TED Conversations

Linda Hesthag  Ellwein

Communications, Change, and Photography, Oikonomia, Inc.


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What makes a good conversation? What draws you in and engages you? Let's build TED-capacity by sharing what we're learning with each other.

Conversations are subjective. Some pull us in, others glaze us over. Truth is, they are are important to our lives. A conversation might be a footing to the foundation of a life-changing relationship, or leads us on a turn that changes our course. In order to strengthen our own conversation skills, and encourage others, can we discuss what works - and doesn't? What engages you enough to comment, or continue in the dialogue? What tips would you give others to help them be better conversationalists? What mistakes have you made? When do you get the most from a conversation?

It's often been said 'it's not what you say, but how you say it," how does this translate to online conversations for you? How can we make it easier for non-English speaking members?

Joining a TED conversation can sometimes be intimidating. For some, it takes courage and vulnerability. What can you say to encourage those sitting on the sidelines? Or to those who don't think they have the right thing to say? Do you read conversations but never comment? Why not? Has your world view ever changed, or paradigm shifted?

How about building TED-capacity by offering what you know, what you've learned, even what you struggle with to raise the bar for conversations and to be inclusive to those thinking about jumping in?


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    Nov 1 2011: A good conversation is one that I am really taking part in, by sharing and expressing something or by listening/reading with interest and openess. This conversation seems to be one of those. Hi Pradee, Frans, Tanzi, Lezlie, Christopher, Linda and Muhammad! Nice to meet you here :-)
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      Nov 1 2011: Greetings Anna :) Wonderful to see you!

      Something that's surprised me here is the exhilaration I feel when I jump into a conversation in which I know little, but have always been curious about. There was a time I was hesitant to ask questions of those who knew more than me, particularly in a public venue such as this. Perhaps it annoys those who are well versed on topics such as black holes or nuclear fusion, but it lights me up when the pieces begin fitting together and my understanding deepens.
      A-ha moments rock!

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