Monday, October 02, 2006

TED Talks: brilliant speeches for free online

Hi to St Clare's students, teachers (and alumni)

  • Have you ever wanted to know how to find true happiness?
  • Would you believe that spaghetti sauce has an important lesson for everyone interested in business?
  • What is the name of Oxford University's (arguably) most famous scientist?
  • Would you like to know how to make someone fall in love with you?
If you want to know the answers to any of these questions, and others just as interesting and topical, if not more so, please check out TED Talks, a free online resource of brilliant speeches/talks you can watch online for free, or subscribe to as a podcast and download to your iPod (or other MP3 player).

Personally, I find these talks fantastic to watch or even just to listen to on my iPod. The TED Talks speakers are among the best speakers in the world, both in the originality and importance of their ideas, and in their technique - all of the talks are fascinating, and many of the speakers, although talking about serious issues, also manage to be extremely funny.

Level of English needed: higher level General English students
Also suitable for: students on University Foundation, or Advanced Studies, or Liberal Arts courses

Here are some example talks:
  1. September 26, 2006: The Pursuit of Happiness by Dan Gilbert
    (Dan Gilbert is a psychology professor at Harvard, and author of Stumbling on Happiness.) Watch Online
  2. September 19, 2006: The Freaking Point by Malcolm Gladwell
    (Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for The New Yorker, and best-selling author ofThe Tipping Point and Blink. In this talk, filmed at TED2004, he explains what every business can learn from spaghetti sauce.) Watch Online
  3. September 12, 2006: Mind-Bending Nature by Richard Dawkins
    (Outspoken biologist Richard Dawkins is author of The Selfish Gene and Oxford University's "Professor for the Public Understanding of Science.") Watch Online
Here's the place to go:
TED Talks
"Each year, TED hosts some of the world's most fascinating people: Trusted voices and convention-breaking mavericks, icons and geniuses. The talks they deliver have had had such a great impact, we thought they deserved a wider audience. So now - with our sponsor BMW and production partner WYNC/New York Public Radio we're sharing some of the most remarkable TED talks with the world at large. Each week, we'll release a new talk, in audio and video, to download or watch online."


Geoff Taylor