Getting to know TED

Word count: 253 words

Reading time: About 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers.  

I can’t remember when I first heard about TED talks. But it was a long time ago and I watch them regularly. If you haven’t heard of them (which I realize is unlikely) or if you don’t watch them regularly (slightly more probable) then I urge you to spend some more time with them right now.

My husband’s cousin treats TED like a religion. He makes a point of watching one talk every Sunday. My son, who is bright but dyslexic, favours auditory over visual learning and watches several a week. I watch them whenever I get the time and like running one on my iPad when I’m preparing  dinner.

TED stands for Technology, Education and Design but the topics are wider ranging than that suggests. Here are three of my favourites speeches:

Erin McKean redefines the dictionary

Jill Bolt Taylor’s Stroke of Insight

Hans Rosling’s new insights into poverty

If none of these appeal, go to the home page of the website, and look at the left-hand navigation bar. The search functions are phenomenal. For example, you can click on a button to find the most “jaw-dropping” speeches or the ones “most emailed this week.” You can also search for the most ingenious, the funniest and the most beautiful. No speech is longer than 20 minutes and I’ve yet to be disappointed by one. Go and watch one right now!