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on 21 April 2014
I thought it was going to be one of those books giving tips on how to convey your message successfully with some sort of tricks but it was more than I had anticipated. Well structured text, highlighting key points of popular TEDx presentations, emphasising other points that you often disregard in a presentation as not important, in other words it is a good read. It helps to watch the video presentations while you read the book; they have an immediate impact. Often when you prepare for presentations you are convinced that it is what you say that matters, not how you say it and here the book proves you wrong. Some simplifications in interpretations wouldn't undermine the overall good work.
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on 4 July 2014
This is one of the best books I have read on presenting. The style of writing,stories and analysis meant that it was far more valuable than your average book. A must for your reading list if you want to be a more effective presenter.
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on 10 August 2014
Public speaking coach reveals nine secrets of successful presentations. Overpriced and overly padded, but some useful tips here for anyone who has to speak in public. There's a type of non-fiction book from the US that uses an endless stream of conversational, easy-to-read, easy-to-skim, easy-to-yawn-over, repetitious words and anecdotes to impart some quite useful messages. Ironic that one message of this book is that brevity gets your message across far more effectively and memorably.
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on 11 May 2016
I do a fair amount of lecturing of one sort or another and am a keen viewer of Ted Talks. I was bought the book as a gift and a very valuable one it has proved to be. It's well written and has given me innumerable tips that I not previously considered. I really cannot agree with those who say it is overly long and includes too much science. Just as with any other improvement manual you should skip over bits that you find unhelpful or overly scientific. I read every word, making notes as I went along, and got through the book within a day. That includes referring to TED videos given as examples and without which the book would be desperately lacking. The proof of the pudding is in the eating - my presentation skills have increased considerably for short 5 minute presentations or 60 minute lectures. Since reading Talk Like TED, I have read the recently published official TED book, written by Chris Anderson. That is good and covers the same ground as Carmine Gallo. But Anderson includes far more extra information unrelated to public speaking which is interesting but not essential. If you are just after a book to improve your public speaking, go for Gallo. If you want additional information about TED in general, go for Anderson.
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As Carmine Gallo explains, Richard Saul Wurman created the TED conference in 1984 as a onetime event. (TED refers to Technology, Education, and Design.) It became a four-day conference six years later. Chris Anderson purchased TED in 2001. Until 2005, it remained a once-a-year conference: four days of programs, 50 speakers, and 18-minute presentations. Anderson added TEDGlobal to reach an international audience. was launched in 2006. Thus far, the website has attracted more than one [begin] billion [end] views, averaging about two million day.

The video programs have been translated into more than 90 languages. There are no charges to access any of the TED programs. After attending the 2006 conference, documentary filmmaker Daphne Zuniga described it as "Cirque Du Soleil for the mind." Oprah Winfrey later observed, "TED is where brilliant people go to hear other brilliant people."

Those who have already read Carmine Gallo's previously published works, notably The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, will be especially interested in what he shares in his latest book because the "secrets" to which its subtitle refers are provided by a remarkably diverse group of thought leaders. They include Chimimanda Ngozi Adiche, Brené Brown, David Christian, Amy Cuddy, David Gallo, Bjarke Ingels, Sarah Kay, Johnny Lee, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, and Bryan Stevenson. All of them have made one or more presentations under the TED auspices.

Those invited to make a TED presentation receive a copy of a Guide and of these "Commandments":

1. Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick.
2. Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before.
3. Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and thy Passion.
4. Thou Shalt Tell a Story.
5. Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy.
6. Thou Shalt Not Flaunt Thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.
7. Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desperate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
8. Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
9. Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech.
10. Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them.

The dozens of videos available at no cost bring the stated and implied advice on this list to life and can also be of substantial value to anyone else who is preparing a presentation, whatever its nature and extent may be. Gallo is thoroughly qualified to explain HOW to do it, based on vast experience that includes but is by no means limited to State Jobs and others who have made TED presentations.

In fact, one of his book's greatest strengths is that it creates a context, a frame of reference, for each of the nine "secrets" that are actually guidelines. My strong recommendation is to proceed from one chapter to the next, pausing to visit the TED website and check out the speakers to whom Gallo refers, then re-read the relevant portion in the book's narrative. With rare exception, body language and tone of voice have much greater impact than what is actually said. It is therefore important to experience first-hand what Gallo explains so adroitly.
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on 7 August 2015
I'm not a big fan of books of this type but wanted some tips for a talk I will be doing soon. As I very much like the TED talks this seemed a good place to start. I have to say that the book was better than I expected. I have used it as the basis to plan how to construct my talk and will go back to it again to re-read important sections. I think if you have to do any kind of public talk, whether it be a commercial presentation or a wedding speech, you could do worse than to read this book. I haven't given five stars as I reserve five for something that is totally exceptional. However this is thoroughly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 2 January 2015
I'd seen this book a few times in shops and had a quick leaf through. It seemed on the face of it to be a set of tips on presenting grafted on to examples from TED talks but it's actually a bit more than that.

I (I'm told) present well, so for me reading this was an affirmation that I'm doing the right thing. But I bought it to help me structure advice I give to others as part of my job and this is going to be very useful.
In fact, I'd lobby to make this required reading for anyone presenting at a conference from now on. Academics in particular should take note.

Weirdly, although all the talks referenced are available online, there's nowhere to find them curated together for convenience, so I may just have to do that myself...
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 December 2014
I enjoyed reading this book enormously. Whilst there is little here that will revolutionary to people who have read business 'how to' books, there are several useful reminders and tips contained in the 9 secrets.

The links to actual TED talks are particularly interesting, giving easily understood examples of each of the secrets. The key message is that anyone can develop the skill to present very effectively - and this book is full of ideas about what to aim as you learn to do so
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on 8 January 2016
I think the advice in this book is good, however, there's not really a whole lot of it. Instead,it is 9 chapters (each one a 'secret'), each one briefly describing the secret, then the remaining 80-90% describing the talks, loosely linking those examples to the secret in question (sometimes the examples are valuable and clarifying, but sometimes they are rather strained). The talks online are better than these transcripts, so I'd recommend reading the table of contents before buying. If that is already familiar to you, skip this book, if it is all alien, you might get something from it...
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on 30 May 2014
Definitely a must for advancing current thinking in giving presentations in order to deliver message across to an invited audience. Brilliant layout and format to extricate maximum benefit. Highlighted text ensures emphasis of key text initiatives. And having read and absorbed is easy to refer to again and again for different presentations, requiring different techniques.
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