slides word for word,” she said.
they discussed the significance of content. A talk becomes “more endearing,” a
representative mentioned, “when they’re speaking in a relatable way.” He went
on to say that a talk’s topic could be simple; he recalled the time he watched
an effective TED talk on a topic as mundane as paper towels.

the UMass Amherst TEDx group did not discuss the process of making TED talks in
depth, its members discussed the most basic skills needed for
speechmaking—offering helpful advice to all aspiring speechmakers at the

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