If there’s one thing all these fake speaking gurus have in common: the deceit of wishful thinking. “You are either born to speak or not”, they say, “you either have the talent or not”. But even if they do convince you that you’re a “chosen one”, their system of how to become a TED speaker is ultimately up to how the fates roll the dice that morning. And that is because those gurus have never walked the walk. They may have been to TED but they might not have faintest clue as to how to teach what you have to do ­ or they may just not have been to TED at all.

In reality, getting a gig at TED does take work. There’s no magic pill. You do need to learn new skills and you do need to practice. But at the same time, there are many ways to both speed up the process and to make the whole thing efficient. And if you do it right, it will be a lot of fun.

I’ll be honest with you. You can go alone, trial­-and­-error style, and choose your own paths like I did when I first started out. But here’s the thing: with 18 years under my belt I know what has worked for not only me and the 107 people I’ve coached to be confident TED speakers who change lives with their talks. You can take the slow route and get to where I am today in same time I did, but you might also find that years of experimenting with what works and what doesn’t might not be worth your time.

But if you’re at the point in your life when you know that life­-changing TED talk is an arm reach away and you’re eager to get there NOW, if you want to spare yourself the failures and keep your momentum going, you will do yourself the biggest favour by taking the fast road, and stepping on that red dot not in a matter of years, but a matter of months.