I’m a big fan of the 20-minute video talks from experts on TED.com.
Just think about this: If more people wrote expert ebooks like these riveting presentations, their books would be easier to read and deliver more memorable information. In this post, I suggest a couple of writing tips culled from these great presentations.
In case you’re not familiar with TED.com, here’s the skinny. Originally focusing on technology, entertainment and design—hence, the initials—TED Talks feature remarkable experts in diverse fields with revolutionary ideas.
TED Talks are truly inspiring. As some of the most viewed speakers in the world, they showcase their high-level presentation skills—a seamless blend of intelligence, entertainment and persuasion. These speakers provide jaw-dropping stories you’ll be talking about for weeks.
TED’s growing global audience is testimony to the success of their mission, “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Since June 2006, the talks have been offered for free viewing online.
- By January 2009 they had been viewed 50 million times
- In June 2011, the viewing figure stood at more than 500 million
- By mid-November, 2012, TED Talks had been watched one billion times worldwide
What can you learn from TED talks that you can apply to writing an expert ebook? Here are just a few tips:
- Select a Topic. Regardless of topic, your goal is to awaken your readers to a new way of thinking or persuade them to take action. Ask yourself:
- Why is this topic important, to me, the audience and the world?
- How will my readers benefit?
- How can I enlist others to join my crusade?
Identify a central idea, and work backwards to establish a reader-centric narrative that includes stories and facts. As you build your chapters, play the role of skeptical reader by asking “So what?” and “What’s in it for me?”
- Appeal to Your Audience: People have four driving needs, so make emotional connections that appeal to your readers’:
- Social need for belonging
- Ability to learn and grow
- Desire to make a meaningful difference
Be sure to explore beyond the surface of your topic, but don’t try to pack a lifetime’s worth of learning into a single ebook.
Be clear about your central idea. Focus on a unifying message; then, scour your brain for amazing experiences that add emotional depth.
Instead of focusing on your knowledge and expertise, shift your focus to the universal needs of the people in your reading audience. Make them the heroes of your stories.
I’m recognizing some other great tips that translate well from the speaker’s platform to ebook writing. More on these in my next posts.
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