Thursday, November 16, 2017

TED

An old college friend of mine recently gushed on Facebook about a TED talk she had recently seen.  I shared some of the thoughts you are about to read in a comment to her post and while she certainly was compelled to share her opinion about a subject on Facebook- she was not at all interested in hearing a different opinion.  I used to really like TED talks and even thought for a time that I might like to give one someday in regard to my decision to move off the grid and how that impacted my life - I even started to write one years ago. I figured that my story could be just as compelling as any other TED talk.  But then I started to think about why they are so compelling and why they seem to resonate with people. While there are certainly interesting ideas being expressed, TED talks have become almost mystical in their public appeal - an appeal that I think grows more undeserved with each new 18 minute spin that gets produced.  In case you hadn't noticed, they all sound very similar regardless of the subject matter - as if all the speakers graduated from the exact same online course on how to hook an audience.  Let's face it - great ideas are a dime a dozen and when you dissect TED, it all comes down to extremely refined public speaking taken to the highest level - not so much imparting earth shattering revelations (or as they like to say "ideas worth spreading").  All the talks follow a very precise formula (including the time frame) that is meant to do one thing and one thing only - engage an audience by yanking all the right chains.  Don't get me wrong, I love ideas that make me think...but I also love to know what makes one idea more appealing than another. When my chain gets yanked, I get very curious about how and why that happens.  After reading and reacting to my friend's post, I started thinking about shooting a parody TED talk...but then I found this one that pretty much sums up my thoughts.  70,85,45,0,B

11 comments:

Gary Kelley said...

This Ted talk is very similar to many political speeches.

Gene Adcock said...

To Gary K. -- Or sounds like the evening news report.

Larry G said...

well geeze... good public speaking is the salt of the earth... just look at all these mega churches that make millions of dollars and the they find out the preacher and church is a fraud ... but ... an EXCELLENT ... COMPELLING .. speaker.

Works in politics too... really well....

it's a skill and an art... I sometimes attend a lecture series at the local college. The speakers are authors of recent books that have been well received. The books are excellent but the authors - turned speakers are a different kettle of fish. Some are good.. at BOTH writing and speaking... others, while good at writing books ..totally suck at public speaking!

So.. I don't know much about TED.. never heard of it til now.. so maybe I need to read up more on it... before praise it or impugning it.

SpockJenkins said...

You are spot on. TED Talks are simply religious services for the Church of Eternal “ Progress” through “Technology.” You can surf through them and find diametrically opposed ideas, with no criticism or sense of irony. It’s all just
1. There is a problem
2. This problem is bad
3. But look, I have technology!

Sam Finn said...

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
(Matthew 7:20)

Margery Bills said...

TY for the info John. Well, Larry, I soon switch the channel now when Joel Osteen is on because of the way his actions turned people away from shelter in the beginning during the Houston flood. Yes, he is a good speaker. My grandmother always said actions speak louder than words.

Larry G said...

Silver tongued devils.. as I recall.. but as they say ...people know better what to do with their money than the govt, eh? bite my tongue!


C T Dunn said...

I have watched many TED talks, and have come to the conclusion as you. Not too much of value, unless you agree with the views of the speaker. Kinda' like watching your favorite cable news, in quotes, either left or right, same message every day.

Carl D Jones said...

Best TED Talk you have ever put on the blog!

Tal ChaiTai said...

Wow. Finally somebody thinks like I do on TED talks. I've never been able to sit thru a TED talk, and I've tried maybe 3 times. It's too easy to see we are NOT being informed. It's rich blather. The process is the product. B-O-R-I-N-G . I don't have time to waste on nothing.

John Baxter said...

I have found that you can talk all you want, but there are few people who are willing to listen to anything with real value, this last decade or so. I don't do ted talks either but I enjoyed that one. Gimme back my 5 minutes...lol.