Why I don’t think much of TED talks

September 1, 2014 by Joshua
in Creativity, Education

Do you watch TED talks?

Many people seem to love them. Here’s why I don’t think much of them:

When I ask people if they find TED talks inspirational, most people who watch them say yes.

When I ask people to point out specific changes to their lives—that is, to describe what the talks inspired them to do—almost nobody can name action they’ve taken. Most changes people have taken have seemed minor to negligible.

I’m sure many people have acted on their feelings of inspiration, I just suspect a small fraction of the number who watch.

I’ve concluded TED talks give the feeling of inspiration without actually inspiring. I don’t fault the talks or the speakers. I find many of them impressive. The format is passive. What can they do? People just watch, then move on to the next thing with little reflection or planning.

The people who give the talks tend to act on their passions and inspirations, which I like, at least in many of the talks I’ve seen. For everyone else, I think the talks are just entertainment.

I think they’d help themselves change their lives more with a SIDCHA, or anything that involves more action than passively watching a screen, which is most of what happens when people watch TED talks.

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2 responses on “Why I don’t think much of TED talks

  1. Pingback: My Inc. post today: Like TED Talks? This 99-Second Video Covers Them All - Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: Inspiration in education | Joshua Spodek

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