Inspiration: Jane Fonda on Life’s third act

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At TEDxWomen, Jane Fonda discusses life’s third act: the three decades at the end of life.

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Fonda stands behind a podium and reads from notes; as we know, these are both no-nos because the podium and notes are two barriers between speaker and audience.  Still, she does things very well.  Her speaking voice was her greatest delivery strength.  What did you think about Fonda’s message, her content?  I found it interesting and well supported with proof from science and proof from others (stories, quotations).  Fonda does tailor this to women, and I loved her inspirational conclusion to girls and women.  What great TED Talks have you seen lately?

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Inspiration: Deb Roy on The birth of a word

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For the next 10 days, I am dedicating my Twitter to My Top 10 Favorite Things From 2011.  Today, I posted The Best TED Talk I Watched in 2011: Shea Hembrey’s How I became 100 artists.  I asked my Twitter followers which 2011 TEDs were their favorites.

Matthew R. Dyer of Columbus, Ohio, Tweeted this:

Of course, since I’d never seen or heard of “The Birth of a Word,” I immediately watched all 19 spellbinding minutes of Deb Roy’s talk.  It’s a must-watch.

What was your favorite TED Talk of 2011?

Inspiration: Howard’s Broken Legal System

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Philip K. Howard offers four ways to fix our broken legal system in this 2010 TED Talk.  He explains that the work of doctors and teachers “has been paralyzed by fear of [law]suits” (Source).  His argument is that we should make legal decisions based on their effects on society as a whole as opposed to on the individual.  My favorite line comes at 16:45 where Howard says we must make judgments “based on EVERYBODY… not just on the disgruntled person.  You can’t run a society by the lowest common denominator” (Source).

Unfortunately, with the sheer volume of lawyers running around, we’ll never get to Howard’s idealistic legal utopia.  Daily Infographic explains The Law School Bubble in greater detail:

Inspiration: Jason Fried on Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work

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At TEDxMidwest, Jason Fried presented “Why work doesn’t happen at work.”  He compares a work day to sleeping (Source).  His tremendous ideas really do allow us to redefine what work is and where work takes place.  The real problems, Fried says, are the M&Ms: managers and meetings.

I can only do work at home when I’m by myself.  I read 8 books at a time on presentation at home in total silence.  I create slideshows at home while listening to music.  I practice my delivery with my PhotoBooth camera sitting on the living room couch.  Home.  Alone.

Thankfully, I teach.  While I’m at work, I’m communicating all of this information I’ve prepared at home in the classroom setting.  Unfortunately, I am also required to conduct office hours.  I say “unfortunately” because I must physically be present in an office.  I can’t help students while sitting in a chair in an office miles away from them.  I can’t prepare for my next class because people constantly interrupt my creative process by talking to me or each other.  I most certainly don’t grade.  Grade in the office?  Impossible.  No Talk Thursday, as Fried proposes, would be AMAZING in my line of work.

Jason Fried is the founder of 37signals.  Follow him on Twitter here.  He is the co-author of Rework, a book about succeeding in the workplace.  Read Fried’s TED biography here.

What is the culture of your office?

Inspiration: Pamela Meyer on Liespotting

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One assignment my students have been doing for the past year is watching, analyzing, and presenting on one TED Talk.  The instructions are to dissect how the TED speaker captures the attention of the audience and keeps the audience engaged.  Students are also asked to determine which of the TED Commandments the TED presenter best follows and to give their fellow classmates some delivery tips based only upon the Talk they watched.

Today, a student presented on Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar.  I was intrigued.

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Meyer discusses liespotting.  This is important in our everyday lives, but the bigger picture here is the importance of nonverbal communication – in life and in our speeches.  Her speech is interesting and applicable to all of our lives.