Home Daily Buzz Chris Anderson: All the Best TED Speakers Do This Thing Really Well

Chris Anderson: All the Best TED Speakers Do This Thing Really Well


Chris Anderson has seen more than his fair share of stellar TED Talks. That’s because he is the owner of TED.

Perhaps he was asked the question “What do all great TED speakers have in common?” one too many times and so decided to make a video to answer the question.

Hint: The answer has to do with ideas and communicating those ideas.

As Anderson explains, ideas are important because, if communicated properly, they are capable of “changing forever how someone thinks about the world and shaping their actions both now and well into the future. Ideas are the most powerful force shaping human culture.”

Of special interest to those who speak to audiences, Anderson shares four guidelines for effective speaking:

Focus on one major idea

Ideas are complex and take skill to explain properly. All the stories you tell and information you share should lead back to your major idea.

Give people a reason to care

Before you can start building things into the minds of your audience, you have to get their permission. This is done through curiosity.

Build your idea with familiar concepts

Use concepts your audience already understands. Don’t use your language—use theirs. Metaphors can help you do this by revealing “a desired shape of the pattern based on an idea the listener already understands.”

Make your idea worth sharing

Ask yourself “Who does this idea benefit?” And be honest with your answer. If it only benefits you or your organization, the audience will see right through you.

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.