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Featuring TED-like Talks at Conferences and Workshops: What’s the Time Commitment?

  • Would you like your Keynote Speakers to do more than stand at a podium with their notes and read their prepared speeches? (perhaps even prepared by someone else?)
  • Would you prefer your speaker to share personal experience and examples – to speak from the heart?
  • Do you want high energy at the opening of your Workshop or Conference, with a kick off that is dynamic, and thought provoking?

If you said yes to these questions, and almost everyone does, then thinking carefully about the format of your conference or workshops’s high profile sessions can lead you into thinking about non-traditional inputs such as Pecha Kuchas, Ignites, and TED-like Talks.

I frequently recommend these formats to groups I work with, and people generally like the idea of this, but don’t always have the experience with the preparation stage. They often ask, “How much time will this take to prepare?” Watching a smooth, tight, powerful TED-Talk makes it look easy. However, compared to a traditional presentation that has a bullet-by-bullet PPT presentation to guide it or a paper to read –  a podium to stand behind, and a luxurious 30 minute time slot, these talks take more time commitment, for what’s ultimately a shorter input.

As Henry David Thoreau said in 1857: Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.

Ideally, you want your high profile speakers to take this time and create a great quality input in such prime real-estate in your conference programme as an opening session, or another key moment. You might want to video this input so that you can re-use it – put it on your website, include it as a part of the materials that come out of the event, or show it again on the screen in related events. So making the time investment in getting a polished Talk can be worth it.

We have written quite a bit on this blog about Pecha Kuchas and Ignites, so let me focus on the steps and timing we use to coach speakers towards using the TED-like format for their talks, and draw on our experience planning and hosting of numerous TEDx Events. There are lots of good blog posts about how to do TED-Talks, and TED’s Chris Anderson wrote a whole book on that this year if you want to go deeper into their process: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking.

This is just a short indicative idea of the steps and the timing we use for the speaker and for the coach to support her/him in developing a TED-like Talk:

What’s the Idea?

  1. For this first step, you, the event organizer, probably have the idea and have chosen a speaker who you want to deliver it. Try to put the idea down in a sentence. Try a number of attempts. (30 min)
  2. Talk to the speaker and get their commitment to using this approach and explain that it will take them more time than writing their speech on the plane and handing you a USB stick before they walk on stage. (see arguments above). (10 – 30 min)
  3. Schedule an initial call with host, speaker and coach to discuss how to approach and frame their “idea worth spreading”. Establish a timeframe for working on it, and agree on the length of the talk. (Note the 18 minute limit, and the fact that the talk should only be as long as needed to make the point, so less time is also fine). The coach will give some ideas on the call about how to approach the idea.  (30 mins to 1 hour call)
  4. The speaker should watch a number of TED Talks for storytelling tips  – they can watch for example pick some from the playlist of The Most Popular TED Talks of All Time. (1 hour+)

Write it down

  1. The speaker will write an initial draft as they would speak it. If they don’t feel ready to write it out verbatim, they can put down bullet points first for feedback, then write down the whole thing as they would speak it afterwards. (1-3 hours)
  2. If the speaker has initial thoughts on images these can be put into the draft script. (30 min)
  3. Send the draft script to the coach (and the host if they want to be involved in the process). The coach reads through the draft and makes comments on structure, storytelling approach, etc. and sends it back. (1-2 hours, depending on how much work it needs)

Prepare to revise

  1. Hold a second call to talk through edits etc. This might not be needed if there is not much to change, but traditionally this first draft needs some restructuring and editing, often to add the personal component, the “colour”, some drama, perhaps to flip the structure from a chronological story to one that plays with the timeframe to set up the big message better, etc. (30- 45 min)
  2. The speaker rewrites/edits the talk (1-3 hours)
  3. The coach reviews the script again for any further edits, and can start to suggest pauses for effect, hand gestures, body placement, props, images if possible at this stage. (Note this back and forth on the scripts can go on as needed and time permits) (1 hour)

Practice the Talk

  1. Third call: During this one the speaker reads the talk, this can be done with skype and video, so the coach can see the speaker, or it can be done only orally if video is not available.  The coach listens for pacing, pausing, vocal variety, etc. and makes some notes in the script while the speaker is speaking. There is a discussion about any body or hand gestures, etc. (Note, this step might also need iterations, or not) ( 1 hour)
  2. The Speaker works alone to memorize and practice their talk (2+ hours)
  3. Fourth call: Practice again the talk – the coach follows along with the script which includes notes on pauses, etc. and makes any further suggestions. At this stage the Speaker might want more people on the call to simulate the audience and get further feedback on the talk. This should be just tweaking, and any tricks if there are things that are harder to remember or pronounce, or nerves, etc.  (1 hour)
  4. Onsite: There should be a practice onsite the morning of the talk so that the speaker can get on and off the stage, knows where to stand and gets the feel for the room. (Will you have the big red circle carpet to help the person find their place on the stage? Can you borrow one from the local TEDx organizers?) Note this test run might be a bit of a disaster, as it feels very contrived to talk to an empty room, but generally the speaker does very well once there is a live audience with energy in the room!) (30 min)

This is the process, more or less, we have used with speakers and organizers who want to feature a TED-like talk at their workshop or conference. This kind of talk really feels different and is so refreshing for the audience – when they see the speaker come on, no notes, no podium, talking straight at them, telling a vibrant personal or person-based story that has a creative structure and a message with a punch. These are the talks that, in spite of being one in many, are often unforgettable (plus you have the video to help make this extra true!)

 

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Large Meeting Challenge: Call for Proposals Produces Too Many for Parallel Sessions? Take a Blended Approach

You put out a call for proposals for your large meeting coming up and your enthusiastic community responds with many ideas – way too many in fact for the traditional parallel break-out session format that was envisioned. What can you do about this? This is a good question and an issue for many large-scale gatherings.
Actually, this is a good problem to have as interactivity and community relationship building and networking are often why people come to these large events, but more often than not they get panel discussions and lines of speakers (see Duncan Green’s rant on this in Conference Rage and Why We Need a War on Panels).  So you are starting well, with many people attending interested in contributing and sharing their ideas. 
The traditional break-out room format is not necessarily bad, but it can be without good guidance, or if you are trying to fold too many things together. If they are endless, very large, anonymous and all have the same large panel and Q&A format, then people can “get lost” or skip these more easily if they are tired or use the time to squeeze in that last meeting before they leave.

Consider mixing it up, you can actually schedule all of these types of sessions into your large meeting:


  1. Parallel Session Breakouts:  Have the parallel session breakouts on one day with the strongest proposals and the most interesting proposed formats. Consider providing a template before the call for submissions that has questions that guide people into considering how to make it interesting and interactive and give Panels as one of many formats to consider, with some guidance on how to do these in the most interesting way (e.g. 2 or 3 panelists with juxtaposing views, rather than 9 people who just want to say their 3 minutes regardless of the topic.) These can be good with more complex topics that need time to develop and can have interesting methodologies included within if there are competent facilitators working with the organizers – crowdsourcing, storytelling, carousel discussions, etc. 
  2. Hold an Open Space Technologysession for one of the 2 hour blocks –  after lunch is a good time as people will move around a little and small, self-selected discussions can be more refreshing. And it gives the hosts a little more time to prepare.  I often modify the traditional format slightly. This could be in the main plenary room and could feature 15-20 parallel conversations with two rounds of 45 min each (I’ve also tried this with 30 minutes and more rounds, but it tends to feel too rushed and short then). These parallel table discussions with hosts are scheduled in advance with numbered tables and a “key messages” template to record any ideas and outputs from the conversations. These are good for brainstorming and getting feedback on ideas. 
  3. Hold an Open Mike time, or a Pecha Kucha (or an Ignite), or TED-like talk stage where people get a limited, set amount of time and are video’ed professionally. Hold it in a “studio” type room so that people/audience attending is good and a bonus, but peripheral. Pick the submissions for this that are more ‘show and tell’. You can do the filming over lunch each day and invite people to come and watch but tell them (truthfully) that there is limited space (that often encourages people more!)  Some of these talks could be featured in the formal plenary programme here and there as appropriate as they are short targeted interventions. In addition, as TED does, you can feature them throughout the year in your newsletters with a little blurb and add in video links to other communications. It is always nice to promote the work of members, and this is in their own words. 
  4.  Digital Poster Exhibition: You could also run a digital poster contest. Invite people with appropriate submissions to design an e-poster. Then have a number of large screens in busy places (the coffee area, lunch room, etc.) where the e-posters are displayed for 3-5 min each and change all the time, like a billboard. You can also feature these e-posters on the conference website, and archive them. Each one could have the photo of the person presenting it and inviting people to approach them for more information (face-to-face or by email).  The e-posters could have a custom e-template that people fill in, which could be a website template potentially and provide people with fields to complete with a title, text (e.g. 500 words), upload photos, add links, contact information, web URL, etc. Award prizes for the top 5 posters and announce them in the plenary and show them there. Let the audience vote on it for the prizes, or have the organizing team do that. 

And there are other formats that can also work, this is just a selection and to demonstrate what can be combined to showcase the different kinds of proposals you might receive. This blended format can also allow you to say “yes” to all of those who submitted proposals to share. The advantage of adding in points 3 and 4 above, is that in addition to an on-site F2F experience, they also give you video and image content to use later in your communications and learning and training materials, as case studies of what members are doing, etc. This adds additional value to participants as you are helping them disseminate their messages beyond who’s in the room at your large meeting. 

For each of these, produce good guidelines and templates. This is not to put square pegs into round holes, but to help guide people in their thinking about what good practice is for each of these formats. This takes a little more concerted effort to produce at the onset, and any follow up coaching you could provide is a bonus, but this can be welcome capacity development contribution back to your participants – as with highly active community members, your large scale event probably won’t be the only one they attend this year! (Try to make it one of their favorites)

(Want to learn more about our work? Sign up for our Bright Green Learning Academy Newsletter Collaboration by Design here.)

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Glints and Gleanings from TEDGlobal 2014

TED signAttending a TED event is like spending 5 days surrounded by shiny objects – great opening lines to speeches, weird facts, interesting turns of phrase, amazing visuals, and those random ideas that you get that are sparked by something that the speaker says, and more –  and from amongst all this having to choose what to pick up and take with you. These are some of the shiny things that I picked up this year:

  • My top 3 speeches this year were by:
    • Melissa Fleming about generations living in refugee camps and why educational opportunities are critical. People in camps have time to prepare for their return – the average time in exile is 17 years! Her question: can refugee camps become centres for academic excellence?
    • Glenn Greenwald on why privacy matters – he invited anyone watching who said that privacy didn’t matter to email him all their internet passwords so he could read through everything and publish whatever he wants, and
    • Kimberly Motley is a former Miss Wisconsin who is now the only foreign litigator in Afghanistan, focusing on using the laws to protect.
  • Privacy speaker and scientist Andy Yen, one of the founders of Proton mail (email encrypted by default), reminds us that our data can and will outlive us. He also mentions the benefits of using the CERN cafeteria to develop an idea – you have 2000 free engineers between 12 and 2pm.
  • Joanna Wheeler’s theme was how to use storytelling to stop violence, based on her experience working in South Africa. Her business card was a story cube with her address on it, and the key messages of her talk (in images), printed on a piece of A6 paper that you can cut out and make into the cube.
  • The break area of the beach venue (the tent-like auditorium they built from scratch on the Rio beach sand where the talks were held) was filled with different diversions when you want to do something other than think.

TED interior

  • Batalho do Passinho is a new Brazilian street dance out of the favelas of Rio  combining the anxiety of fighting with the poetry of dance, and the Bottle Boys are Danish singers/musicians who use only bottles and their voices to cover popular songs. (The Bottle Boys played at one of the evening TEDGlobal parties on the beach in Rio. Their “Call Me Maybe cover got hoots of laughter and lots of applause.)
  • I didn’t know that 2/3rds of the population of  Sub-Saharan Africa has access to a cell phone signal (one fifth of these people have 3G or better data service). Steve Song’s talk was about not waiting for someone else to “build an on-ramp to the internet”, and the opportunity cost for those without access is skyrocketing as technology comes on and is ubiquitous.
  • One speaker, Sipho Moyo, asks, “How do we feed 10 billion mouths? There is no answer that doesn’t involve Africa.” She put up a blank slide, and said it was a picture that hadn’t yet been taken – it was a picture of Africa feeding the world. (She also points out that in the $110b chocolate industry, 70% of the cocoa comes from West Africa”, interesting for a Switzerland-land-of-chocolate-based person like me).
  • There’s a new food scanner called Tellspec being developed that you can put next to any food (including baked goods with no labels, etc.) that will tell you the composition of the food.
  • Architect Alejandro Aravena used a chalkboard for his talk about participatory design for low cost public housing – they build people half a house and then let the people living in it build the other half in the years that come, to suit their needs and with their own style. This innovative housing project is half the cost (obviously) and fits into the cultural norm in Chile (and many other countries) of building your house little by little over the years.
  • The auditorium was filled with different kinds of chairs. Every day you could try a new one and sit upright or sink into a comfy couch.

IMG_5323

  • Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler says on Mondays and Wednesdays he “learns how to die”. He calls these his “Terminal Days” and does things he would do if he had gotten news of a terminal illness and didn’t have much time left on earth. He runs a company without “rules” and gives people Wednesdays to do what they would do if they were retired. He ran board meetings with 2 seats for the first two people who showed up, whoever they might be in the company.
  • I liked that they gave a pair of Havianas flipflops with the gift bag, along with an Entreposto beach/picnic blanket with grommets so you can tie it down in the wind.
  • The Beach area with all the deck chairs and umbrellas was a great place to unwind and reflect on what you heard, and the sand was so hot that you needed those flipflops (if you didn’t want sand in your shoes!)

TED beach

  • Linking the digital with the physical – With a 3D printer they printed a car in 2 days in Manitoba. A Chinese company is printing 5 houses a day for under $5000.
  • Bel Pesce’s TED University speech was about 5 ways not to follow your dreams (from believing in overnight success to believing that your goal is the end goal.)
  • Journalist Bruno Torturro of MediaNinja opens by asking, “Has anyone has been exposed to tear gas?” He shows the simple molecule that he says is trendy with police and says that it makes your eyes burn and also opens them (in his case to the power of independent broadcast). He has helped create a network of experimental journalists who use mobile equipment to live stream political protests in “post television formats”.
  • I have never eaten so much quinoa as I did that week with TEDGlobal in Rio, who knew how many ways you could fix it.

I enjoyed going back through my notes to write this blog post and see what had endured for me a month now from being with TED in Rio. There are plenty of shiny objects still glittering around in my mind!

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Must See for Learning Practitioners and Educators: Remembering Rita Pierson

If you love everything about learning, whether formal or informal, and you haven’t already seen it, you really need to take 7 minutes and 48 seconds right now and watch Rita Pierson’s TED Talks Education talk called  “Every kid needs a champion” (recently broadcast on PBS 7 May 2013).

I learned about this video only a few days ago on NPR’s TED Radio Hour – this is a curated, thematic one-hour programme that mashes up a number of TED talks, compares and contrasts their messages and goes a bit further with their authors.

This particular episode was called Unstoppable Learning, and Dr. Pierson’s NPR conversation explored what role relationships play in learning. As you can imagine I pricked up my ears at this. How people learn best is one of my enduring sources of deep curiosity. And developing good relationships and “being nice” are values that our Bright Green Learning team hold dearly. And of course you can’t just appear to be nice, you have to really be nice, caring and interested in the people who are doing the learning (because after all, we are learning too). I was just trying to explain this to a potential new collaborator a week ago. Dr. Pierson put her finger on it in one of the most memorable quotes of her talk, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”  This is a profound observation from a career educator (and in my experience it also holds true for adult learners).

Rita Pierson also argued for teachers to take a more positive and appreciative approach with their students, even those – or in particular those –  who are not excelling in their work. She gave an example of a time that she gave a student a +2 and a smiley face, instead of minus -18 on his test. She said that’s because -18 “sucks all the life out of you” and +2 says “I ain’t all bad”.

I love this reframing, which is so motivating and still somehow such a rare approach for educators and learning practitioners to take. There is a reflex in many educational contexts to focus on what learners missed or need to improve, rather than on what they are doing right (and as they say in Appreciative Inquiry, in every organization or situation, something is working, even if it is only +2 out of 20).

Rita’s short talk brought tears to my eyes. I also grew up the daughter of two educators and see how students were touched by their work. Her words sounded absolutely right to me and I realised that she had articulately described my values around learning and education and those I would hope all teachers would take (including those teaching my own children).

I wanted to write this blog post to remind myself of where I could go for inspiration in my own learning work, and to connect to Rita’s talk so I could listen to it again. I didn’t know when I started this research that I would also be writing it in memorium, as Dr. Rita F. Pierson died unexpectedly last Thursday, on the day I discovered her on the NPR TED Radio Hour. Her death has left a gaping hole in the progressive educational community. She was a real thinker, shaper and feeler in the field of education and someone that everyone working in learning should listen to…have YOU listened to her amazing  7 minute 48 second TEDTalk yet?

You can read more about this remarkable woman and her impact in Remembering Educator Rita F. Pierson on the TEDBlog.

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“Howtoons” – Tinkering, Making and Mashing

I’ve had the word “Howtoons” written on my bulletin board for several years.

For me, the word has become emblematic for mashing things (anything) – combining, mixing, using them in ways you might not have thought about before – to make something new and even more useful. And there are blissfully no rules to this.

In the case of Howtoons it is using cartoons and comics to help people learn how to do things (versus pure storytelling and entertainment alone).

I love the word “Howtoons” for what it reminds me to do. It’s almost a one-word checklist for:

  • Is there something completely different I can do with this thingy?
  • Can I put something from another field, sector, industry, country, department, etc. with this to get something fresh and new that I can use? (I wrote a little about this in 2008 in a post called “Keeping it Fresh” after my 5th circus performance as a spectator in a month, and again in 2011 in 10 Different Ways to Do Anything: Get Inspiration Anywhere)

And when I googled “Howtoons” just now, I was even more delighted with some of the sites that use this moniker.

At the Instructables website, they call Howtoons “weapons of mass construction” and show in comic strip format how to make everything from a Marshmallow Shooter to a Turkey Baster Flute. They say they use OpenKidsWare much like MIT uses OpenCourseWare for wider distribution.

The Howtoons website itself is more of a one-pane cartoon, very sophisticated and embedded with what makes great comics, where they manage with this format to explain how to make their alka-seltzer powered rocket and spring loaded chopsticks. They also explain that Howtoons are what you get when you take a comic book artist, an inventor and a toy designer and put them together. Another successful mash-up!

Ever in search of innovative ways to help people learn, I have been delighted with what I have heard in the last year about the “Maker” movement (not as in True Blood) and tinkering, as ways to bring innovation and creativity to learning. These were both featured at the DML (Digital Media and Learning) Conference earlier this year – they even had on their Conference Committee a “Making, Tinkering and Remixing Chair” – Mitch Resnick.

DML sessions included Tinkering with Tangibles (digital textiles), Making Makeshop (on designing making experiences with families), Literacies of Making, Mobile Quests (that remix public events for social change), Design Tinkering  – that was a breakout – very fun!

In the Design Tinkering workshop, each table had the same pack of materials and some instructions. Two tables each had the same instructions -e.g. there were two sets of instructions – one was prescriptive about what to do with the materials, the other said (as below) “build and explore as much as you can about the materials provided”. We tinkered, and it was great fun re-purposing familiar materials into new things (the “thing” we made below lights up, not sure how useful it is otherwise, but we enjoyed our work)!

At TEDGlobal this year, we were also treated to talks on tinkering and making, with an interesting one by the co-founder of Arduino, Massimo Banzi. Arduino makes the cheap open-source microcontroller, a small programmable computer that has launched a thousand projects (like the DIY kit that sends a Tweet when your beloved houseplant needs watering.)

Another TEDGlobal speaker, Ellen Jorgensen, talked about her do-it-yourself biotechnology lab where you can walk-in and do biotech research in a community lab like GenSpace (where you can “hang out, do science and eat pizza.”) TEDGlobal itself even had its own MakerSpace where you could do your own DNA extractions, among other things. I wrote about my bio-molecular self-assembly experience in TEDGlobal2012: What’s Going On Right Now?

I will keep that word “Howtoons” right in front of me on my white board. For inspiration, and to prompt me to combine, recombine, mix and mash my learning tools with each other or even very different things – whether its cartoons and how-to advice or others (and I’m sure I can think of a way to use that Turkey Baster Flute in my work…some how…)

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Building Peer Learning Into Mega-Events and Conferences

When Conferences focus on plenary speakers and traditional panel sessions these days, some of us might feel that our experience could be better if we wait until they are available on YouTube. Any ticks or flubs are edited out, and the video camera inevitably has a better seat and vantage point than we do in the audience. And you know exactly how long each intervention will be -and we can pause, repeat or even skip those that are not quite what we’re looking for (of course we need to be open to surprises too).

But when Conferences have exciting peer learning and interactivity built in, then no longer are you are just one person watching a string of speeches from a relatively uncomfortable chair, knowing that you are shoulder to shoulder with probably some of the most interesting people in the world in your field – although due to this format there’s no way to know it. What if you were a part of the Conference? Or even, you were the Conference!

Running World Cafe’s, Open Space Technology Sessions, Peer Assists and Carousel Discussions, and Fishbowls are some of the activities we recently ran at a large conference of some 16,000 people. Those took facilitation. However, there are lots of things you can do that don’t take that kind of support and still build up the peer-learning opportunities at a large-scale event.

So, what are some of the ways that big events help feature and build its participants into the Conference?

What if you ask people to pick a button that somehow illustrates how they are feeling at the moment?

Not only is that a conversation starter amongst participants wearing them, but imagine that the button dispensers are tubes that create a physical bar graph of how the whole body of participants (or at least those taking the cool buttons, which seemed to be everyone) feels?

What if there is a tablet built into the wall where particpiants can take a photo of themselves and write on a message about a commitment they will make?

and then use the images to make a wall of these…

What about a simple graffiti wall and lots of coloured chalk?

Or if there are a number of different thematic streams to the conference, what about producing different colour ribbons for each and letting people choose and wear them around their wrists or bags, so that in the thousands of participants, you might more easily bump into and recognize someone who is interested in the same theme as you are?

And then how can you know if you can actually speak that person’s language at a large international event? What about language buttons that people can choose and display on their lanyards (we wrote about doing this at a conference of 8000 people – very popular initiative to support communication, and be surprised at what languages people speak – How to Start Conversations Among 8,000 people.)

What interesting interactive elements have you seen at Conferences that use their fascinating participants as a part of the overall learning experience?

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Congruence in Event Design: When It Tastes As Good As It Looks – Learning from #TEDxEHL

We just helped put on a TEDx event hosted by the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) on the future of hospitality which had a string of amazing speakers exploring “ideas worth spreading” from how our human spaces will increasingly interact with us, how to put together an unlikely “SWAT team” to solve a problem that needs innovation, why thinking like a novelist can help you create the perfect cafe, meat as the luxury item of the future, why if there is no nose there is no fun…and more.

With a topic like hospitality, and an audience filled with EHL alumni, partners and others for whom the hospitality industry is their bread and butter, no only did the talk selections have to be surprising – the curation aimed to scope future surprising trends from other fields such as neuroscience, storytellers, gamers, flavour science, anthropologists and innovation engineers – but the surroundings also had to step up to the plate  (ok, that’s baseball, but think porcelain in this case).

And, we were in one of the most famous hotel schools in Switzerland, so that gave some excellent grounds for innovation.

For the coffee break, it would have seemed odd to have just coffee and biscuits, so the school served at their coffee break hand made icecream in delicious popcorn flavour, in white wine flavour, and caramel which they made with liquid nitrogen right in front of us and served in tiny dishes. 

They also capped every coffee with an intricate design in chocolate which they did at amazing speed.

For the reception, the students created a special TEDx cocktail which was red and delicious and and matched with an equally interesting and flavourful tower of mini “icecream” cones filled with a mousse of truffle and foie gras.

The whole event was a full sensory experience, the ideas were exhilarating and, of course, the hospitality was excellent!
(PS. Find a running commentary of the event and key speaker ideas on Twitter at #TEDxEHL or with the tag TEDxEcoleHoteliereLausanne)
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Resonate With Your Audience. Here’s How…

Watch this video of Nancy Duarte talking about sparkline.

I have often found myself making reference to the ideas of Nancy Duarte. She spoke to me and a group of TEDx-ers on a pre-opening backstage tour of TED2011 early this year about storytelling and presentations that “Resonsate” – the title of her recent book. In my blog post “TEDxWorkshops, Talks, Tips and Tweets…” I recalled my tweets from her talk: Nancy Duarte on storytelling formula: What is – what could be – what is – what could be – what is – call for action – the utopian new bliss. / Nancy Duarte quotes Ernest Hemmingway: “The first draft of anything is shit.” / Nancy Duarte quotes Woodrow Wilson: “If I have 10 minutes to present I need a week to prepare; if I have an hour I am ready now.”

I have since quoted these myself many times when working with people preparing presentations, and am delighted to say that I just today discovered this short video of Nancy giving much the same talk. Watch it. And once you’ve done so, look at the links on the webpage under the heading ‘Extended Web Content’. Here you can click through to examples of how the formula applies to talks – including by Benjamin Zander, Ronald Reagan and Feynman. I think these are very useful to see it in practice, and trust that you too will find this a great resource for thinking about your presentations in the future. Let us know how you get on!

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What’s in a Name (Tag)?

For years, name tags looked something like this (above): Name, title and organization. Small, business card size and with a pin on the back that always meant that no matter how many times you adjusted it, it listed slightly to starboard. The printing was also pretty small, making people with personal space issues perpetually nervous.  Name tags are changing, here are two I received more recently that start to work for you on a lot of levels.

This GTD Summit name tag is twice as big as the first, measuring 9cm x 11cm and popped into a sleeve hung on a sturdy cord. The first name is pulled up by many font sizes, and your identity within the community gathering is added to the information given. For an international group, skipping the official title and adding your country helps give more backstory for discussion.

This name tag, used by TED Global this year (as last year), is even bigger. Measuring in at 12cm x 19cm, it is laminated into a block hung by a cord connected by clips on both sides – this you can see from a distance which helps at crowded receptions and also presumably to monitor entry to the venue and satellite events held all over the city. On the name tag the first name again stands out, encouraging people to be on an informal,  first name basis. The photo is an interesting addition (mine is pretty standard, but many people had unusual studio photos that gave away some secrets of their passions). Below the title, organization and place of origin (also helpful for languages), comes a section called “Talk To Me About:” followed by three key words. We were asked to pick these to add to both our online profiles as well as our badges, to give anyone approaching a substantive starting point for a discussion. Again, lots of creativity can go into these three words.

Another cool feature of this  name tag was that on the back you had the programme for the week, colour coded day by day, with the session titles, speakers names and timing. Social events and venues were also added. So when you are sitting in a big conference hall waiting for a speaker, or at coffee wondering if you wanted to go back to the big room or sit in the simulcast lounge, this information was at your fingertips to update you on what’s happening and for quick decision-making about where you should be at any moment.

In the end, a name tag is both for the person wearing it as well as everyone else attending the event, it provides provenance, establishes identity in the group, and also, if it is designed to do so, can help encourage engagement that starts further down along the usual small talk trail of questioning.

The next time you make one, think about how the name tag can be an intervention in itself? Think about how many different items of information are useful to include – and what you want the impact to be. Can it help people be on time, help people find their own language groups,  identify similarities and diversities for you so that you can get right into the most interesting conversation, encourage informality by picking out the first name, give you the sense of being one of the in-crowd by wearing a huge identifier?

Now, that’s what’s in a name (tag)! Any other innovations to this workshop staple to add?

Ever Wondered What You Might Discover in a Great Conference Gift Bag?

Well here’s what I found at TEDActive 2011: The Rediscovery of Wonder. It was heavy to carry home, but worth the weight! And I think there is some interesting gift bag inspiration for others of us in the future.

Of practical use during (and after) the event:
– A special limited edition design JAMBOX wireless speaker + speakerphone by Jawbone: a small packaged hi-fi streaming wireless audio from any Bluetooth device, OR a scooter for speeding around the spreading hotel venue (these were the gifts of fame this year!)
– A ceramic Bento Box for healthy meals on the move, away from home – ‘Box Appetit’, by www.black-blum.com
– A re-usable water bottle from www.natura.com (with info on refill stations in the venue)
– A drip coffee bag of very freshly roasted from Hebo Coffee Ltd. (www.hebocoffee.com)
– A little book from the www.CoffeeCommon.com to guide attendees’ coffee experiences
– Two bags: A unique bag created from a billboard by www.bannertheory.com – turning unsustainable waste into sustainable good AND a sturdy travel bag from www.JackSpade.com
– A compact LED flashlight from www.newegg.com (especially useful for the desert party)
– An Action Journal from Behance (www.CreativesOutfitter.com)

Interesting conversation-starters:
– Full colour attendees brochure with portraits and “three things to talk with me about”
– A publication featuring the amazing stories of the 2011 Long Beach TED Fellows
– A mini-publication of photos compiled from TEDx events across the globe in 2011
– Necklaces from women in Kaolack, Senegal
– A peaceBOMB bracelet – made from fragments of bombs – supporting artisan families, community development, and clearance of unexploded ordnance from farmland and forests in Laos (www.shoparticle22.com and www.bigballsfilms.com)
– A $100 philanthropic gift card underwritten by REDU for use supporting a classroom project of choice from www.DonorsChoose.org online charity

Reading material to keep up the (re)discovery post-TED:
– A special TEDGlobal issue of “Design Mind” – the award-winning publication of global innovation firm frog design – entitled “And Now the Good News”
– Seth Godin’s latest book: Poke the Box
– Trois Couleurs Special Issue: JR 2001-2011, A Retrospective
– ‘Imagine, Design, Create: How Designers, Architects and Engineers are Changing the World’ edited by Tom Wujec
– A TEDBooks Gift Card courtesy of Lincoln.com for use via Amazon.com

Further learning opportunities and brain exercises:
– Research credit to Frost & Sullivan (www.frost-and-sullivan-institute.org) for your choice of ‘The Visionary Membership’, ‘The Growth Partnership Service’ or ‘The Top 20 Mega Trends Study’
– A free LivingHome Feasibility Analysis or one-hour environmental design consultation to help you assess how to lower your ecological footprint for an existing home or office (www.livinghomes.net)
– A subscription to Lynda.com – online software training videos
– The Unit One version of the Rosetta Stone solution (language of choice)
– One month tuition-free access to the Rouxbe Cooking School (www.rouxbe.com)
– A year’s subscription to MAKE: technology on your time (www.makezine.com)
– Two A-ha! Brainteasers of choice from www.thinkfun.com

For the journey home and to share with others:
– Complementary wifi session from your return journey – courtesy of Delta Air Lines
– Free Personal Travel Planning Package from JetSetter
– A Blu-ray of Pixar’s latest film, Toy Story 3
– The feature film ‘Waiting for “Superman”’ – from the Director of An Inconvenient Truth – looking at education in the United States (DVD)
– CD of the Venezuelan clarinet of Alcides Rodriguez
– In support of Sylvia Earle’s TED wish – Drivers of Change: Oceans – cards to share with your community and help shape a better world (www.driversofchange.com)
– A page of Seed Paper from www.greenfieldpaper.com to plant when back home, mixing 100% post consumer content with their custom wildflower mix.

I’m keen to learn what Gillian’s going to come home with next week after her time at TEDGlobal!

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TEDGlobal: On My Way!

Oh, it’s been busy busy busy, but for a week, time with stop, and I will paddle around with some 700 other people in a veritable sea of “ideas worth spreading” at the TEDGlobal Conference next week in Edinburgh.

I have done the suggested prep – I noted and contacted my Top 10 TEDGlobal attendees (TED uses a “secret” algorhythm to generate that.) They all have something in common with me – either the key words they picked, their profiles etc.

I have updated my own profile, so that other attendees get the latest info about me. I packed my business cards which have different images reflecting the different kinds of work I do, so I can customise the image for the people I meet (See: Make Your Business Cards Moo). I have a thick notebook, and rain gear.

I even re-read my last year’s blog post on How to Go To TED, and am always very happy when I re-use my learning. I also tidied up my TweetDeck columns so I can follow the #TEDGlobal tag, and use it to find people and keep up with what’s going on onsite. This year, however, TED tells us that people using smartphones and laptops must sit in the back rows of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre where the main stage is located.

TED is known for bringing to the stage people with remarkable ideas, who are not always household names (yet). On the agenda this year are Malcomb Gladwell (writer), Alain de Botton (philosopher), and Thandie Newton (actor), among many others – see the speaker list here.  And there is normally a secret guest – last year it was WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, this year it could be anyone…

I have not been able to entirely clear my calendar for the week, although that is highly recommended by the TED organizers. But I do have a set of connecting questions I would like to ask the people I will meet there, bringing together my world and the eclectic TED world. For example, how can other learning events have similar pull power that people will actually prepare for them? What are some of the features that make an event so exciting that people will update their profile before they go?  TED has a lot of “pull” power, and although I can guess some of it, I have my own reasons, and it would be interesting to hear from others what makes them so eager to come for this learning extravaganza…

I will do my best to blog and Tweet, but will probably do it at night, as I can’t see myself in the back rows at such an exciting event!

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Tweets from a TED Week: TEDActive 2011

In February, I had my first “TED-ache” at TEDActive2011. TEDsters know all about TED-aches. They come with the “mind-mash” that is a TED conference. One minute its talks on quantum mechanics, biochemistry or brain science. The next its the latest in information technologies. And then you’re plunged deep into the ocean, taking a swim with seals alongside a nature photographer. Or you’re marvelling as a life-size horse puppet breathes and trots around the stage, and then Bobby McFerrin has you singing and laughing from your gut!

This is no ordinary conference. It stretches you to go where you would likely not go if just browsing the talks on TED.com. Most people listen actively to every single talk. And the beauty comes in the meaning you make for yourself as you listen to talks on a great diversity topics and begin to see patterns; to make connections; to find learning where you might least expect it.

On the journey home, I tried to create a mindmap as I read through all my notes (without which I would have retained but the merest fraction of ideas worth spreading). It was messy. However, perhaps even messier still has been my process of trying to sort all my tweets into some sort of coherence in order to share them here. From the mind-mash that was TEDActive, here are what are still a mish-mash of tweets (with some tweaks) to share my take-aways with you, clustered under some imperfect headings. The talks can be found here: TED2011 Talks

a. Perspective
b. Right, wrong and assumptions
c. Unintended consequences
d. The need to encode ethics in algorithms
e. Innovation and counter-intuition
f. Instrumental information: visualizing systems
g. Collective wisdom for change
h. Art for social change
i. Crowd-voicing
j. Collaborative creativity
k. Leveraging learning
l. Breathtaking medical breakthroughs
m. Miscellaneous communication products and technologies

a. Perspective

Astronaute in space Cady Coleman speaks perspective & the importance of connectedness & value of the earth as she circles once/18 mins.

“If a chunk of metal can be in two places at the same time, you could be. We have to think about the word differently as an individual” Physicist Aaron O’Connell.

Physicist Aaron O’Connell: “Everything around you is connected & that’s the profound weirdness of quantum mechanics.”

In a gfa-1 microbe in Mono Lake CA, arsenic seems to function as phospherous in a cell. Evidence of alternative biochemistry on our planet? It would change our definition of habitability elsewhere… Felisa Wolfe-Simon

We can only find what we know how to look for. For Felisa Wolfe-Simon that’s learning to look for alternative biochemistry on earth.

Edith Widder’s eye-in-the-sea explores bioluminescent deep ocean life & language. “Don’t know what they’re saying… I think its sexy!”

Paul Nicklen chokes up recounting leopard seal stories from his polar photo missions for Nat Geog and shows pictures of the white ‘Spirit’ or ‘Kermode’ bear – only 200 left on the planet! Save sea ice; its as important as soil.

Swiss explorer Sarah Marquis: “I dont want to put people back in nature; I want to put nature back in people”. “Let your soul touch the earth…. go walking.”

RachelSussman photographs living things >10’000 years old. “If you didn’t know what you were looking for, it would be easy to overlook something other megaflora were grazing on before extinction”.

b. Right, wrong and assumptions

“Trusting too much in the feeling of being right can be very dangerous and create huge tactical and social problems as we believe our beliefs reflect reality and make huge assumptions to explain people who disagree with us: assume their ignorant, idiots and/or evil, leading us to treat each other terribly, missing the hole point of being human. The miracle of the mind is that you can see the world as it isn’t.” Kathryn Schulz

“We need to learn to step outside of rightness, look around at one another and the vast complexity of the universe and say: ‘Wow, maybe I’m wrong!The system tells us getting something wrong means there’s something wrong with us. We learn the way to succeed is to never make any mistakes.” Kathryn Schulz

“How does it feel to be wrong?” Asks Kathryn Schulz. “Wrong. You’re answering the question, ‘How does it feel to realize that you’re wrong?’ It feels like being right to be wrong until until you realize you’re wrong.”

Daman Horowitz speaks about his work in prisons giving philosophy classes & the importance of questioning what we believe and why we believe it, including exploring wrongness. “What is wrong? Maybe I am!”

Magician Franz Harary demonstrates playing with glitches in peoples minds that distort and manipulate thoughts, using magic to fake technology that doesn’t exist.

c. Unintended consequences

Evolution will be guided by us in the future, thanks to genetics. What will we choose? More competitive? Empathetic? Creative? “If anything had the potential for unintended consequences, this is it!” Harvey Fineberg

We cannot foresee all consequences. But how can we close the gap between capabilities & foresight? Edward Tenner’: “Learn meticulously from unintended consequences & chaos”.

Edward Tenner: An example of unintended consequences = adding lifeboats to a ship, making it more unstable and resulting in tragedy.

“We are at a threshold moment: a single global brain of almost 7 billion individuals learning collectively at warp speed = very powerful and potentially very dangerous. Nuclear weapons are evidence.” David Christian

Looking at ‘big history’ shows us the power of collective learning and the dangers that come with it. Studying this will help all students make better decisions in the future. David Christian

d. The need to encode ethics in algorithms

“We need new info (Internet) gatekeepers to encode ethic responsibility into their (Facebook, Google…) algorithmic code & give us some control” El Pariser.

Speaking of Facebook and Google, Eli Pariser asserts: “’Personalized algorithmic filter bubbles are throwing off balance our info diet, converting it to info funk food.’

“The demise of guys is a consequence of arousal addictions stimulated by the internet & video ‘porning'” – Philip Zimbardo

e. Innovation and counter-intuition

“The greatest time for game-changing innovation was The Great Depression.” Edward Tenner

“When you train people to be risk averse, they are reward challenged”, said Morgan Spurlock in his talk encouraging the embracing of transparency. He sold the naming rights to his talk.

Inspiring talk by Kalia Colbin about reimagining Christchurch: “10 days ago my be the beginning of the demise of my city, but in the rubble their may be promise”. Help with ideas at www.reimaginechristchurch.org.nz.

Do something good for the city and we’ll give you more land, says Malaysia to property developers as incentive. Thomas Heatherwick does, with buildings that leave more ground for the forest.

For the first time in history not one child in Utter Pradesh & Bihar (northern India) has Polio. New vaccine + resolve + tactics = a unique eradication opportunity. Bruce Aylward

Chefs Hamaru Contu & Ben Roche introduce “Disruptive Food Technology”: from the Future Food science lab: tricking taste buds we can reduce energy & waste http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/.

Bill Ford asserts ingenuity in mobility solutions is not only about our movement, its also about access to food and healthcare. Smart cars, smart parking, smart signalling and smart phones all integrated in new smart mobility system is the future.

A leap in thinking is needed to avoid global gridlock if the population reaches the predicted 9 billion in 2044. Real time data is needed for a new mobility system. Bill Ford

“If we sped up cars in our cities by 3mph, we would reduce by 11% the emissions of our transport system.” Counter-intuitive! Luis Cilimingras, IDEO (formerly FIAT)

Speaking of cars actively driven by the blind (unveiled Jan 2011 http://is.gd/ruV8l1): “Technology will be ready, but will society be ready?” Need system change. Dennis Hong

f. Instrumental information: visualizing systemss

“As the world becomes increasingly instrumented and we have means to connect the dots, we can see interactions not previously visible with profound implications for us as individuals” Deb Roy,

Deb Roy set records in home-video hours to reveal patterns linking words to context and identifying feedback loops as his son acquired language in his Human Speechome Project http://j.mp/ePanlq.

Collaborating with scientists, Rajesh Rao tries to use computer modelling to decipher the last major undeciphered ancient script – Indus. Does it boil down to picture of ‘bee’ + ‘leaf’ = ‘belief’?

Ebs and flows in US flight patterns are visualized, providing powerful communication www.aaronkoblin.com/work/flightpatterns/

Carlo Ratti, MIT SENSEable City Lab, uses pervasive technologies to track trash in an investigation into the “removal-chain”. Listening to Haydn’s ‘Farewell’ Symphony (45), he shows us trash doesn’t leave, just moves! http://senseable.mit.edu/trashtrack/

g. Collective wisdom for change

Students tackle 50 interlocking systems problems learn how not to follow short term destructive paths and learn how to think about World Peace long term, learning right and wrong through their experience. John Hunter

John Hunter asserts very openly that the collective wisdom of his 4th grade students is so much greater than his own. He trusts them to solve world problems, practicing with his World Peace role-play game.

US General Stanley McChrystal talks about changes in leadership with distributed technologies and the inversion of expertize as old ‘leaders’ are less familiar wit the technologies required.

h. Art for social change

Under house arrest in Shanghai, Ai Weiwei speaks via video of art for social change & the creation of a civil & more democratic society in China despite no party willingness.

Street Artist JR’s wish: “Stand up for what you care about by participating in a global collaborative art project. And together we’ll turn the world INSIDE OUT”: www.insideoutproject.net

Women Are Heroes project by street artist JR: www.womenareheroes.be In Kibera “we didn’t use paper (on the rooves), because paper doesn’t prevent the rain from leaking in the house but vinyl does.”

“It doesn’t matter today if it’s your photo or not. The importance is what you do with images… We decided to take portraits of Palestinians and Israelis doing the same job. They all accepted to be pasted next to the other.” JR

i. Crowd-voicing

Human right activist & TED Fellow Esra’a Al Shafei presents www.crowdvoice.org – a project of MidEast Youth tracking voices of protest around the world using crowdsourcing.

Wael Ghonin: Egypt saw extreme tolerance, Christians & Muslims protecting one another praying. “The power of the people is much stronger than the people in power”.

Surprise talk by Wael Ghonim on the Egyptian revolution: “No one was a hero because everyone was a hero.”

“We cannot have a well-functioning democracy if there is not a good flow of information to citizens” El Pariser.

Head of Al-Jazeera, Wadar Khanfar: “The democratic revolution sweeping the Arab world is the best chance to see peace. Let us embrace it.”

j. Colloborative creativity

“Electronic communication will never be a substitute for someone who face to face encourages you to be brave and true” Marc Martens talking of the powerful “Glow” public art playground http://glowsantamonica.org/. Public art to connect people is at the heart of the Santa Monica ‘Glow’ project.

Face ache follows the Bobby McFerrin session. “Unparalleled joy” was in the programme! Playing along with Bobby’s creative spontaneity warmed everyone’s hands, voices and hearts.

The lennonbus.org at #TEDActive – a non-profit mobile recording studio dedicated to providing students with opportunities to make music and video projects.

eyewriter.org – an ongoing collaborative research project using completely open source technology to empower people suffering with paralysis to draw with their eyes. Mik

Co-creating a music video through crowdsourcing: Aaron Koblin describes www.thejonnycashproject.com: a living, moving, ever-changing portrait as people all over the world contribute portraits to the collective whole.

Aaron Koblin: “Interface can be a powerful narrative device”, showing a crowd-sourced video, which when viewed is unique to each viewer www.thewildernessdowntown.com/

Conductor Eric Whitacre’s “Lux Aurumque” gives voice to a virtual choir – http://ericwhitacre.com/the-virtual-choir. The upcoming project received >2050 videos online from 58 countries.

k. Leveraging learning

Project V.O.I.C.E. – lovely project by Sarah Kay uses poetry as a way to entertain, educate & inspire. List 10 things you know to be true. Sharing these lists – who has the same? / opposite? / who heard something never heard before? / heard new angles on what you thought you knew? Sarah Kay

Make a list “10 things I should have learned by now.” Sarah Kay uses poetry to work through what she doesn’t understand with a backpack from where she’s already been.

Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio looks at the conscious mind: “There are 3 levels of self: The proto, the core & the autobiographical (past & anticipated future). We share the first 2 with other species.”

NYT Columnist David Brooks asserts emotions are the foundation of reason and, as social beings emerging out of relationships, we need to learn better how to read, listen to and talk about emotions.

Ed Boyden explores the brain signals that drive learning & describes the process of installing molecules in neurons and using light to turn on/off specific cells in the brain and treat neurological disorders.

“Personal perceptions are at the heart of how we acquire knowledge.” Autistic Savant, Daniel Tammet, shares insights from synaesthesia about colours, textures & the emotions of words & numbers.

29% greater retention from doodlers & better problem solving because it engages all learning styles – Sunni Brown. “The doodle has never been the nemesis of intellectual thought. In reality, it’s been one of its greatest allies.”

Khan Academy learning: self paced, interactive, peer-to-peer, encouraging trying & failing (like falling off a bicycle), and designed to be iterative and so avoid ‘swiss cheese’ gaps in education. Salman Khan

“By removing the one-size fits all lecture from the classroom, these teachers have used technology to humanize the classroom.” “What we’re seeing emerge is this notion of a global one-world classroom.” Salman Khan

“Kids 1 year from voting age don’t know butter comes from a cow. They’re not stupid. Adults have let them down. Every child has the right to fresh food at school & food education as a requirement. It’s a civil right” Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver’s exciting new announcement about the future of the Food Revolution: http://bit.ly/hbRmGM #TED

Alison Lewis presents fashion technology, encouraging DIY “Switch Craft” projects blending sewing and electronics to bring handiwork into the 21st century: http://blog.alisonlewis.com/?p=541.

Fiorenzo Omenetto reinvents something that’s been around for millennia. Learning from silk worms, he reverse engineers the cocoon turning water & protein into material with environmental & social significance.

A seed cathedral, inspired by Kew’s seed bank, jurassic park & play doh mop-tops is Thomas Heatherwick’s stunning London Pavillion @ Shanghai: www.heatherwick.com/uk-pavilion/.

Learn a second language in Second Life: an alternative emersion process that works with the 5 stages of second language acquisition and the mastery of the 4 language skills, says Jeong Kinser.

Indra Nooyi talks about Pepsi’s Refresh University to sustain & multiply social change emerging from www.refresheverything.com: stories, lessons & ‘how-to’ online + leadership skills training.

l. Breathtaking medical breakthroughs

Luke Massella is living proof of Anthony Atala’s regenerative organ work. He was one of the first ten people to receive a ‘printed’ kidney. 3D printed organs are the next frontier in medicine.

Eythor Bender showcases his incredible exoskeletons, which enable the paralyzed to walk again.

m. Miscellaneous communication products and technologies

The effects of HIV can be reversed. Watch this powerful ad from the Topsy Foundation: http://t.co/lLph2Or via @youtube.

A compelling video for the genocide-awareness www.onemillionbones.org/ project by Art Activist TED Fellow Naomi Natale #TED: http://youtu.be/FFukmsLLG0k.

Weforest.org’s “Lessons from a tree” video – narrated by Jeremy Irons – supports the “Buy2get1tree” campaign, working with corporate partners to save 2 trillion trees by 2014. Bill Liao

Kate Hartman creates devices that play with how we relate and communicate with ourself, others and nature. “Our bodies are our primary interaction with the world”.

The Handspring Puppet Company breath life into a larger than life War Horse puppet on stage using masterful “emotional engineering” and “up to date 17th century technology to turn nouns into verbs”.

Mike Matas demos www.pushpoppress.com/ – the first feature length interactive book and sequel to “Inconvenient Truth” – with Climate Change solutions. Blow on the screen to turn wind turbines!

A smart braille phone varying the height of a pixel instead of color to communicate information on “screen”: A concept of TED Fellow – SumitDagar.com.

Mattias Astrom demos C3, a new 3D mapping technology: http://www.c3technologies.com/

Bubbli – ambitious new startup seeks to change the way we record images with cameraphones. Terrence McArdle & Ben Newhouse.

Shea Hembrey invented 100 artists and imagined their art. http://www.sheahembrey.com/

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TEDx Workshop Talks, Tips & Tweets during TEDActive 2011

Attending TEDActive 2011 back in February – and joining a couple of hundred other organizers of TEDx (independently organized events under license from TED.com) for workshops, back stage tours, talks and tips – I tweeted about my TEDx learning. For posterity, I’m now sharing the tweets here:

Began #TEDActive 2011 with pre-workshop of TEDx organizers. Great community! Learn about the independently organized TEDx events near you: www.ted.com/tedx

Discovering high +ve correlations between TEDx organisers, entrepreneurs & The Hub network (www.the-Hub.net) at #TEDActive

Idea / quote of the day from TEDx Middle East – “TEDxRevolutions – Revolutions worth sharing” at #TEDActive

TEDx Talk Tips from Ruth, TEDxColumbus: “Who is the hero & villain in each talk? Can I relate? Can I learn from it? Can I follow you? Is it primal? Can I root for you?” #TEDActive

Kelly & Rives’ TEDx Host Tips: Get a stage manager; start hosting pre-event and finish at the after party; introduce the unexpected; have time-fillers and back up plans #TEDActive

TEDx Kids Tips: Shorten; embrace chaos & noise; keep adults aside; invite on stage; involve from seats; outsource jobs to them; give them what they want; max demo’s and Q&A’s; & feed them! #TEDActive

TED set up: casual, relaxed format; 50% seating, unobtrusive background music; brain/superfoods; wine & beer – not spirits; large name tags; & locatech online tool. #TED

Nancy Duarte on storytelling formula: What is – what could be – what is – what could be – what is – call for action – the utopian new bliss. #TED behind the scenes tour, Longbeach

Nancy Duarte quotes Ernest Hemmingway: “The first draft of anything is shit.” #TED

Nancy Duarte quotes Woodrow Wilson: “If I have 10 minutes to present I need a week to prepare; if I have an hour I am ready now.” #TED