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不论在生活中、还是工作学习上,我们都应该准备一个有趣的TED talk。甚至可以精简到2分钟内,让听众保持专注并短小精悍的介绍你自己和观点,相信我,这一定有用。


contagious 感染性的;会蔓延的[kən'teɪdʒəs]

witty 诙谐的;富于机智的['wɪtɪ]

plodding 单调乏味的['plɑdɪŋ]

prop 支撑;维持[prɒp]

rehearse 排练;预演[rɪ'hɜːs]

provoking 刺激的;令人生气的[prə'vəʊkɪŋ]

mediocre 普通的;平凡的[,miːdɪ'əʊkə]

stripped-down 言简意赅的;精练的


如果您读完全文用时为: 那么,您的阅读速度相当于 每分钟阅读的英文单词数

5分25秒 母语为英语者的朗读速度 140

3分16秒 母语为英语的中学生的阅读速度 250

2分46秒 母语为英语的大学生的阅读速度 350

0分19秒 母语为英语的速读高手 1000

Why everyone should give a TED talk and how to do it (791words)

By Tim Harford


I found out the hard way that bad public speaking is contagious. As a schoolboy I was pretty good at speeches, in a schoolboyish way. I won competitions; being a sharp, witty speaker was a defining part of who I felt myself to be.

Then I grew up and started a corporate job, and something strange happened. My talks sagged into “presentations”, burdened by humourless clip art and plodding bullet points. The reason? I was surrounded by people who were stuck in the same beige offices giving the same beige presentations. Like many workplaces, we had reached an unspoken consensus that giving bad talks was just the way things were done.

Aside from tradition — and it is a powerful one — why else are most talks bad talks? One reason is fear. Being afraid does not itself make a speech bad; fear can make a talk electrifying or touching. But most speakers take the coward’s way out. Afraid of running out of words, they overstuff their speeches. And they prop themselves up by projecting their speaking notes on the wall behind them, even though everyone knows that providing rolling spoilers for your speech is a terrible idea.

A second reason is lack of preparation. Most speakers rehearse neither their argument nor their performance. That is understandable. Practising in front of a mirror is painful. Practising in front of a friend is excruciating. Rehearsing offers all the discomfort of giving a speech without any of the rewards of doing so. But it will make the end result much better.

For these reasons, I think you should give a TED talk. Almost anyone can. All you need is 18 minutes, a topic and an audience — if only your cat. No matter how often or how rarely you usually speak in public, the act of trying to give a talk in the tradition of TED will change the way you think and feel about public speaking.

As with anything popular, TED talks have their critics, but it is hard to deny that the non-profit organisation behind the videoed presentations on subjects from science to business has helped reinvent the art of the public speech.

TED talks are vastly more entertaining than traditional lectures, while more thought provoking than most television. But that is TED from the point of view of the audience. From the view of an aspiring speaker, the lesson of TED is that most speakers could raise their game. A few TED talks are by professional politicians or entertainers such as Al Gore or David Blaine. Most are not.

There are more than 1,000 talks on the TED website with more than 1m views, typically delivered by writers, academics or entrepreneurs who have been giving mediocre talks as a matter of habit, and who have been suddenly challenged to stop being mediocre. Faced with the obligation to deliver the talk of their lives, they decided to do the work and take the necessary risks.

These speakers have been offered good advice by the organisers of TED, but that advice has never been a secret. It is now available to anyone in the form of TED Talks, a guide to public speaking from Chris Anderson, the TED boss. It is excellent; easily the best public speaking guide I have read. (I should admit a bias: I have spoken twice at TED events and benefited from the platform that TED provides.) Unlike many in the genre, Anderson’s book is not a comprehensive guide to going through the motions of wedding toasts and votes of thanks. Instead, it focuses on the stripped-down TED-style challenge: an audience, a speaker, plenty of time to prepare, and 18 minutes to say something worth hearing.

There is no formula for a great talk, insists Mr Anderson, but there are some common elements. First and most important: there is a point, an idea worth hearing about. Second, the talk has a “throughline” — meaning that most of what is said in some way supports that idea. There may be stories and jokes, even surprises — but everything is relevant.

Third, the speaker connects with those listening — perhaps through humour, stories, or simply making eye contact and speaking frankly. Finally, the speech explains concepts or advances arguments by starting from what the audience understand, and proceeding step by step through more surprising territory. It can be very hard for a speaker to appreciate just how much she knows that her audience do not. One reason to rehearse is that an audience can tell you when they get lost.

Most speakers are able to do some of this, some of the time — an interesting anecdote, a funny line, an educational explanation. We are social beings, after all. We have had a lot of practice talking.


1. Why the author’s talks became bored when he grew up?

A. the influence of colleagues

B. too lazy to practice

C. just forgot

D. his boss admired this way

2. Which one is not mentioned as the reason of why else are most talks bad talks aside from tradition?

A. fear

B. lack of preparation

C. lack of friends

D. no rehearsal

3. What is the stripped-down TED-style challenge?

A. an audience and a speaker

B. plenty of time to prepare

C. 18 minutes to say something worth hearing

D. all of the above

4. Which one is the most important common element for a great talk?

A. the talk has a “throughline”

B. there is a point

C. making eye contact

D. explains concepts in a easy-to-understand way

[1] 答案 A. the influence of colleagues


[2] 答案 C. lack of friends


[3] 答案 D. all of the above


[4] 答案 B. there is a point



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