Amy Cuddy at TED

Have a look at the opening from Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, “Your body language shapes who you are”:

“I want to ask you to right now do a little audit of your body and what you’re doing with your body. So how many of you are sort of making yourselves smaller? Maybe you’re hunching, crossing your legs, maybe wrapping your ankles. Sometimes we hold onto our arms like this. Sometimes we spread out. So I want you to pay attention to what you’re doing right now. We’re going to come back to that in a few minutes, and I’m hoping that if you learn to tweak this a little bit, it could significantly change the way your life unfolds.”

Can you see why Amy’s talk is so engaging? It’s because it’s about the audience, not about the speaker!

I won’t go into much more detail regarding presentation content, because that is already heavily covered in my book, How to Deliver a Great TED Talk. However, to summarize, all the great TED speakers that I’ve watched deliver you-focused presentations. They constantly use you-focused questions and statements to relate their presentation back to the audience. Why? Because ultimately presentations are about the audience, not the speaker.

Amy’s Slides

Furthermore, check out the simplicity of Amy’s slides:


Amy Cuddy follows the rule of minimizing text on slides. In fact, there is no text at all on the above slide!

Next time you design a slide for your TED talk (or for any other presentation or speech), make sure you limit the amount of text on your slide.

Akash Karia

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