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Doing a Ted talk - practice and practice again. (a quick guide)

Delivering a Ted talk is a bit like being a duck. Everyone looks calm and confident in the spotlight, but underneath the cool and confident demeanor is countered by a pair of duck feet paddling like crazy.

When I delivered a Ted talk on maths phobia I had a minor disaster which I managed to resue simply because I had practiced until I was almost saying it in my sleep.

Here's how I prepared.

I had practiced a lot and had taken time out of my schedule to give myself 2 clear days and in that time I did it many many many times. I'm the type of person who impatiently opens boxes and rarely looks at instructions and so continually starting again with my talk was almost physically painful (almost).

I had practiced with a laptop and just a few slides but crucially I was in the dreaded presenter mode and so could see the next slide. I got to the point where I was almost word for word with just the visual clue of the next picture. The next picture was vital for me to be ready for my next bit.

Disaster struck the minute I started speaking!

The presenter mode had disappeared and so all I could see was the current slide. Now you might not think that not too big a deal, but I had spent 2 whole days practicing, and having the next slide in view was a real help. As my duck legs started to furiously paddle beneath me I thought `Nooooo where is the next slide! I'll never get through this.had put`

But, do you know what? I don't think you can really tell watching it back and I think what saved me was the hours and hours of practice that I hadput in.

I went into a kind of autopilot - I had said it so many times that I was able to stay calm and just get to the end!

If you are planning a major presentation with a lot riding on it this is what I would suggest;

  • I set up a room in my house as if a stage. (know the dimensions of the room or stage)

  • Write it out formally or in note form first. (then cards)

  • Practice the first draft to a family member or friend.

  • When you think you can't bear to practice it again - practice it!!!!

  • Keep the slides to a minimum

  • Practice your intonation

  • Record yourself and study your (in my case) `ums` try again and see if you can lessen them!

My over practicing saved me from certain disaster and I do hope you find these helpful hints of some use. Good luck.

If you want to watch it here is the link.

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