TED Conversations

Peter Mullen


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What specific things do you believe generate the most positive responses to comments in TED conversations.

Is it all about being brief? Is it about being controversial? Does anger work, humor, what? Make a list of characteristics of the ideal TED conversation so we can all practice the fine art of good communication for a productive outcome. Not just calculating thumbs up, but functional exchanges that move thinking forward. What are your personal tricks?


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  • Jul 12 2013: One of the most effective ways of communicating with (especially) strangers, i find is is not by speaking, but by listening carefully to what THEY have to say. This is often the best indication of how they percieve the question or comment. We all hear and read things differently, and occasionally might need to 'translate' even within the same language. I'm Irish and english is my fist language, however very simple statements can mean very different things.......

    If you were to say to somebody in the west of Ireland (as happened recently with some visitors from New York).......

    'Any Crack? Have you got a Fag?' The response here (Ireland) might be 'Ah we had a great time in the pub last night and no sorry I don't smoke..........I imagine the response in New York might be a little different........

    And If your second name is 'Lange'r and your visiting Cork be prepared for childish titters every time you tell someone your name.....You'll have to check that one for yourselves.....

    Some people are better at multi-tasking than others but nobody can speak and listen at the same time.....:)

    I do believe there is also some research in the business world to show that appropriate use of emoticons can have a marked effect on deals done through e-mail....
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      Jul 12 2013: Kevin, wonderful contribution, thank you for sharing your insights with us.
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      Jul 12 2013: "Fantabulous response." Now we're getting somewhere. Listening carefully is one of the most important skills we'll ever learn. It can be the most difficult skill to learn, especially when your a blabbermouth, as I can be from time to time. Communication is a (two way street). If we learn to carefully listen, or in this case read the responses on the thread, the conversation grows eventually becoming something bigger, and more interesting. We all have an ego. It's important to put in in the background occasionally so one can focus with understanding comprehension, and (empathy).

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