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Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds [Kindle Edition]

Carmine Gallo
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

TED talks have redefined the elements of a successful presentation and become the gold standard for public speaking around the world. TED and associated Tedx conferences are held in more than 130 countries and are being viewed at a rate of 1.5 million times a day. These are presentations that set the world on fire, and the techniques that top TED speakers use are the same ones that will make any presentation more dynamic, fire up any team, and give anyone the confidence to overcome their fear of public speaking.

Public speaking coach and bestselling author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs Carmine Gallo has broken down the top TED talks and interviewed the most popular TED presenters as well as the top researchers in the fields of psychology and communications to get their cutting-edge insights and to reveal the nine secrets of all successful TED presentations. From "Unleashing the Master Within" and "Delivering Jaw Dropping Moments" to "Sticking to the 18-minute Rule," Gallo provides a step-by-step method that makes it possible for anyone to create, design, and deliver a TED-style presentation that is engaging, persuasive, and memorable.

Ideas are the true currency of the twenty first century, and Gallo gives readers a way to create presentations around the ideas that matter most to them, presentations that will energize their audiences to spread those ideas, launch new initiatives, and reach their highest goals.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

TED Talks have earned an enviable reputation for public speaking that likely only increases the jitters for most people called on to make presentations. But after analyzing 500 presentations, Gallo, author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs (2009), identifies the common elements that make TED Talks so successful. He offers nine secrets, including mastering the art of storytelling, being passionate about the subject matter, speaking conversationally, using humor, delivering “jaw-dropping moments,” and keeping presentations to 18 minutes. Gallo divides the lessons into three parts, focusing on the emotional, novel, and memorable. Drawing on research by psychologists and communication experts, Gallo provides detailed analysis of TED Talks. The book is most fascinating, however, when Gallo recalls interviews with some of the most successful TED speakers, offering recollections of their processes in preparing for the talk. Gallo’s references to particular TED speakers are sure to send readers to the TED website to check on the talks themselves. This is sound advice and encouragement for those who need to make presentations and an enjoyable resource for fans of TED Talks. --Vanessa Bush


Lively and appealing… the book draws on current brain science to explain what wins over, and fires up, an audience -- and what doesn't. (Fortune)

I found his book compelling and educational, and I'm now ready to shorten and reformat my speeches. (INC)

A dynamic work focused on storytelling, filled with examples from TED Talks… The book is sure to be a hit with anyone who wants to be more a successful communicator. (Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week, Starred Review))

Product Details

  • File Size: 2216 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250041120
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (March 4, 2014)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F1RE1MK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,011 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
240 of 272 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Top 9 secrets, out of 10 February 26, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It's nice if you get to share a message that will change the world. Sometimes, you simply have to show people how to fill out a form. Sometimes, there just isn't that much room for passion. Sometimes, it can get really old being told One. More. Time. that you have to have "Passion!" in all that you do.

Yawn. Passion gets boring after a while, when you keep having your face rubbed in it.

I was more than a bit disappointed that the one fully-controllable, massively important factor in presentation success was hidden.


You don't get on the TED stage without delivering the talk A LOT. At least 100 times, is what I've seen elsewhere. When I look at the TOC, there is no mention of "practice." It turns out that the topic of practice is presented, but under the heading, "have a conversation." Huh? The chapter goes on to talk about practice, but why hide this dirty necessity under a different label?

Practice is NOT conversation. I can follow the train of thought; that one should be able to deliver the material as easily as a conversation flows. But I disagree. Conversations can ramble, go off track, contain sidebars. Good presentations don't.

Most "bad" presentations could be markedly improved with a little bit of practice and feedback. Five times, out of your mouth, out loud, to the cat the first three times if you're shy. Good-enough public speakers know this; newbies think that just looking at the material is enough.

The more important the presentation, the more practice, rather than any other variable, will improve the delivery and reception. It's strange to me that this element of presentation success was not labelled as such. Maybe it looks too much like hard work?
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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great title, good book February 7, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was pleasantly surprised.

This book's catchy title uses TED brand equity just as feeble investment articles mention Warren Buffet in the title. Add "{an odd numeral} Secrets..." to the subtitle...and I was ready for lots of sizzle with very little steak.

But Gallo is not a blowhard. He knows his subject. Leaning the book so heavily on TED talks might seem like grand larceny, but it makes perfect sense. TED's rich and varied examples are a perfect way to learn, and they're at your fingertips, thanks to YouTube.

If you want to be an interesting presenter -- or just a more interesting person -- this is a good start. Even if they are not "Secrets," Gallo's classic and correct points add up to a solid, easily digested book.

Some of the main points, such as "Think outside the box," "Tell stories," "Create jaw-dropping moments," "Add some humor," require craftsmanship and practice. This book does not get you to the finish line. It shows you good examples and points you in the right direction.

- - - Nit Pick - - -

Gallo drifts off into brain science for no good reason. People like funny. People like stories. People like pictures. People remember the unusual. Talk of dopamine, endorphins, and neural pathways adds nothing.

- - - Alternatives - - -

Search "Ted Talk" in Amazon books. There are several other titles like this.

- - - Additional Reading - - -

For help building your word-craft muscles, check out Word Hero by Jay Heinrichs.

~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~
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60 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Bestselling author ("Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs," "Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs," and "The Apple Experience") and communications expert, Carmine Gallo, has switched his focus from the "secrets" of Steve Jobs and Apple to the presentation secrets of TED's (technology, education, and design) exceptional speakers. TED talks which began as a one-time event in 1984 are now viewed daily on by over 1.5 million people from all over the world.

"Talk Like TED" is based on the author's scientific analysis of hundreds of presentations, direct interviews with TED's most popular speakers, and personal insights gleaned from years of coaching inspiring leaders. From this, Gallo has identified the nine secrets common to all who are exceptionally good at presenting their ideas. They are grouped under three major headings - the presenter touches my heart, the presenter teaches me something new, and he/she presents content in ways I'll never forget.

Subtopics include:
1. Unleashing the master within
2. Mastering the art of storytelling
3. Having a conversation
4. Teaching something new
5. Delivering jaw-dropping moments
6. Lightening up
7. Sticking to the 18 minute rule
8. Painting a mental picture with multisensory experiences
9. Staying in your lane

Each chapter explores the science behind the featured secret, and features a specific technique shared by the most popular Ted speakers. Examples, web sites, and interviews with the speakers are also included.

The roles played by passion, authenticity, memorability, novelty, and shock (and more) are thoroughly discussed and are provided in a "how to" format will help anyone seeking to become "Ted-like" - a speaker with perceived confidence and authority.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Extremely well written and informative.
Published 3 hours ago by Energizer Bunny
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting and Enlightening
I found this to be extremely interesting but I am a big fan of TED Talks. This helped me to understand how the talks are put together and being an instructor, helped me to develop... Read more
Published 6 hours ago by Kingstonbeat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book full of insight and passion
Published 3 days ago by Rafael Huber
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reading it for the 3rd time. Excellent
Published 4 days ago by Maria K. Todd
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on developing world class stories and...
Carmine Gallo is one of, if not the best, students of public speaking and storytelling in the world. This work breaks down the common characteristics of the best TED talks. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Michael Davis, the Speaking MD
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding ideas to drastically improve your presentations
This books shares great ideas that can be used immediately to improve the effectiveness of your presentations to any audience. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Michael Stubben
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed the way I communicate!
Would recommend to any person who has to public speak for any reason!
Published 9 days ago by Matt
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 10 days ago by Joaquin Cutino
5.0 out of 5 stars Very encouraging. I listen to it in the car ...
Very encouraging. I listen to it in the car and I am constantly learning new tips on effective speaking.
Published 12 days ago by Dr. Shirley
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide towards concise
An excellent guide towards concise, energetic, clear, thoughtful speaking. Highly recommended for anyone who does public speaking, including teachers, administrators, managers,... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Bill
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More About the Author

Carmine Gallo is a popular keynote speaker, the communication coach for some of the world's most admired brands, an independent journalist, and the bestselling author of seven books including The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. In his newest book, Talk Like TED, Carmine aims his lens at the popular TED talks to objectively identify why the TED-style has become so popular around the world. Learn more at [Note: Carmine Gallo is not affiliated with TED Conferences, LLC.]

Carmine also wrote The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, The Apple Experience (the first book about the the Apple Store and how other brands can elevate the customer experience), and Fire Them Up, which identifies the 7 secrets of the world's most inspiring leaders. Join Carmine's list at and follow him on Twitter @carminegallo.


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