Cover image for Thank you for coming to my TED talk : a teen guide to great public speaking
Thank you for coming to my TED talk : a teen guide to great public speaking
Physical Description:
152 pages ; 22 cm.
Bringing the Fire -- Foundation -- What's Your Point? -- Audience of One -- Tackling Tough Topics -- Talk Tools -- The Journey -- Find the Story -- Telling Our Truths -- Preparation Process -- Preparation, Not Perspiration -- Wait, I Need to Rehearse? -- Presentation Props -- Open and Close -- Battling the Monkey -- Onstage -- The Only Thing You Have to Fear -- Scaring off Mountain Lions (And Other Hacks to Make You Feel Less Anxious) -- Putting Your Mind to It -- Owning Your Presence -- Your Turn -- Your Voice.
Reading Level:
990 L Lexile
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A teen edition of the New York Times best-selling TED TALKS: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, chock-full of tips and techniques to help teens become confident, capable speakers. --


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Book 808.51 AND 1 1
Book 808.51 AND 1 1
Book 808.51 AND 1 1
Book 808.51 AND 1 1

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A teen edition of the New York Times best-selling TED TALKS: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking , chock-full of tips and techniques to help teens become confident, capable speakers

For today's teen, being able to communicate clearly in front of an audience is essential. From class presentations to interviews to online videos, an engaging talk can not only inspire and electrify a room, it can change people's minds, and even change the world.

Thank You for Coming to My TED Talk is the definitive guide to public speaking for a teen audience. Drawing from a teen's day-to-day world--school, extracurriculars, online videos, college admissions procedures, bat and bar mitzvahs, debates, and more--head of TED Chris Anderson shares proven techniques honed through years of watching teen speakers, including Tavi Gevinson and Chelsea Clinton, wow TED audiences. It includes everything teens need to persuade, inspire, and inform others. This comprehensive, accessible guide will help any teen become a confident, capable speaker.

Author Notes

Chris Anderson is the curator of TED. Trained as a journalist after graduating from Oxford University, Anderson launched a number of successful magazines before turning his attention to TED, which he and his nonprofit acquired in 2001. His TED mantra--"ideas worth spreading"--continues to blossom on an international scale. He lives with his family in New York City.

Lorin Oberweger has worked behind the scenes as a ghostwriter on a variety of projects, from middle grade fiction to adult memoir. She is also coauthor of the novels Boomerang, Rebound, and Bounce under the pen name Noelle August. Lorin lives in Tampa, Florida, with two cranky senior cats, and she gets to exercise her own public speaking skills as a popular instructor at writing conferences around the country.

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6--9--Anderson, the curator of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), and co-writer Oberweger provide an accessible guidebook to prepare teens for public speaking. This concise yet comprehensive book is filled with tips, tricks, and constructive guidelines. Brief, organized chapters offer very specific ideas and suggestions. A variety of famous writers and presenters, including those who have taken the TED stage, are quoted and referenced throughout the text. Although some of the featured people may not be familiar to all readers, their words and advice are useful and fascinating. This readable and informative work contains many elements that could be useful beyond a TED Talk. VERDICT Recommended for general purchase. A quick read and helpful reference source for anyone planning to conduct a public presentation.--Kristyn Dorfman, The Nightingale-Bamford School, New York City

Booklist Review

Most people--whether young or adult--fear speaking before an audience, regardless of its composition or size. Anderson, head of TED Conferences, seeks to mitigate this fear through this teen-oriented crash course in public speaking and presentation. He captures readers' attentions in the compelling introduction by relating the experience of a 12-year-old girl as she steps on stage to give a TED talk to an audience of 1,200 people. Moving into his message, he asks readers to consider "the point" of their talk, noting that "at least one person in your life is sure to be a Rambler." How can one avoid this dreaded designation? Focus and tell the truth of your story. Then, prepare, prepare, prepare. Short chapters with bullet-point lists and anecdotes prompt teens to share their presentation or speech with another person, seek input and criticism, make corrections, and prepare some more. Anderson's tips and tools for onstage presentation are solid, practical, and easily adaptable. This approachable, encouraging guide will help teens step on stage or behind a podium with confidence.



FOUNDATION 1 What's Your Point? Maybe it's a friend--or a parent or a teacher. Maybe it's your minister, rabbi, or imam. But at least one person in your life is sure to be a Rambler. That's the person who turns a one-sentence story into a three-hour snoozefest. The one who has to hark back to the Mesozoic Era to give you the backstory on what happened this morning.       I'm assuming that person is not you, but if your friends or classmates fidget when you talk, if their eyes glaze over, or they hold back not-so-subtle yawns and check their cellphones every two seconds, well, this section might be especially relevant!       "It happens way too often: You're sitting there in the audience, listening to someone talk, and you know that there is a great talk in that person; it's just not the talk he's giving." That's TED's Bruno Giussani, a man who cannot stand seeing potentially great speakers blow their opportunity.       The point of a talk is to say something meaningful. But many talks never get there. Words and sentences are spoken, of course. Ideas presented. But they don't add up to much. They don't point the listeners somewhere vital. Instead, they leave the audience disinterested and unmoved, sometimes flat-out confused.       In the first TED I organized, one of the speakers began, "As I was driving down here wondering what to say to you . . ."       There followed an unfocused list of observations. Nothing obnoxious. Nothing particularly hard to understand. But nothing revelatory, either. No aha moments. No takeaways. The audience clapped politely. But no one really learned anything. No one was changed by the experience.       It's one thing to underprepare. But to boast that you've underprepared? That tells the audience that their time doesn't matter. That the event doesn't matter.       Of course, no one really has to boast that they're underprepared. That becomes obvious pretty quickly. I'll talk more about preparation later, but the point here is that you owe it to your audience, and yourself, to present your material in a clear, focused manner--and to have a point.       As Bruno Giussani puts it, "When people sit in a room to listen to a speaker, they are offering her something extremely precious: a few minutes of their time and of their attention. Her task is to use that time as well as possible."       Rambling is not an option.       There's a helpful word used to analyze plays, movies, and novels; it applies to talks, too. It is throughline, the connecting theme that ties together the ideas you're presenting. An understanding of this concept and the way to apply it to any talk will help you vanquish any possibility of rambling.       Famed acting coach Konstantin Stanislavski also used the term "the spine" to convey this idea. Just as a spine supports the structure of your body, a throughline supports the structure of your presentation. It gives it meaning and focus; it's the metaphorical cord that runs through the entire speech.       This doesn't mean every talk can cover only one topic, tell a single story, or proceed in one direction without diversions. Not at all. It simply means that all the pieces need to connect, and they need to stack together to support the main idea.       Here's the start of a talk thrown together without a throughline. "I want to share with you some experiences I had during my recent trip to Cape Town, and then make a few observations about life on the road . . ."       Compare that with: "On my recent trip to Cape Town, I learned something new about strangers--when you can trust them and when you definitely can't. Let me share with you two very different experiences I had . . ."       The first example promises a collection of tidbits, with no real indication of adding up to something meaningful. The second offers an important idea and promises that evidence will be presented to support that idea. As with puzzle pieces, the individual portions of the speech should snap into place to create an overall picture. And like the image on the front of the puzzle box, we should be given a strong sense of how everything will come together.       A good exercise is to try to state your throughline in no more than fifteen words. And remember, this is more than just the goal of your speech ("I want to inspire my classmates" or "I want to talk about Childish Gambino"). It has to be more focused than that. What is the precise idea you want to build inside your listeners? What is their takeaway? What are you trying to prove?       Try to find something unexpected in your throughline. "The importance of hard work" is expected. "A three-day school week leads to smarter students" is a surprise (one your schoolmates will probably cheer, even if the adults are skeptical). Try to find the unexpected idea, the deeper one. Even if you're assigned a topic you don't love or given a position to debate that's the opposite of your true feelings, try to come at it from a unique angle.       Here are the throughlines of some popular TED Talks, several from teen speakers. Notice that there's an unexpectedness incorporated into each of them. More choice actually makes us less happy. With body language, you can fake it till you become it. Adults have much to learn from kids. The violin's sixteenth-century "technology" still seems advanced today. Online videos can humanize the classroom and revolutionize education. My stutter makes me a better public speaker. Barry Schwartz, whose talk is the first one in the list above, on the paradox of choice, is a big believer in the importance of a throughline: The key is to present just one idea--as thoroughly and completely as you can. What is it that you want your audience to [understand completely] after you're done? Your throughline doesn't have to be as ambitious as the ones listed above. But it still should have some kind of intriguing angle. Instead of giving a talk about the importance of hard work, how about speaking on why hard work sometimes fails to achieve true success, and what you can do about that? Instead of some important public figure's whole biography, why not offer a talk about a pivotal time in that figure's life or the way that person revolutionized some specific part of our culture?       Just as it's helpful to state your thesis at the beginning of a paper you write, it can be helpful to offer your throughline as you launch into your talk.       While your speech's spine doesn't always have to be made explicit, you'll find that when your audience knows where you're headed, it's much easier for them to follow. It may also be more engaging for them, because it will build anticipation of the fact that you're going to support the throughline you promise. Excerpted from Thank You for Coming to My TED Talk: A Teen Guide to Great Public Speaking by Chris Anderson, Lorin Oberweger All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Bringing the Firep. 1
1 What's Your Point?p. 13
2 Audience of Onep. 18
3 Tackling Tough Topicsp. 21
Talk Tools
4 The Journeyp. 25
5 Find the Storyp. 32
6 Telling Our Truthsp. 39
Preparation Process
7 Preparation, Not Perspirationp. 49
8 Wait, I Need to Rehearse?p. 64
9 Presentation Propsp. 69
10 Open and Closep. 83
11 Battling the Monkeyp. 97
12 The Only Thing You Have to Fearp. 105
13 Scaring Off Mountain Lions (And Other Hacks to Help You Feel Less Anxious)p. 112
14 Putting Your Mind to Itp. 118
15 Owning Your Presencep. 123
Your Turn
16 Your Voicep. 143
Source Notesp. 147
Indexp. 148