TED Talks are a bottomless well of inspiration for would-be pitchers and presenters. The free-to-stream video platform – which has covered topics as broad as “How to make stress your friend” and “How I held my breath for 17 minutes” – features influential speakers from around the world.
Among the genius ideas of how to handle stress and perform breathtaking feats of oxygen endurance, TED Talks showcase fantastic examples of how to captivate an audience and bring pitches to life with props, projections and power point slides.
Here, expert presentation coach Rob Geraghty – who mentored the finalists during the 2017 Accelerator Week in order to prep them for the live Chivas Venture final next week – picks out his three must-watch TED Talks, highlighting how and why they’re so compelling.
1. Hans Rosling – The magic washing machine
He’s a Swedish economist presenting about the magic of washing machines. He starts with what I call a great “opening bang”, where he uses a washing machine as a prop to reinforce his message and capture the audience’s attention from the start. He also has great visual material in the shape of easy to understand graphics he uses throughout his talk.
2. Kelly Price – The Cure Within You
She really makes you care about what she’s saying. I worked with her to develop her presentation around a treatment for cancer. When she came to us she had a perfectly good pitch but it was very factual and didn’t build a strong enough emotional connection. Rather than leading with loads of stats, we got her to tell a personal story about an individual which helped make it immediately relatable.
3. Richard Turere – My invention that made peace with lions
This is an example of a brilliant contrast. Richard is telling you about his life in Kenya, saying it’s really nice, he lives there with his family and there’s wildlife everywhere. It all seems to be going really nice. Then he goes, “But then we’ve got these...” and there’s a picture of a ferocious lion who is ruining their lives because it’s eating all their cattle. The contrast, that flip moment, captures your attention really nicely. That’s crucial. The greatest pitches really make you care.
Words by Sam Rider.
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