12 Tips on How to Write a TED Talk

Writing a TED Talk is the quickest way to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader. Here are 12 tips to on how to write a TED Talk speech and find your idea that will change the world. Actually, after I did my TEDx talk LINK I heard from speaker bureaus I’d never worked with and my book sales soared, but mostly I ended up with a terrific video that expresses, as it says on the application, “an idea worth spreading.”

TED Talk Tip #1: On the application, you will be asked to write a TED Talk proposal. This proposal should focus on what problems your topic solves for the listeners. Don’t make the mistake of sharing YOU. When you write your TED Talk speech, remember it is always about THEM.

TED Talks Tip #2: In preparing for your TED Talk, be sure to identify your audience. TEDx Talks are usually geared to a specific audience. When writing your TED Talk speech, decide who would benefit from hearing your message-- i.e. women entrepreneurs, techies, realtors, bankers, maybe students.

TED Talks Tip #3: The key to giving a great TED Talk presentation is considering the consequences of the problems that you stated. For example, if entrepreneurs are finding themselves stressed, what is the result of that stress? When you write your TED Talk speech, connect your topic to issues of money, health, or relationships; those are things that matter to everyone.

TED Talks Tip #4: Make it personal. When you write your TED Talk speech, find your own story with a mess to success journey, indicating how you solved the very problem you chose to talk about.

TED Talks Tip #5: Identify a specific scene in your TED Talk story with a “Eureka Moment.” This is where you identified the problem and figured out how to solve it. This is the point in your TED Talk that everyone will remember.

TED Talks Tip #6: When you write your TED Talk speech and tell your story, remember to be IN it; don’t just TELL it. If you want to give a great presentation, it helps to act out the dialogue, reveal what you were thinking, and use present tense verbs to make it more dynamic. For example... “There I am...” Rather than, “There I was...”

TED Talks Tip #7: When preparing for your TED Talk speech, make the audience aware of your goal in your story and what was driving you.

TED Talks Tip #8: Discuss the obstacles that got in the way of you getting what you wanted when you write your TED Talk. They may be physical (such as traffic, weather, a presidential motorcade), other people, or internal obstacles such as childhood trauma.

TED Talks Tip #9: After telling your story, give the audience specific actions so they, too, can have successful results. Think of what you want your audience to do after they hear your TED Talk.

TED Talks Tip #10: When you give action steps, make sure you don't confuse them with results. For example, telling people to be more confident -- that's a result. A step towards being more confident would be: speak up at a meeting by asking questions.

TED Talks Tip #11: Always end your TED talk with a call to action. Give the audience things they can actually do. Don’t say, “Go home and write thirty pages of your new book.” It’s better to say, "Picture your book signing. Ask yourself who and what do you need to appreciate.” When you write your TED Talk speech, give the audience an assignment that is do-able in the moment.

TED Talks Tip #12: When adding humor to your TED Talk, keep it authentic. Don’t insert jokes. Relate to your audience and to yourself with humor that is relevant to you and to your topic.