Book: Talk Like TED

Most of us are involved in some way with speaking by either preaching or teaching. For many of us, this constitutes a large part of what we do! I always try to improve my preaching. The Gospel of God is too important to preach it poorly! Today, I want to introduce you to a book that will help you preach and teach better: Talk Like TED by Carmine Gallo.

Photo credit m s via

Photo credit m s via

If you are not familiar with TED Talks (or if you’re wondering who TED is!), they are conferences that bring together people to share ideas that they deem worth spreading. Past presenters include the likes of Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Bill Gates, Tony Robbins, and scores of others names you are sure to know. TED is by no means a Christian organization, and many of their talks espouse ideas contrary to God’s Word (in fairness, not all are ideas against the Bible, but if you watch enough of them you will notice a strong bent). However, from a public speaking standpoint, TED talks provide a stage for some truly spectacular speakers to give high stakes, highly visible speeches. TED Talks bring out some impressive public speaking.

Cover of Talk Like TED

Cover of Talk Like TED

Carmine Gallo has watched over 500 of these presentations and interviewed many of the presenters to figure out just how they prepare and deliver such stunning and potent speeches. The results of his analysis became Talk Like TED.

Although not all these ideas are applicable to a church context (e.g. Gallo recommends keeping presentations to 18 minutes, not something we always have the option to do), it struck me how many of his ideas have been common knowledge among preachers for quite a while. For instance, he recommends breaking up a long speech with stories and illustrations and packaging speeches in groups of three points — two things that preachers have been doing for probably as long as there have been preachers! It really is not surprising that preachers are ahead of the curb in these respects. Our message is more important than life and death, and preachers who recognize that have always been finding the best way to spread His Word.

Our message is more important than life and death, and preachers who recognize that have always been finding the best way to spread His Word.

However, there are some things we need to learn from Gallo’s book. My strongest takeaways were the effectiveness of stories, the importance of telling those stories well, and the advantages of preaching creatively, topics which he expounds upon in his book.

There are scores of practical tips and advice for us to glean from Talk Like TED as preachers and teachers of God’s Word. If you are looking for a contemporary and practical book on public speaking, then Talk Like TED is for you. If you are interested in a copy, you can find it on Amazon or via any major book retailer and eReader!

Have you read Talk Like TED? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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