TED Talks have become such part of the online community that it can be considered it’s own genre. But what are the qualifications that consider something to be in the TED talk genre? Well first of all, to be considered part of the TED Talk genre, it would have to be a speech presented on the TED Talk website. The qualities that are defining characteristics of a TED Talk are a personal aspect, some form of research, visual aids, and a call for action.
The personal aspect is the narrative or story the speaker tells to the audience. This makes them a relatable figure and uses an emotional element to appeal to the audience members. This ultimately draws in the audience’s attention and makes TED Talks enjoyable to watch.
Some form of research is the new idea or study developed by the speaker or someone else the speaker is talking about. This brings in the element of groundbreaking news and ideas that brings a point to the reasoning behind the speakers TED Talk. This might address a problem or just something new that is being developed or is recently found out.
Visual aids are used in TED Talks to also serve as an attention grabber for audience members. Humans are visual creatures so therefore it is only appropriate to have visuals when speaking. This assists the TED Talker to help present a concept of something better through showing a model or diagram of methodology.
Last but not least, TED Talks have a call for action in the end. To end with no application to continue their of someone else’s research has no inspirational or intriguing conclusion. When there is a call for action, it ends on a strong note, which wraps the speech up nicely. It also inspire others to learn more about topics which is one of the main reasons for TED Talks, to spark inspiration.
To answer the question brought up by Heller, “Should we be grateful to TED for providing this form of transcendence—and on the Internet, of all places? Or should we feel manipulated by one more product attempting to play on our emotions?” I think that we should be grateful. It’s true that science and facts are compromised for entertainment value, but to get the majority of people willing to listen to something about science or research, there needs to be a reason for them to want to watch. If science and other topics were presented how they would normally amongst other scholars in that area, the most of the population wouldn’t be intrigued or willing to listen. So although, sprucing up the talk may mean loosing some key data, it is worth it to get people to at least want to actively listen.