Can anybody give a TED talk?

Member news | September 20, 2021

By FACC-NY Member Muriel Omur Ilbas

When Richard Saul Wurman, and Harry Marks conceived TED as a conference, in 1984, they certainly did nvnot foresee the huge success of their project.

What began as a series of conferences about technology and design, nearly 40 years later, has become a globally renowned resource for thousands of talks on cultural, political, scientific, academic, and humanitarian topics as well.

Today there is a multitude of companies and trainers who propose to prepare you for a memorable TED Talk.

Even if you don’t dream of being on this famous stage in a TED Conference somewhere around the World, you too can give a TED-style talk.


The answer to this question is embedded in your responses to three crucial questions:

Do you have something new and engaging to tell us?

A TED Talk-style speech means that you are going to reveal to us ideas we had never considered or present an idea packaged differently than usual.

3,500 TED Talks are freely available on their website. Watching them may allow anyone to have some tips about creativity and interesting ways to present any topic, as well as the right attitude and tone to have on stage.

As TED speaker Oliver Uberti said: “Every superhero has an origin story. So do you. Don't follow someone else's. Create your own masterpiece.”

Do you know how to lighten up and make the most serious topics more appealing?

The secret to good public speaking lies in your capacity to plan, prepare, and rehearse. Then you can present your ideas with creativity and agility.

You will have to lighten up your presentation but also your entrance, your language, as well as your non-verbal message. It is easier said than done.

Detailed feedback from an effective presenter, coupled with rehearsals with a public speaking coach, can make a huge difference and offer you the possibility to master on your TED Talk style speech.

Are you able to give a short but effective speech?

TED organizers had decided that a TED Talk would always be 18 minutes long, because they thought that 18 minutes was long enough for a speaker to express their ideas, and short enough that a listener could take in and understand the information.

The 28th US President, Thomas Woodrow Wilson once said: “If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”


Muriel Omur Ilbas is a former TV producer and anchorwoman, a communication expert with 20 years of management consulting, 16 years of training services, and 11 years of executive coaching experience.

She has worked with more than 150 global companies including Pepsi, British American Tobacco, Coca Cola, L’Oréal, Limagrain, Lesaffre, Total, Peugeot, Groupama, Louis Vuitton, Basf, Roche, Glaxo, and Novartis.

Her company, LSWUS Consulting, LLC, based in the U.S., provides a broad variety of online and in person services in consulting, coaching, training, mentoring, and crisis management for expat managers and international students living in the US.

She provides intercultural coaching and public speaking services under her brand: Your Coach in America.