TED talks and I’m listening

Are you familiar with TED talks? I know I wasn’t aware of them until one of the book podcasts I follow, Books on the Nightstand, mentioned them in connection with something bookish. That made the book nerd inside of me, finally look them up on the internet, and realize how much I was missing out on! TED is an acronym for Technology, Education and Design, and when the first conference was held in 1984 in Silicon Valley, those three areas were the basis for the talks and the conference, but things have changed a lot since then. TED’s scope is broader and more global now and since 2006 when free access to their videos became available online, there have been over 500 million views of these talks!

Quoting from their website, “The two annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, Scotland, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less). “

There really is something for everyone, and what I really appreciate is the time constraint put on the speaker. This forces them to be succinct and grab your attention quickly. Not an easy feat I’m sure, but one that forces them to make every word count.

Recently my daughter made me aware that they have an app. It worked perfectly for my last long flight up to Alaska, because I was able to download half a dozen talks and then watch them on my Ipad with no wifi connection.

One of my favorite book related talks is this one by book jacket designer Chip Kidd,

and one of the most popular talks was by author Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that can’t stop Talking,

But I think my favorite (so far) is this one by Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy,

So, if you ever find yourself surfing the web and have 18 minutes or less to spare, you might just want to visit the TED site and see what they’re talking about!

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