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Story | Community
31 December 2020

TED Trainings prepare QF students and innovators to communicate with impact


Virtual sessions held through partnership between QF and TED that has created the groundbreaking TEDinArabic initiative

Students and startups at Qatar Foundation have gained insights into the art of communication from a TED expert who has helped some of the world’s top companies capture their audiences’ attention.

Two virtual TED Trainings with TED’s director of speaker coaching, Briar Goldberg – organized as a result of the close links between Qatar Foundation (QF) and TED formed through the launch of the TEDinArabic initiative, a partnership between the two organizations – focused on building authenticity and trust, and putting audience before content.

The TED Trainings session with entrepreneurs at QF.

Aimed at equipping students at QF’s universities and tech entrepreneurs housed at Qatar Science & Technology Park – which is part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation – with concepts that they can apply in their studies and their professional lives, the TED Trainings adopted the same approach that prepares speakers for TED’s main stage.

Unveiled in July by QF and TED, TEDinArabic is a two-year initiative that is providing a platform for people from the Arabic-speaking world to share their ideas globally, in the Arabic language. Reflecting QF’s role as a custodian of the Arabic language, culture, heritage, and knowledge, it is TED’s first initiative that focused on sharing solutions, inventions, and stories in Arabic.

“I’ve been so impressed with the members of the QF community I’ve met in these two classes,” said Goldberg. “Everyone has been so thoughtful, engaged, and inquisitive – it’s a teacher’s dream come true.

After teaching these two classes, I’m even more excited about the ideas and thinkers TEDinArabic will be showcasing to the world

Briar Goldberg

“This partnership really is a perfect match – I knew that when TED and QF began working together, but after teaching these two classes, I’m even more excited about the ideas and thinkers TEDinArabic will be showcasing to the world.”

The two TED Trainings covered elements including audience-centered communication, how to be authentic and trustworthy communicators, and non-verbal communication, as well as tips for presenting virtually in a COVID-19 world and answering tough interview questions.

Briar Goldberg.

As an executive communication strategist, speechwriter, and public speaking expert, Goldberg has worked with the CEOs of Facebook, Ford, Levi’s, and other Fortune 100 companies, coached over 150 TED speakers, and written speeches for Nobel Prize and Grammy Award winners. “When people find out I’m a communication coach and teacher, they always ask ‘what’s the most important tip every public speaker should know?’” she said. “For me, there is only one answer.

You should always frame your communications around your audience’s needs, expectations, and goals

Briar Goldberg

“You should always frame your communications around your audience’s needs, expectations, and goals. The problem is, most of us don’t communicate with our audience’s goals in mind; instead, we build our speeches and presentations around our own goals, our talking points, our agendas.

“But if your audience doesn’t understand why your goals matter to them, they’ll stop listening – and if they stop listening, what’s the point? So my number one tip is to always practice the ABCs – Audience Before Content – because if you put your audience at the center of your communication, you’ll succeed every time.”

Effective and impactful communication was the focus of the two TED Trainings at QF.

Through TEDinArabic, high-quality content produced in Arabic is being amplified to the world, with a flagship event in Doha in 2022 bringing the TED conference experience to the Middle East and showcasing the boldest ideas from the Arabic-speaking world.

The partnership with QF will also TED build a digital TEDinArabic content library, housing content focusing on the topics that matter most to the Arabic-speaking world. Both this library and the TEDinArabic website will remain live and accessible after the two-year partnership ends, to continue empowering Arabic speakers across the world to keep sharing their ideas.

To find out more about TEDinArabic, visit

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