If you ever talk to a lot of great writers, the one thing you'll find in common, they pretty much all say this is that they like to read other great writings, they read the classics. They read other people they respect to are currently writing doesn't matter if it's fiction, nonfiction. People who pride themselves in their ability to craft words to be a great writer, spend a lot of their time reading. And they read for pleasure. They read for fun, and they read for work. That's how they get better.
It's not because they're stealing ideas, but it's motivating them. It's it's holding them to higher standards. This idea here with a little twist or wrinkle can work in something they're writing. It's an essential part of being a great writer. Speaking is no different. But remember, the final output when you're speaking is not the text of your speech for a history book, the final product is you actually speaking and that's why it's all well and good to read books about speaking and I've Read broadly 1000 and I've written half a dozen.
At some point, you need to put the books aside and you need to spend some time on a regular basis. Watching speakers. Now if you want to speak at TED, I would certainly recommend that you watch a lot of TED speakers there are thousands of them. Now you may find certain categories of science or maybe music that you're not interested in. The beauty of Ted is it's organized by sections and a lot of different ways you can focus on just what you're interested in. But I would advise you to go beyond your interest.
Sometimes, you can learn even more about someone's speaking skills. Their stagecraft techniques, if you're not even as interested in their subject matter, you can actually focus on some of these other things they're doing so I would advise you to do what I do is try to get a broad swath of speakers in your video viewing diet the same way you may read New York Times or Wall Street Journal regularly. Find some point in the week or even the day when you're watching videos of people speaking. Now, you don't have to just rely on Ted, there are a lot of great places for speaking videos, and YouTube has, at this point hundreds of millions of them. The beauty of Ted though, is they've done a great job of curating before anyone ever gets on video, they've eliminated boring, awful speakers. So that's why I like going to Ted.
And that I know I'm not going to be watching for 30 seconds and have to think, Oh, this is really boring, awful, the audio quality is awful. This person's really not to worry about that. So that is the beauty of Ted. But wherever you watch speakers, you may just want to watch stand up comedy on Netflix. That's a type of speaking. And good comedians are by definition, great public speakers, even though you might not think of it that way.
I do. recommend if you want to be a TED speaker. And if just generally, you want to get better and better and better at speaking, you need to watch speakers and you may find there's someone in particular you really like you can then follow that follow their blog, find out every time they speak, then subscribe to their YouTube channel so you can watch all of their speeches. And this way you can develop stronger tastes, and you're not out to mimic someone. But if you surround yourself by great speakers, and you're watching great speakers all the time, some of it just rubs off. If you watch speaker after speaker after speaker, move around, looking at the audience, not staring at notes and not using boring bullet point slides.
It's gonna be harder for you to just out of the blue. say, Oh, I got to give a speech. Let me read a bunch of boring bullet points. It's not going to occur to you because your standards will be elegant. That's true. That's why people like to read good writing.
It's also why good speakers like to watch good speakers. So I would urge you find someplace, put it on your calendar if you have to. Or if you're used to just watching sitcoms every Thursday night for two hours. How about at least the first half an hour of that break? Finding a good entertaining speaker