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 22 2011: A good conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking and listening not only to words but to non-verbal cues and signals. Online conversations, therefore, may not be as intimate but I think we are evolving specific skills to compensate. For example, I like to read comments and try out different interpretations, inflections and tones -just to check out the possibilities.
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      Nov 23 2011: An alternative to speaking with text is to use video/audio conferencing.

      When someone speaks and moves, you can feel their spark!
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      Nov 29 2011: Sue, that's a good idea--trying to convert words into facial expressions and such. I can't wait to try it.

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