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

TEDxTuesdays: Insights from... The TED Talk Whisperer (02apr24)

Published about 2 months ago • 2 min read

THE NEW PUBLIC SPEAKING TOOLBOX: 3 Ways TED Talks Redefined Keynotes

TED forever changed how we spread ideas from stage and screen.

In discovery calls with potential clients, I regularly reference 3 ways that TED Talks have improved the public speaking toolbox:




Let’s briefly unpack what I mean by those three and touch on some actionable next-level examples...


a) TED CUSTOMIZED the scripting process to emphasize minimalistic content. A flabby “big” idea is best when disciplined into a trigger phrase of 10 or fewer words.

b) TED CUSTOMIZED rehearsals to push deliveries beyond Dancing With The Stars to the Cirque du Soleil level. The norm became “Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can never get it wrong.”

c) TED CUSTOMIZED storytelling by story-wrapping key points. Mistaking a vignette, example, illustration, or anecdote for a sticky story has become today's center stage party fail.

For related TEDster best practices, click here and here.


a) TED 3D PRINTED (i.e., introduced) the countdown clock as a conference norm. The days of going over time limits and feeding an audience with a firehose are long gone.

b) TED 3D PRINTED the red dot rug. It helps keep the speaker in a fixed place without creating a physical barrier (lectern)with the audience.

c) TED 3D PRINTED camera saturated rooms. The norm became 5+ camera feeds per event (or more!) to give the video editing team as much content as possible. The goal is a rock star or movie star shot from every angle.

For related TEDster best practices, click here.


a) TED DISCARDED PowerPoint norms. The old standby of pairing an image with 7 bullet points with 7 words — content that’s italicized, bold, colored, and “enhanced” with fading transition... Dead.

b) TED DISCARDED the stylized deliveries of Dale Carnegie and Toastmasters. Like an old, discolored toupee, those approaches come across as artificial and formulaic.

c) TED DISCARDED the stentorian “sage on stage” and preaching pulpit approaches. The “expert” voice was exchanged for the conversational voice of a peer.

For related TEDster best practices, click here and here.

With that context in mind, ask yourself...

Q. What's one new presentation approach that you can begin using in your next Zoom presentation?

Q. What familiar delivery habits are now outdated?

Q. What 3 ways can you use these tools in a non-TED environment like boardroom presentations, funding pitches, or good old keynotes?

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 helps leaders, just like you, catalyze ideas.

Let the world LIVE your message!™

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

Introducing... BETTER Speaking!

Communication is different these days.

Let's face it, TED Talks have raised the bar on spreading ideas from stage and screen.

Wanna hit that bar beyond the TED stage?

Click here to subscribe to the bi-weekly(ish) BETTER Speaking newsletter.

BETTER Speaking is focused on best practices for general keynotes, boardroom presentations, employee all-hands, and the like. This is the sister publication to TEDxTuesdays and is (largely) a TED Talk-free zone.

Let’s work together to improve your everyday presentations with the very best of TED-style tools!

Short TEDster Insights

Here's a quick video that unpacks TED best practices for TEDx talk design:

The Art of TED Talk Structure

video preview

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!™

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

From... The TED Talk Whisperer, DEVIN

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

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