Tag Archives: TED talks

Jeff Iliff: One more reason to get a good night’s sleep

Jeff Iliff discusses the scientific reasons behind One more reason to get a good night’s sleep. He speaks with emotion and includes the audience by creating an engaging atmosphere using various methods that can be connected to WOVEN. His main statement in the talk is that sleep is when our brain clears out all of the waste byproduct from a long day. His presentation is well worded to include everyone, even people who know very little about biology. Jeff brings up images throughout the presentation to help paint a clear image of what is taking place as we sleep. He even uses evidence to argue his point through the data from a scientific studying showing the blood vessels of a mouse’s brain while resting versus awake. He includes brief labels on these diagrams to further prevent any confusion with his scientific terminology. While speaking, Jeff maintains a comfortable eye contact that keeps the audience interested in what he is saying. His hand movement is limited- not overwhelming- but just enough to be relaxed. He faces many directions of the audience to engage everyone viewing, not only those who sit directly in front. He also maintains a good pace when moving from image to image. He moves slow enough for the audience to understand his point but not lingering on anything long enough for the audience to become bored.

Looking specifically at the time between 5:01 and 5:11, we see how he transitions from his talking point o the image of the brain of a mouse. His tone is not arrogant when pointing out his personal findings in the research. Instead, he continually uses the word “us” and his voice is the mere awe that matches that of his viewers. Combining visual representations with an interactive speech creates a strong argument and makes for an effective presentation by Jeff Iliff.

Speak so People will Want to Listen

         Here is a link to Julian Treasure’s website.

          In this TED Talks presentation, Julian Treasure, an expert on sound and speaking, gives the audience advice on how to improve their public speaking so that other people will want to listen. He begins by saying that the human voice is the most powerful instrument in the world, and the best way to bring about change in the world is to use your voice So, how can we use our voice better to bring about change? Well, Mr. Treasure tells us the things to avoid when speaking with others and the different ways we can improve our own speaking through pitch, prosody, and other resources. In his presentation, he demonstrates this advice first hand, by using the different resources to enhance his own speaking and captivate the audience.

Julian Treasure uses various multimodal elements in his presentation, even though he is focusing on speech, to help communicate with the audience. To analyze the way he uses multimodal elements, we will look at the time frame in the video from 6:20-6:40. At this point, Julian is telling the audience how to use the pace of their voice to add effects and emotion to their speaking.

         Multimodal elements

Time image was taken: 0:51

          He demonstrates this point orally by speeding up and slowing down his voice to add effects to his own presentation. When he speeds up his voice, it adds excitement to his speech, but when he slows down his voice, the words he is speaking are more emphasized. Finally, he demonstrates the impact of silence when speaking, which helps add power to the end of a sentence. By demonstrating these effects with his own voice, he proves the point that the pace of your voice can add different effects to your speaking.

Julian also uses visual evidence to emphasize his point through images and body language. The image below shows the picture used in Julian’s slideshow. This image shows a toolbox, with different elements of sound depicted inside the toolbox. This image is used to enhance his point that each of these elements is a “tool” that you can use to improve your speaking. Even though he goes in to focus on pace at this moment, the image still brings the audience to the idea that we must use these “tools” on our own to enhance our own speaking.

Visual communication Time image was taken: 6:22

          Julian’s body language is also important in the presentation. The image below shows a moment when Julian uses body language to enhance his voice power. Notice his head is leaning over and his hands are directed to a specific point. Just by looking at his body language, you can tell that he is trying to emphasize something. Which is exactly what he was doing in this moment with his voice as well- he was trying to emphasize certain words by slowing down his voice. By adding this body language in with his voice, he adds even more emphasis to those words.

Body language

Time image was taken: 6:26

          By adding all of these multimodal elements together, Julian Treasure’s presentation becomes very smooth and is really engaging for the audience. Not only do the various elements help for a great presentation, but they help to develop a clear and strong argument. The human voice can be used to bring about change, however by adding other elements together, the change can begin to be seen.

Put the AWE in AWESOME

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Jill Shargaa explains how overused the word “awesome” has become. She goes to say that we use the word “awesome” to explain how our sandwich was. The dictionary describes the word “awe” as fear mingled with admiration. I don’t think sandwiches are worthy enough for my admiration and if it is then you really need to raise the bar on what you admire. She then goes into 10 things that deserve the word awesome. I will be explaining one of the topics she puts on her list.

I chose to analyze the time from 5:11- 5:31. She escalated her enthusiasm of the 10 things she believed deserved the word awesome. When she got to her shark topic, she was just so energetic which affected the crowd to also listen and be intrigued by what she was so excited to tell everybody. Her hand gestures were very prominent during the whole presentation. During the shark topic, she motioned her hands as the teeth of the shark to help visualize how awesome sharks regrowing their teeth were and how they were predators to be feared. Her facial expression also exemplified, if she was a shark, how the teeth would grow beside each other by showing her teeth. Her choices of topic were wide ranged so they encompassed most types of people who could try using the word awesome correctly. Her word choice was awesome because I admired, in fear of course, how smoothly she flowed to explain how to use the word awesome and to explain topics that deserve the word awesome. I feel that the meaning of the topic was well understood because it is a common word that everybody uses and Shargaa explains in a simple way so that everybody can understand. Her over exaggeration of hand movements and facial gestures also helped convey her topic in a more fun and entertaining way. This helps people be involved and listen to what Shargaa has to say. Her presentation had many pictures like a pecha kucha but a few words like “yes, awesome” or “not awesome.” This was simple to understand so people don’t have to read too much and have time to just listen to what she has to say. I feel I have typed the word awesome many times now.

Please, please, people. Let’s put the “awe” back in “awesome”


Malcolm Gladwell— Setting the stage for the unheard story of David and Goliath

My analysis of this TED talk given by Malcom Gladwell begins at 0:45 and ends around 1:05. To summarize, he explains the long told story of David and Goliath in detail. He explains the lore in great detail for the first half of the video and then goes into other extraneous facts such as how the traditions of war had often resulted in one on one combat and how a certain type of soldier in the armies only had one job of being a “slinger” to volley a barrage of rocks at the attacking enemy. He then goes into the possible weaknesses of the giant; he describes the giant as being slow to react with poor vision, possibly diagnosed with “giantism” or with acromegaly. The main argument that he presents is that giants may seem very intimidating, but they may not be as strong as they seem.

To set the stage for this commonly known story, Gladwell goes into the lesser known facts of the story. In this particular segment of the video, he explains the geography of the area to help the audience visualize the scene in which history took place. He goes into great detail about the features of the land and uses strong imagery to depict a visualization that everybody can imagine in their heads. By using hand motions, a mental map of the area is pictured by the audience since he corresponds the ancient cities/areas with places in which he directs his hand. This hand motion is perhaps the most important part of the effect of imagery; the other example of him outlining the shape of a mountain range as he is talking about the valleys, mountains and plains of Israel really gives the audience a vivid impression on what he has pictured in his own mind. Gladwell uses a neutral tone in his voice to set a clear stage before the story begins and does not move his body around too much as to distract the audience from the strong image that he is projecting into their minds. Everything he is doing in this part of his speech is a key part of storytelling, and in this case it was to set the stage for the unheard story of David and Goliath so well that his argument connects with the audience just that much more.