Create Your Own TEDx or TED-Style Talk
A top-tier TEDx producer and professional writer shows you how to elevate your message using best practices from the TED stage.
What do Simon Sinek, Brené Brown and Amy Cuddy have in common? All three rose from relative obscurity to become in-demand speakers and influential business leaders as a direct result of their TED Talks.
As that trio proves, delivering a powerful TED Talk can launch careers, supercharge book sales and lead to highly paid speaking engagements. But first, you have to write it.
The Hired Pens’ Anna Goldsmith is here to help. She has coached hundreds of TEDx speakers and will show you how to use techniques from the TED stage — including storytelling, relatable humor and a conversational voice — to supercharge your own talk.
Whether you’re preparing for a TEDx event or want to give the kind of leadership speech that fires up your team or inspires donors to dig a little deeper, this program will get you there. Discover how to:
- Find and shape your own “big idea worth spreading.”
- Capture the attention of your audience from the very first line.
- Showcase your expertise without the laundry list of degrees and titles.
- Build emotional rapport through compelling storytelling and humor.
- Transform “industry speak” into relatable, conversational language.
- Avoid common speaker pitfalls, including the dreaded attention-span trap.
Explore What You’ll Do in Each Session
This program is designed for individuals who want to write and prepare for a specific speaking engagement using best practices from the TED stage. The final “product” is an exceptional speech that reflects your unique strengths.
Our standard program includes eight 60- to 90-minute work sessions with homework and support in between. The coaching process is highly customized based on your goals, skills and schedule.
Session 1: The Big Idea
In TED-speak, your “big idea” is your core message. You may go into this session unsure of what that is — or having something but wanting it to be better. Together, we’ll find — or refine — your message so it resonates with your audience.
Session 2: Content Inventory
What research, data and stories back up your big idea? This session is all about finding the meat behind your message.
Session 3: Structure
Is there a logical flow to your talk, or are there structural issues to address? Together, we’ll create the blueprint you need to build your talk.
Session 4: First Draft
You’ll come to this session with a first draft prepared. You’ll probably think it’s terrible, but that’s okay: It’s a work in progress. And by the end of this session, you’ll know what’s working, what’s not and how to fix it.
Session 5: Second Draft
Now you’re getting somewhere! The junk is gone, and the good stuff is here — but it needs to be “punched up,” clarified and maybe even totally reworked in some sections. In this session, we’ll answer the question, “How can this be better?”
Session 6: Final Draft
Your draft is now ready for the final polish. Together we’ll make sure the opening pops, the ending has a very strong call to action and everything in between is as tight and engaging as it can be. You’ll also practice it out loud, so we can smooth out any rough spots.
Session 7: Perfecting Your Visuals
Some talks really benefit from visuals, from compelling slides to onstage props. Bad visuals, however, can wreck an otherwise outstanding presentation. You’ll leave this session with everything you need to make a strong visual impact.
Session 8: Getting Stage Ready
You’ve got your talk! Now we’ll explore what it takes to deliver it with style and confidence. This session will also give us time to rewrite on the fly if there are sections that keep tripping you up. (And there will be!)
Meet Your Coach
Anna is a founding partner of The Hired Pens, an award-winning copywriting agency that serves clients across a wide range of industries. Since 2018, she has also produced TEDxPortsmouth, one of the largest and most successful TEDx events in the country. The speakers she’s worked with have been recognized across TED platforms and around the world.
Her success (and delight in doing this work) has inspired The Hired Pens to create an offshoot of their business, dedicated to helping TEDx speakers — and those who wish to deliver TED-style presentations — craft the talk of a lifetime.
Get in Touch to Learn More
If you’d like to explore working together on your own TED Talk, TED-style talk or keynote, the first step is to connect with Anna for a short call. We’ll talk about where you are in the process — e.g., just kicking around “big ideas” vs. looking to polish a rough draft? Then we’ll figure out the process, program and pricing that works for you. Please contact us and let us know what you have in mind.
Additional Client Testimonials
“Anna was enormously helpful in shaping my TEDx Portsmouth talk. She suggested new ideas and helped to significantly enhance the final product. It would not have been the same without her experience-based insights, and I was very grateful for her support.”
– James W. Dean Jr., president, University of New Hampshire
“Every writer needs an Anna! Her expertise and guidance in helping me craft my TEDx speech were not just beneficial but essential. With honest feedback and a critical eye, Anna effortlessly helped me shape an inspiring speech that was concise and humorous, all while staying true to my own voice. Her one-on-one sessions not only enhanced my writing and delivery skills but also instilled the confidence I needed to step on stage in front of 900 people. Thanks to Anna, my talk went flawlessly.”
– Julie Machado, marketing coordinator, Landy’s Management Group
“Anna is a ninja editor, writer and speaking coach. The moment you meet her, you surrender all trust instantly because you know you’re in the hands of someone who is direct, honest and ready to mine you for your best ideas and talent so that you are confident, rehearsed and ready for the moment you step out on that big red dot. Anna is smart, funny and artistic, and I hit the lottery having her as my coach.”
– Scarlet Keys, professor, Berklee College of Music
“Through refinement and iterations, Anna helps you convey your message in your true, authentic voice, while being able to keep to the parameters of a TED Talk. TED Talks are an investment in everyone’s time and one of the most fulfilling, memorable and rewarding things you will ever do — especially when you have her expertise to guide you.”
– Dr. Kartik Sakthivel, vice president and chief information officer, LIMRA/LOMA, LL Global
“Anna took the time to understand the subject matter and get to know me so my voice wouldn’t be lost in the process, and she helped me write the talk I had always dreamed of giving. I am so grateful to have had Anna in my corner every step of the way, from thought partner to writing support, advising me as I practiced and even cheering me on when the big day arrived. Her personal touch is just what I needed. Thank you, Anna!”
– John Monahan III, law enforcement consultant
“Presenting at TEDxPortsmouth was one of the most memorable and impactful moments in my personal and professional career. Through close collaboration with Anna, plus lots of practice, I formed a greater understanding about a subject I cared deeply about. I also learned how to apply discipline and clarity when communicating a big idea. I believe it has helped me further an idea that is having a positive impact on the people that I serve.”
– Craig Welch, executive director, Portsmouth Housing Authority