Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Why should you watch TED talks? : Blog # 277

Why should you watch TED talks?

If you were to ask me if there is something on the Internet that is fun, cool, educative, varied, and intriguing all at once, my answer would be “Yes, TED talks!” It is such a beautiful thing one could have thought of, that too in the 1980s! Internet has just amplified that imagination in a stupendous way.

TED, TEDx, TED talk
So for those of you who do not know already, TED talks are small, 18 minute speeches by people who have excelled in their lives. Excellence could be in anything and everything. Many a time, it is not limited to just excellence. The talk could be about an Idea that could impact a society or mankind at large. Infact, the mission of TED is to spread Ideas. Also, the focus is more on content of the talk and less on delivery.

What is it that you stand to gain by watching TED talks? What I felt is that it has the power to ALTER our perspective. For instance, there is this talk called “The Price of Shame” by MonicaLewinski. It is astounding how this video makes us think of that incident in an absolutely different way. You will never think of that lady in the way you might have thought of her till that moment. These talks are powerful enough to enhance/enrich our perspectives. This has a profound effect on the way in which we approach situations, people or life at large.

Thanks to internet, there is a deluge of information around us. To know which is true and which is just a ‘beautiful presentation’ requires considerable effort. TED talks have built credibility around them through years of consistent effort which makes these talks a treasure trove of correct and thus valuable information. We get to learn A LOT by listening to these talks. There is comfort in knowing that one doesn’t have to go back and check the authenticity of information being given out on this platform.

TED talks are a master class in communication. Although the focus on delivery of speech is less and content is given prime importance, there is still a lot to learn about speaking and communication at large by observing the speakers. The pauses they make, the clarity with which they speak, the details- how much they include and more importantly how much they exclude in their speech, their body language are all worth noticing and learning.    

Many a time, we tend to think that communication is only about speaking. I feel communication is equally about listening too. Being surrounded by electronic gadgets, I think our ability to listen effectively is reducing at the rate of pings.  Taking an effort to listen to such conversations of value and trying to understand them will help us a great deal in becoming good listeners. Try being a good listener; your friend circle will start to swell - not on Facebook, but in Life!

The best thing about TED is the fact that this platform is like one of those non-preachy, cool, super intelligent professors that the luckier ones among us would have had in college. May be that is the reason why TED Stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design – Yes, Entertainment! I rest my case.

Arun Babu