Review: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds
Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


An advanced level book on public speaking. It’s definitely not for beginners. Those of you who are at an intermediate level and want to progress, then this book is for you.

However, for those of you already at an advanced level, you will realise you can’t learn much from this book. Not only because you probably already knew these things, but any other good public speaking book will have the same lessons as this book. The core differentiating factor in this book is that it uses TED talks as evidence and examples for its lessons. TED talks that everyone loves.


Some ideas in the book did strike me as relatively unique in the book:

Firstly, was the idea that every speech is has something to sell. Every TED talk was, at the very least, trying to sell you an idea. Judging by how many people claim their worldview changed because of one TED talk or another, I’d say this is true. Therefore as a speaker, you need to think of what you are trying to sell, whether you like selling or not.

Secondly, was the statistic that the most popular TED talks comprised of 65% pathos (emotional connection) as compared with 25% logos (logical argument) and 10% ethos (speaker’s character). I think everyone knows emotional connection with the audience is important. But now we know how important it actually is.

The book’s recommendation to achieve high emotional connection with the audience is via storytelling. People who know me will know I’m already an advocate for visual storytelling. So it comes as no surprise why I like this lesson so much.

Other tips like speaking with passion, using humour, new & surprising information, extraordinary statistics in your speech are similarly covered in other books.

Just offhandedly, if you want to take your speaking to the next level, then I can recommend this to you. It is good enough.

However, if you really want to “Talk Like TED”, then just reading this book is not enough. Only through effort and practice will you be able to reach the masterful TED level of public speaking.

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