In Honor of TED Billion: 3 Essential TED Talks


As I mentioned last month, Ethos3’s “3 Essential TED Talks for the Presenter” is a great read because the article considers 3 favorite TED Talks in accordance with the presentation stool: content by Jill Bolte Taylor; design by Al Gore; and delivery by Beeban Kidron.  That got me thinking about the 3 TED Talks I’d recommend for each “leg” of the presentation stool.  Inspired by Ethos3 and in honor of TED’s billionth view, here are my picks:

Best Content: LZ Granderson’s “Myth Of The Gay Agenda”


You won’t see stronger content than the message in LZ Granderson’s TEDxGrand Rapids Talk.  This speech is rhetorically masterful.  Built around story and the Sparkline, Granderson uses humor and audience interaction to capture and keep his audience’s attention at first, but then uses storytelling and emotion alongside startling state maps to provide evidence to support his claims.  Read my initial review of Granderson’s TED Talk here.

Best Delivery: Lisa Kristine’s “Photos That Bear Witness To Modern Slavery”


Lisa Kristine’s TED Talk is serious, heart-wrenching, and important.  Her delivery matches the tone of her content.  Lisa Kristine’s delivery is strong because it follows TED Commandment #9, engages her audience through movement and steady eye contact, and communicates nonverbally in a regal, dignified way.  What I like most about her delivery is her verbal communication.  She has a beautiful, melodic voice that maintains her audience’s attention from start to finish in an authentic, natural way.

Best Design: Nancy Duarte’s “The Secret Structure Of Great Talks”


Nancy Duarte‘s TED Talk had to have great slides.  Her company, Duarte Design, is responsible for creating some of the most impacting presentation slides on the planet.  Take Al Gore for example.  In fact, Al Gore’s TED Talk was Ethos3’s “Best Design” pick!  Nancy Duarte’s TED Talk had a lofty goal: to explain the Sparkline, the structure of a great presentation, to others.  Her slides were beautiful, reinforced her message clearly, and explained an abstract idea in a concrete way.

What TED Talks would you pick for Best Content, Best Delivery, and Best Design?


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