A CHECKLIST FOR YOUR TALK Powered by The Speaker Coaching Diaries

Your number-one mission as a speaker is to take something that matters deeply to you and to rebuild it inside the minds of your listeners. We’ll call that something an idea. (Chris Anderson, TED curator)

A Checklist for Your Talk

  1. Does your talk deliver a gift to the audience, rather than trying to promote or sell something to them?
  2. Is your talk about a powerful idea that others can learn / benefit from, rather than about yourself or your organization?
  3. Does your talk have a clear red thread running through it?
  4. Does your talk take the audience on a journey? Does it start together with the audience, in a place that is accessible for the average person in the room? Does it carry the audience along, with every step in the talk?
  5. Does your talk connect with the audience by showing vulnerability / humility / humor?
  6. Is your message unexpected / breaking a pattern / charting unknown territory / a mystery story you solve together with the audience?
  7. Does your talk include stories that feature real characters / bring in concrete details / provide interesting anecdotes?
  8. Does your talk explain difficult concepts by starting where the audience is / giving concrete examples / starting with the easy bits / using comparisons or metaphors / presenting ideas one by one?
  9. Does your talk build up credibility by describing personal examples / telling stories of real people / supporting your ideas with research data / borrowing someone else's credibility?
  10. Does your talk relate to your audience's emotions? Is it related to something they already care about?
  11. Are your introduction and conclusion memorable? Is your big idea clear from the first 10 seconds, and reinforced in the conclusion?
  12. Are your slides more like the punchline of your talk, rather than the talk itself? Are you talking between the slides, rather than about the slides?
  13. Are you giving the audience a concrete take-away that they can use practically, in their own lives, as soon as they have left the conference venue?
The Presentation is You. (Ioana Lazarescu, The Speaker Coaching Diaries)
Created By
Ioana Lazarescu