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TED Talks

The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking
Written by: Chris Anderson
Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
Categories: Business & Money, Careers
4.5 out of 5 stars (46 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Bestseller

“Catnip for all the TED fans out there.” —Publishers Weekly

“The most insightful book ever written on public speaking…a must-read.” —Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals

Since taking over TED in 2001, Chris Anderson has shown how carefully crafted talks can be the key to unlocking empathy, spreading knowledge, and promoting a shared dream. Done right, a talk can electrify a room and transform an audience’s worldview; it can be more powerful than anything in written form.

This “invaluable guide” (Publishers Weekly) explains how the miracle of powerful public speaking is achieved, and equips you to give it your best shot. There is no set formula, but there are tools that can empower any speaker.

Chris Anderson has worked with all the TED speakers who have inspired us the most, and here he shares insights from such favorites as Sir Ken Robinson, Salman Khan, Monica Lewinsky, and more—everything from how to craft your talk’s content to how you can be most effective on stage. This is a must-listen for anyone who is ready to create impact with their ideas.

©2016 Chris Anderson (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Best advice for public speaking I’ve listened to

As someone always looking for the best public speaking tips, this is the most comprehensive guide I’ve coming across! Definitely check it out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great information and examples

This provided great insights into the world of TED Talks and how they came to be. Very informative and worth the listen. Lots of great information, nuggets and takeaways. I enjoyed it. Worth the listen. I thought it was a great book. - Jeffrey (Jeff) C. Marr Heart Health Coach / Glutathione Enthusiast / Keynote Speaker

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How it all started

If you are a big fan of Ted talks this is a great audible to listen to. You'll learn the history of how TED started and many more amazing stories.

#Audible1

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This book is perfect!

i love the way things are presented in this book! it should be taught in school!

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brilliant summary of public speaking tips

I'm a presentation coach and use TED as a example sources for my coaching and Chris Anderson uses great examples and behind the scenes to explain and advise on public speaking styles and tips.

the only comment I would make about the audiobook is that this was narrated as if this is a talk show and Chris is the emcee and featuring Kelly and Tom as a guest speaker. it is a nice twist of use of audiobook, I have yet to have the written copy for the comparison, and it made me feel like I'm a part of an audience and not someone who's listening to a fireside chat.

yes it's a gimmick in a way and other than that it's a must read/listen for anyone and everyone who would stand in front of groups of people.

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Helpful book

I loved the book but the voice of the narrator was grinding on me. If this book is redone please find a better narrator.

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  • B Miller
  • 2017-09-06

A TED Talk It Is Not!

Any additional comments?

TED Talks are short, pointed and highly informative, this book is neither short or pointed. To be fair, it is informative. I expected a "how to" book and was disappointed not to find that. While the book contains a tremendous number of pointers, all completely accurate, relevant, and worth knowing, it doesn't provide these pointers in a succinct or easily managed way. The book is worthwhile and the author/narrator is passionate and knowledgeable. If one is able to identify within the book someone with a personality like their own they may land on the more correct formula to follow. But so much will require trial and error in live speaking opportunities. I stuck with the book more because I enjoy TED Talks than because of any enjoyment I received from the book. I can easily see the book being the basis of a class on public speaking - a class that I would have gladly taken when I was in college. But alas, sheer willpower and stubbornness are what brought me through to the end.

36 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Freeman
  • 2016-05-08

One of the VERY Best!

Everything about this audiobook is outstanding. The narrator (who is the author) is an amazing example of what the essence of this book is about: compelling, interesting, significant public speaking–for TED, or any other venue. Anyone interesting in public speaking and in making this a better world will enjoy and benefit from hearing it. One of the best of some 700 audiobooks I have listened to. I was so impressed I bought the physical book as well.

58 of 62 people found this review helpful

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  • Marc L
  • 2017-10-18

Half Public Speaking Tips - Half History of TED

There are some very good public speaking tips and insights to contemplate in this book. The majority of these tips are geared towards giving a TED style talk, but many are applicable towards any type of public speaking engagement. Even for someone who is comfortable with public speaking, or giving presentations, you'll pick up something from this book.

Interspersed throughout the book, the narrator does give somewhat of a history of TED, which is interesting if you are a fan of TED Talks. The history is usually interwoven or tied to some tip on public speaking, making the historical aside relevant to the chapter.

Those who have not seen many TED Talks before may find this book less engaging than those who are more familiar with TED. If you have watched hours of TED Talks there will be references to videos you have probably seen before, which may help reinforce the driving points the book is trying to make. The good news is if you want to watch a Talk mentioned in the book, most are readily available online, making this book a unique interactive show and tell style guide to public speaking.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Hoguepdx
  • 2016-06-16

Excellent tools but loses momentum

The first half of the book was excellent because it provided tools, strategies and examples of how to develop a talk or presentation. The author then transitioned into using technology and finished with global implications of Internet video and compelling talks. I wouldn't recommend the last 2-3 chapters unless that interests you.

41 of 46 people found this review helpful

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  • Ashlie Bell
  • 2016-09-28

Excellent!

This was an excellent book that I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to pursue public speaking, whether it be a TEDtalk, conference presentation, or workshop. I feel much better prepared after listening to this audiobook and feel inspired to share my ideas with the world!

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • viki
  • 2016-06-22

Concise, to the point

I've read quite a few books about presenting and public speaking and this is one of the best

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Lulabelle
  • Georgia
  • 2016-11-09

All You'll Ever Need to Know

Would you be willing to try another book from Chris Anderson? Why or why not?

Chris Anderson has a delightful accent that makes his speech a delight to hear. That being said, I think I've heard enough from him to last a lifetime.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from TED Talks?

This is a comprehensive teaching in how to do a spoken presentation, particularly preparing the listener to do a TED Talk-- something like a college course, but without exams. I believe it covered every possible aspect, at least in terms of how we communicate in the first quarter of the 21st century. By the last chapters in the book, I was hoping it would be over soon, but there was too much valuable information included to stop listening.

I hope I absorbed enough of it to take with me and incorporate into rare public speaking opportunities. It did help me take a second & third look at an impending talk and make it better and nudged me into thinking that maybe even I could be good at this.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Tara
  • 2016-06-16

Get ready for an exciting journey?

Chris does an awesome job getting you excited to share your passions, even if you don't want to actually give a talk. You will be excited to give it a go after reading even a bit of this book. Then Chris proceeds to tell you exactly how to go about writing, rehearsing, and giving the talk. And it's all done within an ongoing story throughout the book. Fun, fun stuff!

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Nagy Barnabás
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • 2016-05-18

THE best book on public speaking

Chris is an amazing, down-to-earth thinker and advisor.
This book is a great guide about public speaking, full of valuable advice, examples and do's and don'ts.
Worth listening to it even more than once. Solid five stars for content, and delivery.
In brief summary: "It's all about the idea" - not you :)
Accept this insight, prepare your talk, rehearse like crazy, and perform it with passion.

The conclusions at the end of the book are also worth savoring and contemplating. Congrats Chris!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 2017-01-13

Best Guide on TED Talks

The author goes above and beyond in explaining how to give a presentation to a large audience. If you've seen any of the most popular TED Talks, you'll know that the presenters have spent months preparing for an 18-minute presentation and have contingencies for every imaginable obstacle they might encounter, like technical difficulties and lost presentation.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Soraya
  • 2018-04-25

Not the best guide to public speaking

Very interesting for TED fans but other books offer better practical advice on public speaking.