Presentation Tips from TED Researchers

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Given the popularity of TED talks, many researchers check the popularity of its speakers to identify presentation tips that tend to be more successful than others. Here are some findings reported by Lindsay Kolowich based on research by Vanessa Van Edwards and her team.

Speakers were rated more highly – more charismatic and more credible – when they:
• Used more hand-gestures (but not excessive amounts, of course)
• Varied their voices’ volume, pitch and tone
• Ad-libbed, told stories, even yelled at the audience
• Smiled more often.

As the classic 3M study conducted at Wharton discovered, a halo effect takes place concerning presenters when their presentations are more engaging (in their case using visual aids vs. not).
Those who sounded scripted and memorized were perceived as boring, and this was partly the result of the fact that memorizing a script reduces the need for charisma and so is also more boring to the presenter!

In sum, follow our ADAP approach – be audience-driven and deliver an authentic presentation!