Writing and Delivering a Captivating TED-style Talk

Dr. Andrea Pennington
4 min readJan 19, 2020

When you watch a TED talk, you might notice how seamless it all looks. Or perhaps you won’t notice, because you are captivated by the content! These ‘ideas worth spreading’ often make us stop and ponder, and the best ones really stick with us too.

Have you ever found yourself telling a friend, or even a stranger in the queue at a coffee shop, about a TED talk that you think they really would enjoy?

“You just HAVE to watch this TED talk!”

So how about this… Have you ever wondered what it takes to be the TED talk giver that people are sharing with their friends over and over again?

The thing is it’s not rocket science. There is a formula, and if accepted by them, TED will make sure you deliver your talk well. But the content, the heart and soul of your talk, is up to you!

In my experience as a 3 x TEDx speaker, and a coach and mentor for fellow speakers, I know that the talks that get the most shares are the ones that resonate with the hearts of the viewers. It’s not really the smooth performance that the viewers fall in love with, but the passion which your message is shared with!

So if you were to tick giving a TED talk off your bucket list — what message would you like to spread?

Here are a few things to consider…


Within that message, whatever yours is, it is really important to include something personal. Sure, facts and figures are fine, they will give your talk authority. But nothing captures an audience like a personal story.

Giving a little of your experience, the reason that the topic at hand matters to you, is what will resonate the most with your audience, whether they are sitting in the front row of the auditorium, or watching the replay on YouTube.

Of course, your structure should include a strong, captivating introduction, a rousing mid-section, and an ending that leaves them with a question answered, yet still curious to hear more from you. But remembering to weave in that personal element is really key.

Speaking From The Heart:

When you get to that personal part of your story, it can be hard to deliver. There is a fine line between sharing openly, and becoming too emotional. Vulnerability is an amazing quality to share with your audience, but you still need to keep your pitch, pace and rhythm steady.

There is an art to telling a personal story in an empowering way, and it’s not something I can summarise easily in a simple blog post.

The best way to learn is through doing. Practising your delivery with more experienced speakers to guide and give you feedback is what I’m recommending.

At the end of this month I am working with a small group of Lightworkers and Entrepreneurs with varying degrees of experience, to take them through my speech-crafting method and work with them on their delivery.

Speak From The Heart includes classroom training on the science and psychology of crafting a talk that resonates, along with practical group work and practice time. Over the course of 2 days, I will get you to come out of your shell and talk to our group as through you are delivering your first ‘big stage’ talk.


If you’ve been receiving my emails for a while then I’m sure you’ve heard the names Sólveig Pórarinsdóttir and Gitte Winter Graugaard. These wonderful Lightworker ladies are two of my Global Luminaries who joined me on stage at TEDx Peterborough earlier this year. Both of them came to Speak From The Heart in previous years as part of their journey, and I’d love to share their talks with you again for inspiration and a reminder of what’s possible. You can watch Sol’s talk here, and Gitte’s talk here.

There is nothing like practice and qualified feedback to boost your confidence, and when you combine that with the knowledge and experience in the room you know it’s going to be a powerful 2 days of learning and stepping up.

If you want to end 2019 already on the path to elevating your brand through truly impactful public speaking, then grab a place at Speak From The Heart and join us in Cannes for the 2-day workshop.

A big thank you to Vicki Head Photography for our lovely TEDx Peterborough pictures!

Originally published at http://makeyourmarkglobal.com.