talk like ted summary

Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo BOOK SUMMARY

Talk Like TED

Publication: 2014, St. Martin Press


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You were meant for greatness. Don’t sabotage your potential because you can’t communicate your ideas.

When God puts a dream in your heart, you know you’re going to succeed. Every ‘no’ means you’re one step closer to ‘yes.’

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Find and use your passion and you’ll have a great career. Don’t do it and you won’t.

You can’t control what other people say about you but you can control how you frame those comments and you can most certainly control the things you tell yourself.


  • Ideas are the currencies of the twenty-first century. They can make an impact on the world if delivered effectively.
  • If you can’t convey your message and can’t inspire anyone else with it, it won’t matter how great those ideas are.

I. EMOTIONAL— Great storytellers reach your head and touch your heart.

Unleash the Master Within

  • Be passionate about unleashing human potential. Passion is contagious.
  • You can’t inspire other people if you aren’t inspired yourself.
  • Enthusiastic speakers are always more interesting and engaging than bored and passive ones.
  • Ask yourself: “What are you passionate about?” “What makes your heart sing?”
  • Passion is not an interest or a hobby. It is something meaningful to you and core to your identity.
  • Surround yourself with passionate people.

Master the Art of Storytelling

  • We’re born for stories. They affirm who we are. It gives meaning to our lives.
  • According to Dan Heath, author of ‘Made to Stick’: the most basic way to get someone’s attention is to break a pattern.
  • Curiosity gets our attention. When we feel there’s a gap in our knowledge … it causes pain. To take away the pain, we need to fill the knowledge gap by telling stories or information
  • Stories can persuade people to support your vision, dream, or cause.
  • Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. Introduce them, heroes, and villains. Your product, your brand, your ideas are the hero that comes in to save the day.

Have a Conversation

  • Build emotional rapport with listeners and gain their trust by talking to them casually.
  • Dress a little better than everyone else.
  • Watch your gestures.
  • Don’t deliver a presentation, have a conversation instead.

II. NOVEL—Great storytellers teach me something new.

Teach Me Something New

  • Our brains are wired to look for something brilliant and new. Unfamiliar intrigues us.
  • People are natural explorers. They desire to discover. They crave knowledge.
  • Learning activates dopamine, the chemical in our brain that acts as a ‘save button.’
  • Make your presentation exciting.
  • Solitude is a crucial ingredient for creativity to flourish.

Deliver Jaw-Dropping Moments

  • Create an emotionally charged event, a heightened emotion that makes it more likely to remember your message and act on it.
  • People forget mundane or vague events, they remember vivid ones because the brain was not meant to process abstract concepts.
  • We remember emotional components better than any aspect.
  • Crafting and delivering repeatable quotes hooks to people. Eliminate the cliche.
  • You’ll need evidence, data, and statistics to back up your argument.

Lighten Up

  • Let their guard down and break the barrier by using humor
  • Humor is an important social skill that makes the listener more receptive.
  • Don’t try to be funny. Pay attention to your humor and how people respond to it.
  • Use anecdotes from personal experiences, friends or famous people.
  • Be authentic.

III. MEMORABLE—Great storytellers present content in ways I’ll never forget.

Stick to the 18-minute rule

  • The attention span of people is 18 minutes.
  • The longer the presentation, the more the listener has to organize, comprehend and remember because learning can be draining

Paint a Mental Picture with Multi-sensory Experiences

  • Help the audience ‘feel’ your presentation by visualizing content.
  • Show images include backgrounds pictures to pie charts, tables, and graphs to boost their memory as much as possible
  • “Good speakers aren’t just lucky or talented—they work hard.”

Stay in Your Lane

  • Be open and transparent. Don’t be a phony.
  • The aim is to inspire the audience not to deliver a presentation
  • Make them admire and trust you
  • Learn from others and how they achieved success in public speaking, but you’ll never make a lasting impression on people unless you leave your own mark
  • You cannot move people if they don’t think you’re real. You’ll never convince your audience of anything if they don’t trust, admire, and genuinely like you.


  • Record your speech. Practice, practice, practice. Ask feedback from people.
  • Surround yourself with passionate people. Be inspired.
  • When writing a headline, make sure it fits 140 characters.
  • Document your life. Write down anecdotes from your personal experiences, family, friends, or even famous people.
  • Be a curious learner.

Talk Like TED Review

I’ve always wanted to be a good speaker. But I still struggle in conveying my ideas well to the audience. I can only write them like this blog. Talk like TED gives me practical steps on how to be a better communicator. My favorite part is when the author mentioned passion. Passionate people connect to their audience well and deliver memorable presentations.

There will always be criticisms but instead of replaying those thoughts in our minds, we must reframe them with positive words. The ideas we have are our own. It has the potential to change the world.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to speak with more confidence and authority. If you are a seeker, eager to learn, and discontent with the status quo. Start changing the world with your inspiring and innovative ideas.

Thanks for reading! Comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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