The power of the TED Talk

It was a weird day. A long day.

One of those days where far too much is occurring in one, where I ask myself in the car “Do I really work this hard all week just to barely be home on my day off?”

One of those days that you squeeze in some quality time with a friend last minute, requires getting in the car again and spending money (another -$7.50 on the checking account).

I was with my friends Jackie and Maggie. We were sitting at a table at Jeremiah’s, a local shop of soft serve and Gelato. Our spoons were dug into cups full of italian ice after just having had a conversation about New Kids on the Block (initiated by me) before the big question was asked (also brought up by me) and it colored the rest of the conversation.

“What would your top 3 TED talks be about?”

It was important to me to not just know one, I wanted to get a variety  in understanding more the people in front of me.

So I asked for three.

I am obsessed with TED talk presentations. Some people love them, finding them important. And others, the irrational ones, find them to be useless. I work with high schoolers who don’t like them because some educator in Utah who loves TED talks also found this phenomenon to be brilliant and decided to incorporate this into the classroom. So now hundreds of students, due to TED Ed, have deadlines and homework to fuel their distaste for education as they work on a TED Talk presentation for the classroom.

Frankly, I don’t care if young people now associate “TED” with school because young men and women will always find reasons to loathe school. For example, reading is wonderful and the best gift our educators gave us. And yet, we’ve been conditioned to hate them from years of being forced to read teacher-selected books that don’t inspire us in order to write reports or take tests about them.

But to be assigned to think, be inspired, and share that inspiration with others is a practice I can get behind!

Technology, Entertainment and Design

Maggie, Jackie and I chewed on this question, asking ourselves what is it that we are so passionate about that could bring us to create a whole TED Talk. In coming up with answers, we shared about different life experiences. Pegging down what would yours be requires a great deal of pondering.

Jackie, who is a teacher, shared that her TED talk would analyze dynamic education that utilizes attractive powerpoints and an engaging classroom. I shared that mine would explore how the media perpetuates exploitation of human dignity.

Here are some of my favorite TED talks…

I have watched TED talks that have brought brilliance to observations. Even though I think I know where the presenter is going to take me, they surprise me with revelations of anthropological study. The combination of life experiences, qualitative analysis, humor, applying data to real-life solutions and society’s love for videos… that’s good stuff right there.

The nerd in me not only appreciates the information, but how these uniquely talented presenters share it.

They share it from their hearts.

They share from a place of years of experience in various professional fields.

They share from all walks of life and backgrounds.

This is what empowers viewers like me to question realities, find solutions, and want to be more fully alive about things that matter.

Let’s not stand idle to the challenges of this world, the desire to explore and learn which burns in us.

Take a moment now friends, as you ache for inspiration and influence.

What would your top 3 TED talks be about?

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