Sally taking notes

Writing Your Talk Playlist

Sitting down to start creating your talk can be daunting, and feel like it’s all resting on creating something brilliant right out of the gate. But creating a talk is an iterative process that requires dedication, creativity – and a healthy dose of courage.

Here are some greatest hits on writing your talk – and creating something that really matters.  

1. Creating Your Best Worst Draft Series

Check out this series all about how to dive in and get your ideas out on paper without editing out the brilliance. If you have trouble finding the flow, this will help:

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

2. Hank Fortner: On Crafting a Talk

In one of the most-listened to episodes of all time on This Moved Me, listen to speaker Hank Fortner talk about how he got better at his craft. He is a pro, and I love this episode!

3. 159: Amena Brown – On Writing Your Talk Like a Poet

I met Amena a few years ago at the Story Gathering [] and was taken by her passion, stage presence and beauty! She is a powerhouse, but also knows how to finesse a moment with her words. She is not just a speaker – she’s a poet. So we talked about how her poetry affects her talk writing – and there’s too much good stuff in here not to share:

4. 161: A Simple Trick to Jump-Start Talk Writing

Getting started is hard. It can feel overwhelming, which keeps us from diving in. So many of my speakers just want something to help them get started, that even before we sit down to free-write (which for some people can also feel intimidating) – I started using this simple trick. And it’s changed everything! Take a listen:

5. 131: On Editing Til It Hurts

One of the biggest challenges in writing your talk is figuring out what and how to cut our talks! I think editing is one of the most under-rated skills we need as speakers. A good edit clarifies our idea and helps us stand out from the crowd. So – how do we know when we’ve done that? Listen in:

Additional Reading:

5 Presentation Lessons I Learned Giving a TEDx Talk

This isn’t an episode to listen to, but in it are some important lessons it might be helpful to keep in mind as you create your signature talk!