5 Public Speaking Techniques Gabriel Nathan Uses In His TEDx Talk


Because a video of a speech/presentation has only a few views/hits and hasn’t gone viral it doesn’t mean the speaker hasn’t created a brilliant presentation – one that should to be heard. Or that it hasn’t executed tried and true public speaking techniques. That’s the case with Gabriel Nathan’s TEDxWestChester Talk.

Thanks to the power of marketing and ‘influencers’ sometimes work that’s mediocre gets millions of hits and work that’s quality languishes and doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. This talk deserves to be heard.

I learned about Gabe’s presentation from a TEDx leader’s forum that I’m a member of. The event organizers were baffled as to why this talk hadn’t received much traction. They asked members of the group to watch it. I was curious…

I agree with the event organizers. It’s a brilliant talk about mental health that not only provides insight but also helps you and I understand what we can do to support others and ourselves.

Gabe has an important, timely message to share that is often spoken of in whispers and for many hard to comprehend – suicide. He has masterfully crafted and delivered his presentation with these 5 public speaking techniques:

Piques Your Interest And Invites You In With His First Words

 It’s key that you catch your audience’s interest with your first words and Gabe does just that. He introduces an interesting visual, a VW bug that’s split in two, and challenges you with a number of questions as to how mental illness could take on this visual form. He then goes on to challenge what your beliefs of mental illness might be.

Authority And Credibility

 How is it that Gabe’s words should be believed/trusted? He shares that he worked at a lock down psych unit for over five years. He has also has mental health issues and manages depression and anxiety. Gabe was bullied in college to the extreme he thought about hanging himself in his dorm room. He is real and raw and speaks about how mental health demons continue to haunt him.

Visual Connection To His Message

I mentioned the visual of the bug split in two and how Gabriel hooks you in at the start of his presentation. He also uses the image as a through-line to keep his message on track, which makes it easy for his audience to connect the dots. The VW is one of the heroes in Gabe’s story. It’s also the conduit for his message.


Speaking about such a serious topic requires sensitivity. When you’re suffering with the problem/issue that you are speaking about you have more license to push boundaries. Gabe masterfully uses self-depreciating humour – just enough and not too much.

 Inspiration Is Wonderful But Action Is Better

When we share our stories it helps others know that what they’ve experienced isn’t weird or a one-off that only you or I have experienced. Shared stories help strip isolation away.

When you can come to a place when you can share and realize the positive ripple effect you’re creating, your experience can move mountains. Gabe challenges you to stop dreaming about what could be and drive it (there’s the VW bug visual again) – invest the energy in sharing your stories to build healthy, strong, and connected communities.


I could go on and tell you ten more public speaking techniques that Gabe brilliantly uses in this talk. However, my public speaking tips are inconsequential.

What’s important is Gabe and his message. How he delivers with realness and offers an answer to the public health crisis you and I are witnessing and/or perhaps experiencing.

So please, share this video. It’s more than an idea worth spreading. It’s bigger than that. Gabe’s TEDx Talk is answers worth spreading.

Driving Out Suicide: Tackling A Public Health Crisis with Love | Gabriel Nathan | TEDxWestChester  


I help build confident voices so they’re heard.

Janice Tomich is the founder of Calculated Presentations, a company dedicated to bringing out speaker’s stories to influence change. Janice coaches professionals, entrepreneurs, TED and TEDx speakers. She is a champion for equal representation by a diverse pool of presenters for all speaking events. Follow Janice on Twitter @janicetomich, on Facebook, on LinkedIn and subscribe for newsletter updates.

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