Key Takeaways

  1. Deploy a range of audience connection techniques for maximum impact, such as:
    • Inclusive language (“we,” “you”)
    • Cognitive engagement (“Imagine if …”)
    • Polling and rhetorical questions
    • Humor (carefully!)
    • Emotional appeal 

Explore Further

optional exercises for further reflection and practice


  • Choose three TED Talks at random.  For each one, jot down the audience connection technique(s) you identify the speaker using. Identify at least one additional connection technique that each speaker could have used.

Build Your Checklist

this list grows throughout the academic quarter
  • Create my Anxiety Management Plan (AMP) and use when speaking publicly
  • Define my audience and speaking goals:
    1. Who am I speaking to?
    2. What are their needs?
    3. What I want them to think, feel or do differently after hearing me?
  • Choose and apply an identifiable structure, such as:
    1. What, so what, now what?
    2. Problem, solution, benefit
    3. What is, what could be, new bliss
  • Create a powerful opening and closing
  • Prepare visual aids that pass the “billboard test,” reinforcing structure and story:
    1. One big idea per slide
    2. Quick impact
    3. Clean and crisp
  • Practice and digitally record my talk repeatedly, refining:
    1. Visual delivery: Stance, movement, gestures, eye contact
    2. Vocal delivery: Volume, dynamics, pace, tone
    3. Verbal delivery: opening, closing, structure, story