TED Talk Reflection

I don’t think I’ve ever given a speech that went exactly as planned, but my TED Talk was definitely a manifestation of Murphy’s Law (“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”).  Despite having run through the speech before class, I managed to omit a key point from my introduction.  Then I continued talking until I could no longer feasibly work it back into the speech.  Perhaps I should have slowed down and reworked my introduction on the fly, but, in retrospect, there are some simple measures I could have taken to counteract my forgetfulness.

Looking back at similar speeches (5 minutes without notes) that I had to give for an Engineering Design course, I realized where I went wrong.  While I took a similar approach in preparing for the TED Talk, familiarizing myself with the information and data that I wanted to present so that I could support my main points, I changed my approach with the key points themselves.  The Engineering Department teaches a presentation format called Assertion-Evidence; it’s a simple premise: you make a statement, then back it up.  Presentations in this format are usually accompanied by PowerPoint Presentations with a slide for each assertion, plainly stating the point to be made.

I designed my TED slideshow to show supporting evidence for each of the main points that I planned to make, but did not include the points themselves.  Having headings or titles that would have indicated the point I needed to make and breaking the presentation into a greater number of slides, each with more specific information, would have helped me remain on point and prevented the omission of important information.  From now on, I’ll try sticking to what I know works when it comes to oral presentations.  My TED Talk is linked below:

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4 comments

  1. You were very nervous at the beginning of your talk and I was worried how you would be able to do, especially when you started your speech completely over. However I feel that you did a great job at recovering and being able to get your points across even if it wasn’t in the manner your preferred. It’s good that you can see what you did wrong in order to change it for the better.

  2. That sounds like a great way to prepare for speeches. I too omitted a certain key point of information in my speech which may have affected it’s flow, and although I touched on the subject, I wish I had a reminder in my slides of the exact point I wanted to make. I will keep the outline of assertion-evidence in mind next time I prepare for a presentation.

  3. It looks like you know exactly what went wrong in your TED talk, which is always good. I’m sure you could easily improve upon your wrongs at this pace. Also, I’ve never heard anything about Murphy’s Law – sounds pretty cool. The method of presentation that you discussed in the blog, the one you used for your engineering speeches, seems like a really good method to memorize speeches and perform them better.

  4. It sounds like you were able to break down your speech really well and identify the points that you could have worked on a bit. The method of presentation you describe seems to be really solid and will certainly be useful to others who read your blog!

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