TED Talks and Your Sales Team

As leaders, one of our main responsibilities is setting our team up for success.  This takes many forms – from a great work environment to giving them the tools to succeed to training.  One of the training areas that every one of us needs help with is that of making persuasive presentations.  While this is especially true of your sales team, it applies to all people in your organization.

We had our B2B CFO®   Partners’ meeting in Phoenix in April.  Our keynote speaker was Carmine Gallo – author and public speaker.  He published a book in 2014 called Talk Like Ted.  This book gives us many lessons on how to be an effective presenter.  These lessons come from some of the best TED Talks speakers ever.

For those of you that do not know about TED Talks, TED is an organization devoted to spreading ideas.  There do not seem to be any rules about topic.  In fact, the only rule is each presentation has to be limited to 18 minutes.  Some of the most influential people in the world have given TED Talks.  Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, James Cameron, Bono and Al Gore to name a few.  Click here to a link to the TED website and please watch a couple of talks if you have never experience this.  You will not be disappointed.

Carmine Gallo studied 500 TED talks to learn about the presentation techniques of the best and the brightest.  His book breaks all presentations into three components:

  • Emotional – They touch my heart.
  • Novel – They teach me something new.
  • Memorable – They present content in ways I’ll never forget.

According to Gallo, you need to embed all three of these concepts into every presentation you make.  If you want evidence that these rules do apply, Gallo says just look to JFK or Steve Jobs or Winston Churchill.

These are not just fine ideas, there are many take-aways from this book.

There is no one from your organization that will not benefit from reading this book.  My recommendation is you should make it mandatory reading.

Be thoughtful in every presentation you make.  There is a reason the President of the United States has a team of speech writers.  The more you plan your presentation, the more natural, spontaneous and authentic it comes across.

Practice, practice, practice.  Steve Jobs put more than 250 hours into every product launch presentation he ever made.  If the outcome of your presentation is not important to you, don’t practice.  But if you want to be successful, put in the time needed to achieve your goal.

You need 3rd party analysis.  We never see ourselves the way others see us.  Present to someone that will be honest with you.  Ask them to rate your success with each of the three components listed above.

Always present from the listener’s point of view, not yours.  Why would your listener care about the things you are telling him or her?  This is the number one reason for all failed presentations.

If you’re like me, this book will drive you to make your presentations better and your team’s presentations better.  I look forward to hearing about your successes.

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