Life Changing Books: Talk Like TED

Every book doesn’t impact our Life. Very few books do and those few books are very special to us. This month I am going to speak about the books which has changed my life.

Good thoughts need to shared — This is the main purpose of beingkarthik and this blog series. Also, I would like to give an insights about these books and share my experience, which may impact someone’s life.

Book Name: Talk Like TED 
Author: Carmine Gallo
Genre: Self Help (Tips & Tricks on Public Speaking/Presentation)

Talk like ted

 Why this book? 


  • If you want to be a good Public speaker or a presenter, then this book is for you !
  • Incase you are already a good presenter or public speaker, then this book will make you from good to great!
  • Suppose you have a dream to deliver a speech in TED forum, then this is a must read book for you!
  • We all have a fear to communicate our thoughts in a large forum with a group of people. If you are one among them, then this book will guide you to avoid those fear !
  • Above all, this book will give you confidence to spread your ideas effectively !

An idea dies as idea until or unless it is implemented. TALK LIKE TED acts as tool to meet the goals by communicating your ideas effectively.

 What’s Best? 

It is always good to learn from others. And it is best, if someone teaches us what to learn from others. Carmine has done the same thing. He has researched lot on great TED talks, interviewed them and build his concepts and connected it. Here author teaches us what we should learn from greatest TED speeches and how we can improve our public speaking or presentation skills. This is the basic purpose of this book. But apart from these, there are few more best part of this book.

 9 Secrets:  This book has been divided into 3 parts (Emotional, Novel & Memorable) and each parts are further divided into 3 sub categories. And this forms the 9 secrets of public speaking. Below are the quick brief about each secrets.

Unleash the Master Within: Carmine says,The first step to inspire others is making sure you are inspired to yourself! So this chapter speak about passion. Ask yourself what makes your heart sings?, to figure out what you are passionate about.

Master the Art of Storytelling: Here Carmine explain the secret about storytelling and how to master in it. He also insists not to do a presentation, rather tell story. Stories can illuminate, illustrate and inspire us.

Have a conversation: Your strength as speaker comes from in side. Here strength resembles the use of Body language, gestures and so on. It’s not an easy task, but it can be tackled by practicing and rehearsing.

Teach me something new: Here Carmine explains why it important to have some fresh ideas or thoughts in your presentations. He questions us, Why do people hear you, if everything you speak is going to be in textbook?

Deliver Jaw-Dropping Moments: Wow factor is required everywhere and this is what makes audience stay intact and watch your presentation. Every presentation needs one

Lighten Up: Lighten up the audience by building a sense of Humour to your presentation. No one want you to tell a joke at the middle of presentation. Instead here, Humour means presenting your thoughts in a comical way.

Stick to 18 minute rule: Time management  is key. 18 minute rule is not just a part of discipline, but also it helps that presenter doesn’t overload audience. Scientifically, for an information to consume by brain, it has forgot one earlier. So it is our duty not to overload.

Paint a Mental Picture with Multi-sensory experiences: Avoid text, use picture & interactive elements wherever necessary

Stay in your lane: Carmine says, If you trying to be someone else, then you fail to gain the trust of audience. So, Stay in your lane.Hold your space and be authentic.

Anyone can deliver a great presentation if we follow these 9 secrets.

 Design and structure:  The above stated 9 secrets may look more common. Any presentation guide (like HBR guide to make presentation) books will have these secrets. But what make Talk like ted special is it’s design and structure. All the 9 secrets are presented in a form where carmine explain his insights from different TED speeches. This makes us to connect easily towards the concept. It makes us to understand that every TED video story is a lesson and lot to take away from it. For e.g.: for explain the jaw dropping moments, carmine uses the famous TED speech of Bill gates, where he open up a jar full of mosquitos.

 TEDnote:   Every chapter has tidbits called TEDnotes. These are generally pull quote from the book. It just sum up the entire case story and concepts in a single paragraph. Rather serving as a purpose of conclusion, it also helps as quick recap guide. If you are not a patience towards reading entire book, reading this TEDnote alone will solve the purpose of this book.

 Analogies:  I am a huge fan of analogy and this book has a few interesting analogies like,  “What is use of having a ferrari without knowing how to drive” this analogy was told to stress upon the point i.e Delivering a good story is more important than having a great story.

 My story 

This section is to share my story of how I started reading this book, what changes I felt in me when I was reading this book and overall how this book has changed my life.

Long back in 2015, I have attended Seven Habits of Highly effective people, a behavioural training, during my tenure in Mahindra. It was a two-day program , where trainer explains about the concepts of Stephen covey. The training is so gripping not because of trainer, but because of the Book and its concepts. The Second Habits is Begin with end in mind. So as a way forward, trainer told us to list down the goals which you are planning to meet in your life. So that night after going home, I opened up my excel and start listing down my goals. I have subdivided my goals into short-term and long-term goals.

One such goal which I wrote on that day was to deliver a speech in TED forum. I am not sure what made me write this goal. I am good in making presentation. Say in my company or during my college life, my presentation skills were appreciated. I have very little knowledge about TED and for say, I watched only one TED video in college life by Pranav Mistry explaining the Artificial Intelligence. His speech really inspired me. But the best part is when he complete his speech, the group of audience just stood up and gave a standing ovation. This is what motivated me that I should experienced that moment at least once in my life. May be this video and colleagues appreciation for my presentation skills had made me to write this goal.

The training got over next day. Occasionally, I use to refer this excel sheet where I have written the goals. As time pass on, I forget that such files exist. I moved back doing regular work, without concentrating on the goals which I have written.

Years passed. Once I have made a presentation on Crusade in my company to my colleagues. My presentation is good and people enjoyed it. I got some appreciation. But some how at the end of the presentation my words struck. Viewers didn’t realise it. But I felt myself. Whatever I was intended to speak, whatever notes I have written , I could deliver only 60%. So I started thinking more on that and eventually I could figure out this book.

I think I bought this book in Mumbai Airport and started reading.It took few minutes for me to get inspired from this book. It gives tips. It tells the 9 secrets for public speaking with solid case story on each secrets.During the course of reading this book, I have started realising the goal which I have written long back and I have not taken a single step towards my goal.

Upon completion of this book, I took some step to develop my presentation skills. I tried to apply all my concept and make a presentation on Personal Branding (which I have decided to presented to my colleagues on weekly knowledge sharing sessions). Did lot of huge research, practice, made notes, Tried to add some wow factor and scripted it nicely. I was more confident than my earlier presentation.

On the day of presentation, there was a network issue. Planned presentation started almost 10 minutes late. I usually respect my time and others time. I told prior to my presentation that it would take 15 minutes for my presentation. But even after so many tension and unexpected things happened before starting, I present it as planned. I do forget some points from my notes, but I present it ease, I was able to stick to the time, and above all at the end of presentation I feel satisfied for delivering it. That is the moment I realised that, Talk like Ted has helped me a lot in improving my presentation skills.

I have attended two TED salon events from TEDx Napier Bridge salon @Chennai. I have attended one live TED Talks event at Chennai conducted by TEDx Napier bridge. And the best of this TED talks is it full-fledged event conducted by Women to showcase the Women power. It was a highly motivating and highly inspiring event. I enjoyed these event. New people, new network happened through these event.

Even though  TEDx Napier bridge is live and active, I didn’t participate in any event in 2018. This is clearly a lag from my side and I still need to improve on it.

So,this is my story of my how Talk like TED book has affected my life. No doubt that with this book I have improved my presentation skills. But Beyond that, this is one book which gave me confident that I can and I will present in TED TALKS event one day.


We are in a corporate world. The way we present ourself is most important than the real work we do. Ideas worth spreading is a Tagline for TED. But to spread those ideas effectively, you need to be good presenter or great public speaker.

In short, Talk like TED is one book which will make you a better presenter. And a better presenter always wins in any situation.

Talk like TED- Mik picture

I don’t want to lie by telling that this book will make you a great public speaker or great presenter. No. This book will not transform you completely. But it will take an initial steps inside you for transformation and I am confident that you will deliver a great presentation on day.

Thanks to Carmine Gallo for this book !