12 Things TEDx Speakers Do That Preachers Don’t

ChurchLeaders | 4/15/2019 | Staff
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Ever seen a TEDx talk? They’re pretty great. Here’s one I happen to enjoy, and have used in a couple of sermons.

I’ve wondered for a long time, “How in the world do each of these talks end up consistently blowing me away?”

Research - TEDx-talk - Guidelines - Speakers - Advice

So I did some research and found the TEDx-talk guidelines for speakers. Some of the advice was basic—but some of it was unexpected. Much of it, I think, is a welcome wake-up call to preachers who are communicating in a 21st-century, postmodern, post-Christian context. Obviously, some of this doesn’t fit with a preacher’s ethos—but much of it does.

That said, here are 12 things TEDx speakers do that preachers usually don’t:


1. Present one great idea.

“An idea isn’t just a story or a list of facts. A good idea takes evidence or observations and draws a larger conclusion.”

Course - TEDx - Talkers - Points - Direction

Of course, TEDx talkers often have multiple points, but they always have direction: They’re always moving forward to a set conclusion (and that’s all big-idea preaching is, for all the flack it gets).

They also suggest to the speaker: “Get your idea out as quickly as possible.”

Time - Limit

2. Set a time limit.

“Shorter talks are not lesser talks. It may only take five minutes to make your point unforgettably.”


Ouch—yes, I...
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