Skip to main content

TED IS A NONPROFIT committed to spreading ideas in the form of succinct yet powerful talks that are all 18 minutes or less. TED Talks have a distinct style that results in spectacularly high levels of viewer engagement. This style is predicated on several principles guiding TED Talk presenters, as outlined by Carmine Gallo in “Talk Like TED.” Interestingly, these principles can just as easily be applied to a sales pitch as to a keynote. In fact, using these TED presentation tips will not only grow the relationship you have already with your prospect, but you will also close more business. Gallo begins by pointing out that “passion is contagious.” Help your audience members understand why you believe passionately in what you do, and they’re more likely to trust you. Prospects make buying decisions first based on emotion, and then they seek the rational justification for decisions they’ve made. Once an emotional connection has been established, based on your passion, anything you say next has immediate credibility. It’s hard for people to engage if they can’t relate to what you’re saying, and stories are a powerful way to connect. If you “master the art of storytelling,” your prospects will understand your key ideas even better. Next time you make a pitch, incorporate a well-placed story that reinforces your brand’s primary differentiators. Make your story so rich with details that your prospect can imagine being with you at the time. Be ready to lead a conversation with your prospect. Prepare extensively for your sales meeting, but in the moment, focus on just having an honest conversation with your prospect, instead of anticipating what you’re going to say next. If you want your pitch to stand out from your competitors and remain on the mind of your prospect well after your sales meeting, Gallo recommends that you “deliver jaw-dropping moments.” Include an unexpected or shocking statistic. Use props or a demo to showcase your offering. Incorporate pictures and video to reinforce your point. Finally, you should “lighten up.” Sales meetings are usually pretty predictable. Combine humor and a bit of novelty to make your audience more receptive to your message and to build rapport. Don’t tell knock-knock jokes, but you should remember not to take yourself too seriously. Consider a funny anecdote, personal story or observation related to your message, or share a funny analogy or metaphor. There’s nothing like watching a TED Talk to see how to apply these principles. For a little inspiration, visit and search for “How Schools Kill Creativity.” You’ll see an everyday guy, Ken Robinson, delivering the most persuasive, mind-shaping presentation of his life.

author avatar
RedRover Sales & Marketing

Leave a Reply