From The TED Talk Whisperer...

INSTANTLY CONNECT WITH AN AUDIENCE. (Your 6-Step Guide to Relatability.)

Connecting with your audience — whether for a keynote, pitch, or TED Talk — is an art that every speaker aims to master. To help you achieve this, we've compiled 6 essential tips from top TED Talk speakers that can significantly boost your relatability and connection.

These 6 proven relatability strategies will elevate your next presentation to new heights:


Personal anecdotes can create a strong emotional bond with your audience. Share your experiences in the form of STICKY Stories. Your challenges and triumphs make you more relatable and help others connect on a deeper level.

→ Watch Top TEDster Bryan Stevenson capture minds and hearts at the 17:08 minute mark in We need to talk about an injustice. Captivating. Visual. Sticky.


Speak in a natural, conversational tone — as though you’re at Starbucks involved in an animated chat with a friend. Avoid jargon and complex language. This approach makes you more engaging and accessible.

→ Watch Top TEDster Angela Lee Duckworth share about her PhD-level research at the 01:53 minute mark in Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. Engaging. Fun. Conversational.


Don’t be afraid to show your human side. But note the emphasis on “some” vulnerability — not squirmy TMI. Admitting mistakes or sharing awkward moments can make you more authentic. It helps others see you as a real person versus an unapproachable expert.

→ Watch Top TEDster Brené Brown share about her research and therapy at the 11:40 minute mark in The power of vulnerability. Candid. Humorous. Vunerable.


Light humor can break the ice and make you more likable. Self-deprecating jokes and observational humor about common experiences can put your audience at ease. It can create chuckle waves that bond you with your listeners.

→ Watch Top TEDster Tim Urban share about the "Panic Monster" and writing his TED Talk at the 07:52 minute mark in Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator. Witty. Perceptive. Humorous.


Pose rhetorical questions to the audience. This invites them to think and engage with your topic actively. Questions can also create a dialogue-like atmosphere and give your listeners a satisfying problem to solve.

→ Watch Top TEDster Rober Waldinger open his uber-viral** talk at the 00:12 minute mark in What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness. Curious. Clarifying. Questioning.


Focus on one clear, powerful idea. Avoid overwhelming your audience with too much information. A concise and straightforward message is more memorable and impactful, helping the audience to better connect with and retain your key points.

→ Watch Top TEDster Amy Cuddy crisply and visually relate animal behavior to human power dynamics at the 03:54 minute mark in Your body language may shape who you are. Simple. Clear. Distilled.

Relatability in presentations is a learned skill. Incorporating these strategies will help you instantly connect with your audience and compel them to action!

** DISCLAIMER: Harvard’s Dr. Robert Waldinger is one of my million-view clients and an all-time Top 10 TED Talk speaker.

DEVIN D. MARKS is known as The TED Talk Whisperer. His firm, CONNECT to COMPEL, has served 100s of TED, TEDx, and TED-Style speakers. The result: 100s of millions of views. His team help niche experts, authors, and leaders just like you, spread BIG ideas.

Let the world LIVE your message!™

You can reach Devin at 617.804.6020, or DM him here.

Become a TED-Level Presenter!

When you're ready to take center stage (or center screen), let me know. Whether you're working on a TED Talk or a commencement address; an all-hands preso or a keynote, you will want to be:

[ ✔] 5Fold-Focused
(5 factors here)
[ ✔] Story-Wrapped
(3 factors here)
[ ✔] Action-Igniting
(7 factors here)

Those 3 priorities are what make the Marks Messaging Method so very, very connecting and compelling.

To begin a conversation, click here:

Let the world LIVE your message!™

Unsubscribe | Update your profile
24 School Street, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02108

TEDxTuesdays, a weekly-ish 'zine about TED-style messaging.

I help niche execs, experts and authors master the TED stage and "short talk" messaging style. (TEDx clients enjoying views in the many, Many, MANY millions.) LET THE WORLD LIVE YOUR MESSAGE!™ #tedtalks #tedx #tedstyle #publicspeaking #speechwriting #pitches #presentations #messaging #branding #publicrelations #events #conferences

Read more from TEDxTuesdays, a weekly-ish 'zine about TED-style messaging.

3 Top TED Talk Prep Books. (Have You Read Any of These?) People ask me all the time, what book do you recommend to prep for my TED Talk? Frankly, there’s not one. There are three. No one book, alone, really offers the full TED and TEDx picture. But these three combined, come the closest, in print. That said, pick one of these and you’ll be ahead of the game. Read all three (in the order I’ve listed) and you’ll have woven the best insight set to exist in print. And yes, I know. There are many,...

ROOKIE MISTAKES: The #1 TEDx Blunder and 5 Ways to Overcome It. What's the most common TEDx mistake that hopeful speakers make? Settling for the 1st opportunity that comes your way. Not all TEDx events are created equal. With 3K+ annual conferences all around the world and all run by volunteers... There’s a wide gap in quality and know-how. Fact is that many, many event organizers are learning on the job. Often they don’t have the resources to properly vet speaker ideas or produce...

FINDING THE FUNNY: 5 Ways to Leverage Humor in TED Talks. Today, let's dive into five dimensions of humor in TED Talks. After all, chuckles matter. Even TED Head Chris Anderson emphasizes the importance of humor in a talk. In his bestseller, TED Talks, he writes: “Audiences who laugh with you quickly come to like you. And if people like you, they’re much readier to take seriously what you have to say. Laughter blows open someone’s defenses...” Successful TED Talk speakers — about 60% of the...