TED Talk: “Secrets of Success” Speech Summary, Text, & Analysis

March 5, 2023

4 min read

successful person raising his hand

If you are looking for a speech summary, text, and analysis of the TED Talk: “Secrets of Success”, we have provided one for you. In Richard St. John’s 3-minute speech, he discusses a topic questioned by many: what makes someone successful?

TED Talk: “Secrets of Success” Speech Summary

  • The speaker was asked a simple question on a plane seven years ago by a teenager from a poor family: “What leads to success?”
  • The speaker came to Ted to find an answer and interviewed 500 people to find out what makes Ted tick.
  • Passion, hard work, focus, practice, pushing oneself through self-doubt, serving others, coming up with ideas, and persistence are the eight main things that lead to success.
  • Mothers can help push someone who is struggling to persist.
  • Paying to attend Ted is one way to learn success, but the eight things mentioned can also be used.

TED Talk: “Secrets of Success” Speech Text

Yoodli generated the following transcript for Richard St. John’s speech:

"This is really a two hour presentation I give to high school students, cut down to three minutes, and it all started one day on a plane on my way to Ted seven years ago. And then the seat next to me was a, uh, high school student, a teenager. And she came from a really poor family and she wanted to make something of her life. And she asked me a simple little question. She said, what leads to success? And I felt really badly because I couldn’t give her a good answer.

So I get off the plane and I come to Ted and I think, geez, I’m in the middle of a room of successful people. So why don’t I ask them what helped them succeed and pass it on to kids. So here we are, seven years, 500 interviews later, and I’m gonna tell you what really leads to success and makes Ted tick. And the first thing is passion Freeman Thomas says, I’m driven by my passion. Ted, do it for love. They don’t do it for money. Carol Colletti says, I would pay someone to do what I do.

And the interesting thing is, if you do it for love, the money comes anyway. Work. Rupert Murdoch said to me, it’s all hard work. Nothing comes easily, but I have a lot of fun. Did he say fun? Rupert?

Yes. . Teds do have fun working and they work hard. I figured they’re not workaholics. They’re work of Frolics. Good.

Alice Garden says, to be successful, put your nose down in something and get damn good at it. There’s no magic. It’s practice, practice, practice. And it’s focus.

Norma Jewison said to me, I think it all has to do with focusing yourself on one thing and push. David Gallos says, push yourself physically, mentally. You’ve gotta push, push, push. You gotta push through shyness and self-doubt.

Goldie Han says, I always had self-doubt I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t smart enough. I didn’t think I’d make it. Now, it’s not always easy to push yourself.

And that’s why they invented Mothers . Frank Erie. Frank Erie said to me, my mother pushed me. serve.

Sherwin Newland says it was a privilege to serve as a doctor. Now, a lot of kids tell me they want to be millionaires. And the first thing I say to them is, okay, well you can’t serve yourself. You gotta serve others something of value, because that’s the way people really get rich ideas. Ted Ster, bill Gates says, I had an idea founding the first microcomputer software company. I’d say it was a pretty good idea. And there’s no magic to creativity in coming up with ideas.

It’s just doing some very simple things and I give lots of of evidence. Persist. Joe Kraus says, persistence is the number one reason for our success. You gotta persist through failure.

You gotta persist through crap, which of course means criticism, rejection, assholes, and pressure . So the big an, the answer to this question is simple. Pay 4,000 bucks and come to Ted or failing that. Do the eight things. And trust me, these are the big eight things that lead to success. Thank you, Ted, for all your. "

TED Talk: “Secrets of Success” Speech Analysis

Yoodli simplifies the process of speech analysis. Through immediate feedback, you can receive ratings in the categories of Word Choice and Delivery.

Word Choice

Despite the short length of the “Secrets of Success” speech, Richard St. John ranked well in the Word Choice category. His top keywords included “says” and “push”.

Yoodli detected 2% repetition in St. John’s TED Talk as well the presence of 11 weak words. Yoodli also found the presence of non-inclusive language in the form of profanity. By prioritizing the use of inclusive language, the content of your speech will be more widely appropriate to a broader audience.


Yoodli detected that Richard St. John spoke at at average pace of 179 words per minute. With a pace faster than average, Yoodli suggests speaking slower than 170 words per minute. However, Yoodli ranked St. John’s delivery well in the subcategories of both pauses and smiles, but suggested overall improvement in eye contact, centering, and pacing

Wrapping Up


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