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Category: A Ted Talk A Day (page 2 of 12)

What’s So Funny About The Web (Nerdcore Comedy) by Ze Frank at TED 2004

A TED Talk A Day, Day 60: This is the first in a series of the 3 TED talks that Ze Frank has delivered over the past decade (I wonder: has anyone topped that?). This one is about “nerdcore comedy”.

  1. He enjoys creating things, and that keeps up “a bubble and a half above anxiety”.
  2. He created online social spaces (remember this is before social media) where he could share that feeling of having not really finished something but yet feeling like he wasn’t starting something new yet.
  3. His experiments involve people, and also makes public the thoughts and even anxieties that people feel. For example, the “when office supplies attack” and the drawing project where people could make rough sketches and have them made more beautiful looking.
  4. On the other hand, his his work is also like a form of collaborative art/comedy, where it is the interaction between the creator and the audience that creates each work/piece/experiment. In fact from the way he describes them, it sounds like he puts hunches and half-notions out there to see where they lead; and he sounds like he is constantly intrigued by the results he gets.
  5. I’ve heard about Ze Frank without ever following him, but he seems to be one of the earliest people to experiment with the virality and attention-grabbing nature of content on the Internet. This talk was in 2004, which in Internet terms waaaaaay before social networks, mobile Internet, BuzzFeed, etc. Incidentally he is the executive VP of video at BuzzFeed, which sounds fitting.

Suggested action step: What struck me most about Ze Frank is his willingness to share his ideas and work, and involve others in it. I want to begin learning how to do that too.

Migration Of Mindfulness by Greg Burdulis at TEDxBoulder 2010

A TED Talk A Day, Day 59: This must be the calmest TED Talk I have ever watched; it also reminded methat mindfulness and meditation, like any skill, is one that needs to be practiced over years. But as Burdulis’ says, is one that can help lead us to better outcomes for all of us.

  1. We will all die; but between now and then, what’s important?
  2. Mantra is not important; what is important is to transform your mind.
  3. A thought is just a thought; a negative state of mind is a negative state of mind. Neither are reality and neither are who you are.
  4. He was brought into an advertising agency to work with their employees learn to be mindful, such that their work could be infused with mindfulness too. Given the reach of an advertising agency’s work, that could have a large impact.
  5. When we can get in touch with our basic goodness, we can make decisions that are good for all of us.

Suggested action step: I will remember that the point of meditation and so much learning is to transform the mind, and that by doing that I can also do better for the world.

The Surprising Secret To Speaking With Confidence by Caroline Goyder at TEDxBrixton 2014

A TED Talk A Day, Day 58: Caroline Goyder talks about the 3 things that can help us speaking with confidence.

  1. The moment before a speech when we stand on stage and we are looking at the audience and they are looking at us — how we deal with that moment defines us as speakers. Some of us feel not up to it, some people feel more confident.
  2. We can find confidence we we know where to look: inside us. It doesn’t exist on the outside, it exists within, in the visceral stuff.
  3. There are 3 keys to confidence from the inside:
    1. Our voice: Our voice is our instrument. But to get a good sound from an instrument, we have to practice. The best way to practice is to sing.
    2. Our diaphragm: Our breath helps us calm the unconscious processes in our body. Breathe deep into your diaphragm (and be still).
    3. Our breath: We breathe our thoughts. Speaking is all out-breath, but when we breath in it is thought. Know when to shut our mouths, i.e. when we breathe in.
  4. The most powerful person in any room is the person with the most relaxed breathing.
  5. Sometimes we have to speak for others, not for ourselves.
  6. The biggest secret to speaking confidence is knowing when to shut our mouths.

Suggested action step: I will breathe deeply, practice, and know when not to speak.

Collaborative Psych 101 by Dan Lerner & Alan Schlecter at TEDxNYU 2014

A TED Talk A Day, Day 57: Interestingly, the first two-person TED Talk I’ve seen; thought it turns out that that format really distracts from the topic quite a bit.

In any case the talk covers why it’s important to care both about psychological illness, and also psychological flourishing (i.e. positive psychology), and how we need understand both in order to “be happy”.

  1. It’s important to understand both suffering and success. We can’t have one without the other.
  2. The usual medical model is based on happiness being the absence of illness. But damage repair is negative to zero. Positive psychology looks how we can go from zero to one (or positive).
  3. Many people (half of the room?!) will develop mental illness in their lives.
  4. Positive relationships help us buffer against stress.
  5. Though many college students are young and look great… a third of students will develop some kind of alcohol problem during their college years, many will suffer from poor sleep, and some will have eating disorders.
  6. “Information does not imply transformation.” – Tal Ben-Shahar. Knowing something doesn’t mean we will digest it and use it.
  7. When we’re happy our brains function differently than when we’re not. A study of 4-year-olds showed that those who were primed to be happy performed better at various cognitive tasks.
  8. We can prime ourselves with exercise, because it causes the release of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). BDNF stimulates brain cells to grow. Only if we exercise can we give our brain a chance to reach its potential.
  9. Traditional psychology was concerned with overcoming high amounts of stress; positive psychology is concerned with finding the optimal amount of stress. The latter is where we achieve high performance.

Suggested action step: I am now interested in finding out about their approach in combining both positive and traditional psychology.

The 7 Secrets Of The Greatest Speakers In History by Richard Greene at TEDxOrangeCoast 2014

A TED Talk A Day, Day 56: Richard Greene shares a range of attributes of great speeches and speakers, but the one thing that he focuses on the most — and that he clearly feels most passionately about — is that we have to speak about something we care deeply about, and share that with authenticity.

  1. Great speeches can create tipping points, to begin to halt movements, and to influence the world.
  2. Words are powerful, but are only a small part communication (Notes: 7%, though I’m not clear what that refers to exactly). (Secret #1)
  3. Voice Tone and Body Language are much more powerful components. (Secret #2 and #3)
  4. A laser-focused, compelling message; as opposed to trying to squeeze as much data in as possible. (Secret #4)
  5. Have a conversation with others. Public speaking is just a conversation from your heart, something you are passionate about. Don’t give a speech or give a performance, or do a presentation. (Secret #5)
  6. Speaker all 4 communications languages. Our 5 senses translate into 5 communication languages: Visual (the language of energy), Auditory (translating details into a  story), Auditory Digital (analytical, statistically-driven information), Kinaesthetic (it’s the connecting and poetic part). (Secret #6)
  7. Bring your authentic passion. What is so f-ing compelling to you? This is a visceral thing. (Secret #7)
  8. All the great speeches by great people — John F Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr. — are all authentic messages (and conversations) from their heart.

Suggested Action Step: I have been wanting to work at public speaking for a while, and this talk has inspired and make me want to move forward with it.

Motivating People Into Action by Asad Rezzvi at TEDxKarachi 2010

A TED Talk A Day, Day 55: I picked this talk up because Anthony Robbins mention Asad Rezzvi in his TED Talk years earlier (and was also featured in Robbin’s seminar recording relating to 9/11).

He was one of a few muslims during a seminar that was held just after 9/11, and stood up to speak about how he could feel where the terrorists were coming from, and was later part of an on-stage “indirect negotiation” that helped him and another member of the audience move resolve their personal dilemmas around the event.

  1. People often ask him if he said what he did in the video, and he says he did. He was tempted to speaks words that were politically correct, but instead he chose to speak his mind.
  2. We can’t keep quiet when we have to speak, because otherwise everything we are and we believe in is a lie. It is the way of the coward to shut up when we are supposed to get up and speak.
  3. Because he spoke from a place of truth, when he went on his own personal change journey in the next few hours, people followed along with him, because they also felt it in their hearts.
  4. In the end the larger truth was about human beings and about our capacity to make a difference.
  5. To do this we have to be absolutely authentic. Put aside all roles and facades. Step into the real you.
  6. To do this we have to be present. Breathe into what we do. Stop rushing and thinking next. Be 100% in the moment of your action. Be in your body, not your head.
  7. To do this we need fearless action. We have to be bold and courageous.
  8. These 3 things make the 1 degree of difference that separates an ordinary person from a great person.
  9. We have all had moments where we are present, authentic, and courageous; but we need to live this every day of our lives.

Suggested action step: I will be authentic, present and courageous in action.

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