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TED thoughts

koremelanaigis asked me: What do you think about TED and TEDx?
Well, I haven't been to either. Can't afford to go to TED obviously but I like that they put the videos on youtube so everybody can see the speeches, critics of their insane ticket prices lose a little cred when you take youtube into consideration. Tickets become a supply vs demand issue.

My favorite TED talk was Malala Yousafzai's father giving credit to his daughter's amazing achievements in furthering education for girls. Makes me cry every time. Like, just typing this.

I've thought a lot about Toastmasters vs. TED. Toastmasters has quietly EVERYWHERE for 90+ years, giving thousands (millions?) of people training and a platform to speak. There are a dozen or so clubs even in little Wichita Kansas. Toastmasters is open to everybody, if you attend one meeting they will likely let you give a 4-6 minute speech next week's meeting if you want, especially if you agree to pay the $20 new member fee so you get the books and stuff. My club doesn't even require joining for your first speech. So it's incredibly accessible.

I have heard so many fantastic stories about people's interests in my Toastmasters club. Bee keeping, shed building, kickboxing, disc golf, and in my club, AIRPLANE STORIES from the huge (why the Douglas DC-3 is the best airplane ever) to the tiny (how to get a 4mm white ball to float in a clear cylinder of fuel).

The downside to that model is, well, dozens of clubs in every city, quietly everywhere. These awesome speeches I heard were given to a room of less than 20 people.

So I like both. I like the river of speeches in Toastmasters, and the fireworks of TED. I think that TED is increasing the popularity of speaking in general. Heck there's even in-between - Moth StorySLAM! They're all different but all helping the same thing: talking to each other. Reading is nice, but there's so much you can't read in a book, and hearing people talk is therapeutic and interactive. There's a connection there you can't get through pages of an article.

All of these organizations give voice to people who's voices I like to hear. Ordinary but passionate people with something to say. I'm not saying Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton have *nothing* good to say, but I do think maybe their voices have been amplified enough and not always for the right reasons. Let's drop the glamour and give a voice to scientists, entrepreneurs, teachers, scholars, parents, historians, travelers.

TED is part of a picture for me, not the end-all-be-all for public speaking, and that's okay.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2016 12:31 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing the video, it was great. I don't have time to really seek such things out, but can manage the time to watch them in bits and pieces if they fall in my path.

My impression of the TED talks is it is about sharing ideas to large audiences fsom inspirational people.

The Toastmasters group sounds like it is awesome in its own right in helping people develop their ability to speak in large groups and share their ideas comfortably and effectively, which is an fantastic too.

All good things!
Jun. 5th, 2016 08:03 pm (UTC)
I had never heard of toastmasters until I started reading your LJ. Glad I have now!
Jun. 6th, 2016 01:29 am (UTC)
I have friends who are very involved with Toastmasters (there is even a club at my work), and friends who have done TED or TEDx talks. I never connected the TED talks with public speaking; for some reason. I always saw them as more motivational speaking. This is one of my favourites. I first saw it as part of a senior management course at work. https://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement?language=en
Jun. 6th, 2016 11:36 am (UTC)
I think all speaking is motivational speaking, when you get down to it. I don't care if it's a public lecture on the history of fungus research in north dakota, if there's no call to action you're doing it wrong.
Jun. 7th, 2016 01:42 am (UTC)
Great post! I agree that Toasmasters, TED and independant TEDx organisations have done wonders for getting people's voices heard. They do it in different ways, and I think they complement each other rather than competing.

I went to the last TEDx Wellington event, and I loved the atmosphere of it, the buzz of people assimilating new ideas and those ideas sparking new ideas. I felt like I was in a room full of people who were getting high on learning which is something I hadn't experienced before, not even at university.

I really recommend getting to a local TEDx event if you can (I would actually recommend that you speak at one, the only hard thing would be deciding which idea to spread), because I think that you would love that buzzing atmosphere too.

Edited at 2016-06-07 01:44 am (UTC)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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