Faith in Books: Talk Like Ted

Talk Like Ted
By Carmine Gallo

The question about what this secular book has to do with my faith is where I must begin in this book review. I read this book with my preaching in mind. Using tips from great TED talks, I have given new life to my preaching style and the way I share God’s message each Sunday. So, although many of you are not preaching every Sunday, I hope that this book can help you when you do make presentations. The book also makes me want to do a TED-like seminar with preachers and have different people come and make TED-type talks on a variety of subjects that can impact the way we preach and lead.

Gallo takes the most popular TED talks (those with the most hits or views) and looks at nine things that make these talks so well received. I no longer have the book (checked it out of the library) so all I can do is present the nine things I learned from the book. These may not be the exact nine Gallo presents but here is what I learned:
1) Limit your talk to 18 minutes – or at least no more than 21.
2) Speak on what you are passionate about
3) Use stories
4) Use PowerPoint carefully – no bullet points, please! Instead, pick a few powerful images that back up what you are saying.
5) Use your body language carefully (eye contact, limit movement, what movement you do have should be around the upper part of your body, etc.)
6) Find ways to grab your audience’s attention (think show and tell rather than just tell)
7) Practice your talk (over and over and over and over….)
8) Use humor. But don’t tell jokes.
9) Be yourself

Okay, I just found a list online that shows I don’t have these as Gallo wrote them, but you also may learn your own nine tips from reading this book. I do highly recommend it. And, once you’ve read it, go to and check out some of the most popular talks.

Check out this link to see the most popular TED talks.

Happy reading (and watching and speaking)!

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