1880 S Dairy Ashford Rd, Suite 650, Houston, TX 77077

18 things NOT to do in a TEDx Talk

Gary B. Doherty has seen and experienced more than most in the TEDx world and while most people tell you what ‘to do’ Gary shares in this article what ‘not to do’. Insightful and brilliant!

In the world of public speaking, delivering a TEDx Talk is a coveted opportunity. These talks provide a platform to share ground-breaking ideas and inspire audiences worldwide. However, not every TEDx Talk is successful, and there are several pitfalls that speakers should avoid making the most of this platform. Here are some things NOT to do in a TEDx Talk:
1.      Don’t Wing It: One of the gravest mistakes is to assume you can speak. TEDx Talks require meticulous preparation. Not rehearsing your content can lead to rambling, unclear messaging, and a loss of audience engagement.
2.      Avoid Clichés: Using overused phrases or buzzwords can make your talk seem unoriginal. Be authentic and strive to offer fresh insights.
3.      Don’t Overload with Data: While data and statistics can bolster your argument, too much information can overwhelm your audience. Strike a balance between facts and storytelling to keep your talk engaging.
4.      Avoid Self-Promotion: TEDx Talks are not opportunities for self-promotion or sales pitches. Audiences are there to learn, not to be sold something.
5.      Steer Clear of Controversial Topics without Substance: Addressing a controversial subject without solid research and balanced perspectives can alienate your audience. Ensure your talk is well-researched and fair.
6.      Don’t Underestimate Timing: TEDx Talks are typically limited to around 18 minutes. Going over this time limit is a common mistake. Practice to ensure you stay within your allotted time.
7.      Avoid Monotone Delivery: A monotonous tone can put your audience to sleep. Vary your tone, pitch, and pacing to keep listeners engaged.
8.      Don’t Neglect Storytelling: Stories are powerful tools for conveying ideas. Failing to include relatable anecdotes can make your talk feel dry and disconnected.
9.      Steer Clear of Jargon: Using technical or industry-specific jargon without explanation can alienate non-expert audience members. Make your talk accessible to a broader audience.
10.     Avoid Overused Visuals: Overloading your presentation with cliché visuals like stock images can make your talk appear generic. Use visuals sparingly and choose them wisely.
11.     Don’t Overcomplicate: Complex ideas can be challenging to convey. Strive for simplicity in your explanations, making your talk accessible to a wide audience.
12.     Steer Clear of Overused Quotes: While quotes can be powerful, using overly familiar ones can come across as uninspired. Select quotes that genuinely enhance your message.
13.     Don’t Neglect Relevance: Ensure that your topic is relevant to the audience and aligns with the theme of the TEDx event. Irrelevant content can confuse and disengage listeners.
14.     Avoid Excessive Memorization: Memorizing your entire talk word-for-word can make you appear robotic. Focus on understanding your content deeply and delivering it naturally.
15.     Don’t Disregard Visual and Vocal Presence: Your body language and vocal delivery matter as much as your content. Avoid nervous gestures, and practice confident posture and tone.
16.     Steer Clear of Negativity: Negative or pessimistic talks can leave a sour taste. Aim to inspire and offer solutions rather than dwelling solely on problems.
17.     Don’t Rush Through: Speaking too fast can make it difficult for the audience to absorb your message. Speak clearly and at a moderate pace.
18.     Avoid Disregarding the Audience: TEDx Talks are about connection. Engage with your audience through eye contact and acknowledging their presence.

In conclusion, delivering a successful TEDx Talk requires careful planning, authenticity, and an understanding of your audience. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can increase your chances of leaving a lasting impact and making the most of this influential platform.

Want to do a TEDx Talk on or before April 2024? Book here: