Simon Willison’s Weblog


7 items tagged “ted”


Why does TED refer to its speeches as “talks”?

I think this reflects a more general trend in the tech conference world which TED emerged from.

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Are there more annual TED and TED-related conferences than there are days in the year?

According to there were 245 community-run TEDx events in 61 countries in just the last month, so yes it’s safe to say there are considerably more annually than there are days in the year.

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Hackers: Who is a good speaker or author on hacktivism and/or the recent events of leaking confidential information?

Danny O’Brien comes to mind. He’s worked for the EFF and the Committee to Protect Journalists, is fully immersed in hacker culture and is a fantastic speaker:

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How do some public speakers memorize so many statistics when speaking on stage?

It’s really not hard. If you’re memorising a complete speech, remembering a few statistics is easy in comparison. Also, the stats you use in a speech should be meaningful (otherwise thy include them at all?) which means the have a built in mnemonic.

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Why are TED talks 18 minutes long (or less)?

I imagine it’s because enforcing a shorter talk time results in consistently higher quality presentations, by forcing speakers to carefully structure their talk and strip out any unnecessary details.

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What are some other conferences that showcase cool ideas, like TED or the Renaissance Weekend? is quite TED-like—especially good for science topics.

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What are the underlying, unspoken values of TED?

Not unspoken, but the ten commandments they send out to their speakers are pretty interesting:

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