Two years ago, I had the joyful experience of speaking at UCLA for their TEDx event. The talk only lasted 12 minutes, but the time I put in behind the scenes was immeasurable. I practiced a lot for my talk, and that is coming from someone who has 15 years of professional speaking experience.
Since the anniversary of my talk just passed, I figured I’d use the time to share with you three strategies I used to help me to nail my TEDx Talk:
1) Reverse Order
After I was done memorizing my talk, I would try and remember the talk sentence by sentence…backwards. I’d start with the very last line, and work my way line-by-line until I reached my opening line, “Technology is amazing!”
2) Walk & Talk
As I walked around NYC, I would verbally, out loud, give the speech. I tried to keep going, no matter what happened, or who was around me. It made for a lot of really interesting moments at crosswalks, cafes, and checkout lines.
3) Casual Conversation
In conversation with people, I would try to slip in parts of the speech into the conversation word for word. The goal was to see how much of the speech I could include in a conversation and make it still sound natural.
Part of “nailing a speech” is embodying the content so well that it’s a part of you. Using these three strategies, I was able to embody the content so well that no matter what happened on stage, or how high my nerves were, I knew I would be able to deliver a great talk.
Want to see the final result?