How to prepare a winning TED-style talk (1/3)

Since 2021 I have been the producer of TEDxCowes, a series of events focusing specifically on action for Ocean Sustainability. For these events I have coached 20 speakers (and counting), and I loved it!

Not only that, also the speakers liked it!

And they reached amazing results, from a few to several dozen thousands, up to 235,000 visualisations and counting!

My speakers consistently appreciated my coaching approach, my “mindful and personalised guidance”, which made them feel listened to and understood, in an “efficient, insightful and joyous interaction” to help them “develop their own voice” by “providing clear guidelines” and “listening intently” to create a “powerful experience”, “coaching on delivery, content and language.”

(I'm so proud of reading this stuff time and again! 😇 )

 This made me decide to share the process of coaching a speaker to "talk like TED."

I'm particularly interested to help all the leaders who want to make a positive impact with their activities.

  • It's the B-Corp Leaders who want to multiply the impact of their business.
  • It's the Philanthropists who want to multiply the impact of their money.
  • It's the Activists and the Entrepreneurs.

I exhort them to use perfectly crafted talks to inspire their audiences to follow them in their mission to change the world. Maybe even aim to become TED speakers themselves!

I do this one-to-one through my coaching business at Talk for Impact.

But I want to offer them also this little series of posts where I share the lessons that I have learned while coaching my heroes!

 Let's Get Started!

The process

The process to develop a winning talk in TED-style goes through 5 phases, all equally important:

  1. Clarify Your Message
  2. Develop your Own Content 
  3. Develop Your Unique Voice 
  4. Memorise Your Talk 
  5. Refine Your Talk

Ready to start? Let's go!

 #1 Clarify Your Message

 You have an idea for your talk. That should be it, you think.

Well, I challenge you: Look at your idea through the WHY lens.

The WHY LensThat is, ask yourself WHY.First, write down your answers to the following questions:WHY do you want to do this talk? What do you want to achieve with it?Maybe you want to inspire people? Or perhaps convince them to invest in your venture?Or just get them onboard? Or … what else?Stop now and do it, take a sheet of paper and write down your why.Done?Now write down:- Your initial idea- Some variation of that idea that in the light of your WHY answers might work better- Or maybe some completely new idea!And ask yourself the WHY lens test: which of these ideas is the best answer to my WHY?Repeat the process till you have an Idea (capital I!) that passes the WHY Lens test!

 #2 Develop Your Own Content

WOW! You have clarified the starting Idea. Congratulations!

Now you are going to write the first draft of your talk.

Just write all the stuff that comes to mind.

Some speakers like to write bullet-point lists of ideas under the main idea.

Some others just make a brain dump of what they have in mind.

It's up to you.

 Don't get fixated on the grammar, or the spelling, or even the logic of the sentence.

Just brain-dump it all!

It's called the Hemingway method, there's also an online app to do it at

When you have it all down on (virtual) paper, go through it again.

And again. And again.

Start getting the feeling for a narrative and rearrange the content till it resembles a decent script.

At this point you're done, you have your first draft!

And don’t worry if you don’t like it.

It just barely resembles the final talk.

You could say it’s just a ghost of the talk that you started to summon from your inner brain!

First draft, check! ✅

Time to celebrate!

In the next post we will work on developing your unique voice. See you next week!

Talk for Impact is a platform for Impact Leaders and Changemakers, with a newsletter packed full of suggestions and other resources on how to deliver great talks that move audiences to action.

And if you feel ready to work one-to-one with me reach out for a 20' discovery chat with me (in English, Spanish or Italian.)