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6 Talks to Light You Up

Right Now

We talk, and people talk to us all the time. Whether you're in a meeting at work, listening to the radio, or watching a YouTube video, chances are, you've listened to someone give a talk today.

But what makes a really great speech?

If your goal is to give your best talk ever in 2020, it's time to learn from the experts. Here are some of my favourite talks you can listen to and learn from right now.

Abeer Pamuk: How I Won the Syrian War

This talk is a great example of using storytelling to connect with your audience. By bravely using theatrical techniques, Abeer Pamuk creates a moving tale that goes from dark to light. She finishes strongly, leaving TEDx participants with a lasting image of her journey from one home in Syria to her new home in New York City.

CBC Comedy: The Thought Leader Inspires

First off, this talk is funny. But secondly, it really illustrates that how you say what you say is just as important as your message. Using the right tone, posture, and body language, Pat Kelly evokes a sense of authority and reflection, without having anything to say at all.

Mellody Hobson: Color Blind or Color Brave?

Another TED Talk, but in a different style. Here, Melody Hobson is less theatrical, but her talk is no less impactful. She uses a clear conversational tone mixed with humour to keep her audience engaged. What I love best is that she has a clear ask of her audience from the beginning, which drives the entire narrative.

Laura Sicola: Want To Sound Like A Leader?

This talk speaks about voice more directly than any of the others, and walks the listeners through a deeper understanding of why and how the sound of a person’s voice matters.

Laura's content and delivery help us really consider how sound, tonality, pace AND delivery must match the content and context of the message. Any disconnect can hurt your credibility.

Zach Walls: I Was Raised by Two Women

This talk literally brings tears to my eyes. Zach may not be a trained speaker, and his talk is paced a little fast, but when you give voice to what you truly believe in, it's a courageous and powerful act.

Emma Gonzalez: March for Our Lives

This talk is an amazing lesson in using silence and receiving energy from your audience. Emma doesn't even start speaking until the 20-second mark in this video, but it never feels stilted. By the time she reaches her four minutes of silence, we are in her grasp.

A speech isn't just about the speaker, it's about their relationship with the audience, and this speech is an amazing example of that.

Whatever your personal style, you can turn it into an effective speaking technique. I'd love to hear from you about your favourite YouTube talk, and the challenges you're facing in building your best talk of 2020. Send me an email, or join us in our new Facebook Group!

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