The excitement surrounding the upcoming total solar eclipse is growing as we near the event date. This phenomenon is rare. According to ABC News, the last time a total solar eclipse traveled across the continental United States was in 1918. The last time only part of the United States saw a total solar eclipse was in 1979, and only the Pacific Northwest could see the event. On August 21st, a total solar eclipse will once again travel across the U.S. So, yes, this event is rare and for many people, once in a lifetime.

If that’s not enough reason to go outside and watch the event, then maybe some science will help. David Baron is a scientist and journalist. He majored in physics at Yale and regularly contributed scientific reports to NPR. This month, he performed a TED Talk to persuade audiences on all the advantages for watching the total solar eclipse. His speech is one to bookmark for impactful speeches because of his passion for this topic.

Does David Baron’s TED Talk make you want to clear up your schedule to watch the total solar eclipse? Let’s look at some tactics Baron used to make his argument and persuade his audience.

Impactful Speeches: A Review of David Baron’s TED Talk

impactful speeches

The Title

Baron begins his talk with the reason why he got interested in the total solar eclipse in the first place. It all comes down to one statement made by an astronomer he was interviewing for NPR. It’s also the title of his TED talk. “You owe it to yourself to experience a total solar eclipse.” This sums up the entire purpose of Baron’s talk and creates interest. All impactful speeches have a compelling title that draws in the audience and works as a call to action.


The best part of Baron’s TED talk, in my opinion, is his natural ability to tell an amazing story. He recounts the time he went to watch his first total solar eclipse. The story is simple enough in that he and his husband had to travel overseas and watched the event with a crowd of onlookers. But it’s his tone and emotional reaction that are the most impactful. He pauses, he reflects, and he speaks from his heart. Storytelling holds the throne as the key to all impactful speeches.

Call to Action

Baron ends his TED talk, like many other speakers do, with a call to action. But his call to action receives a round of applause. His audience has become emotionally invested in this story. The key to building up to an effective call to action is to persuade your audience from the moment you begin speaking. Baron does this effectively throughout his entire speech. Your impactful speeches should build up to a climactic moment where your call to action is something everyone can support and endorse.

Looking for more tips on impactful speeches? Check out these posts on the Ethos3 blog:

Your Guide to Using Cliffhangers for Impactful Speeches

Impactful Speaking Skills from J.J. Abrams

The Impact of the Silent Presenter


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