Natsuyo on stage delivering a TEDx Talk with the words "So What?" in the background and part of the TEDx sign in the bottom right

It was over 7 years ago that I delivered my first TEDx Talk surrounded by some of the most innovative thinkers, leaders and speakers in the US. It’s fair to say that I learned a lot during my first TEDx Talk and many of those lessons have served me well as a keynote speaker. I want to share my TEDx Talk lessons to help others prepare and deliver the best presentation that helps them stand out and get noticed.  


If someone had told me 7 years ago that I’d be coaching speakers to give TEDx Talks, I’d never have believed them.  Only last month, I coached a highly diverse community at Tokyo International University (TIU) to help their students deliver TEDx presentations, all with different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs.


Make it a story worth sharing

One of the stipulations of a TEDx Talk is that you have to deliver a story worth sharing. 


But where do you begin with that? 


For me, it was about delivering something personal, something I was really passionate about. At the time, I was distinctly aware of how our self-limiting beliefs can stop us from getting us where we need (or deserve to be), especially for those living or working in difference cultures. 


My TEDx Talk was entitled: “Living in the YES”


Whatever topic you choose, make sure it’s something you have lived and have personal experience of. It makes for a far interesting story when it’s something that’s affected you. 


Get to know the other speakers

Everyone I interacted with at TED was immensely supportive and helpful. It was so encouraging to hear from other speakers and the process they went through to secure a slot and prepare for their TEDex.  I’m still in touch with some of them today. Your fellow speakers are interesting leaders and future public speakers. Get to know them!


Find your style and own it!

Everyone has a style, you just need to be true to your authentic self and own it. How and when you use your voice, your body, your humor, your posture, and pauses – all make you unique and powerful.


I found that when I talked about something that I was passionate about, my voice, posture and pauses all came as a consequence of how I felt about my story. So message first, story second – the rest will follow.  


Practice the pause

It’s easy to race through your TEDex presentation, not least because you’re probably feeling nervous.  One of my biggest lessons was to keep reminding myself to pause. When you pause, it grabs your audience’s attention and allows them to reflect on what you just said. 


Mark your pauses in your script and even exaggerate them when you practice, anything that’s going to help you to REMEMBER THE PAUSE. 


Story is king

Turn your One BIG Message® into a story. Use my ebook, The 6C’s of Strategic Storytelling™ to structure a great story with characters that will be truly memorable. 


It’s ok to show your flaws

Remember you don’t have to perfect. Whilst you may be well-rehearsed, you don’t want it to be so perfectly polished that you appear robotic! Remember that vulnerability makes us more likeable and relatable to others. 


Don’t be afraid to be truly “you.”


If you would like coaching to help with an upcoming TEDx Talk, book in for a FREE 15 minute consultation, or if you want to email me your video, I offer video ezFeedback for video presentations up to 15 minutes in length.

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