Throughout the entire period between school and university, the concept of public speaking was plastered into our minds as something that when mentioned, induced sheer terror. The whole idea seeming to craft a reaction similar to that of Marion from Psycho amongst peers, with some even breaking out in a stress-induced rash or blotchy skin. Time and again, we found ourselves forced to stand in front of our fellow classmates, trying to look all authoritative like, whilst maintaining balance (similar to an introductory pilates class) as knees tremble and knock together, resembling somewhat of a weird, high-speed dance. More often than not, we were assigned to speak on a topic that we didn’t necessarily believe in, hoping that if you inserted enough jargon, spoke slower than snails pace and paused for reflection at necessary (and unnecessary) moments then hopefully this will ensure you have it in the bag. So it wasn’t until a few years ago, when this thing called TED (not that annoying stuffed animal) was being tossed around social circles and media alike, that the concept of public speaking began to alter all we have ever known and question everything we thought we knew. OK, not everything but it definitely made us wish we had listened a little more intently in lectures.
TED Talks aka Technology, Entertainment and Design conferences and all other various components attached to this now world-renowned brand (founded in 1984) is currently winning at life. Somehow, they manage to muster up a bunch of the best and most fascinating idea generators, think Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, The founders of Google, Al Gore, Bill Clinton and other generally awesome human beings who are often seen sporting a blazer and jeans. The instruction: to give THE talk of their lives in roughly eighteen minutes. No pressure. Our quivering former selves would have melted into nothingness by now. The format is nothing particularly special, cue a spot of bellowing music and a respectful intro applause followed by a lone individual traveling to the middle of the stage. But somehow, as if by magic, the quality of their speakers, ideas that they put forth into the world and methods of deliverance are unlike anything we have experienced before, leaving our curiosity positively stirred and the dimensions of our minds stretched beyond oblivion. These carefully crafted minutes of awesomeness, allow us to pick the brain of the minds that have created the world we live in today, without having to get up off the couch. Pretty much like strolling into a ginormous store full of candy, where everything not only looks aesthetically appealing but tastes positively delicious too. Chances are you will probably never actually get to attend a TED conference, the tickets are going for around $6000 or invite only, unless you are a relative of Bill Gates, Bill Clinton or more than likely someone with the name Bill. We as a sydney design agency are big fans. We are definitely suckers for a good message and the sharing of information and ideas on a multidisciplinary platform, believing that being able to access this good stuff and watch it for zero pennies on social media is a wonderful thing. Watching TED allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the world and its many parts, the right way to speak in public and an even sweeter sense of excitement and possibility for future If You Build It projects. How thrilling.