Speech analysis – Sugata Mitra : Kids can teach themselves

Sugata’s Mitra speech isn’t directly about technology. However, he shows how technology and education can work together. The video is accesible from the TED site:

The main strong points of this presentation are for me:

  1. Storytelling: he recalls his research: what was the subject, what he did for the research (like driving through rural India), what his first ideas were, how he looked for more evidence and what he found out. All this has personal touch.
  2. Illustrating the stories by videos: his stories are full of videos of what he actually saw. He’s commenting the the videos so that we understand better what we do see.
  3. Explanations: for every subject he explains it even further showing how the education happens without teachers and other materials, just in the group.
  4. Fun: one of the great moments is the village when kids learned English from CDs and then demand faster processor for their computer, perfect!

Speech analysis: Keren Elazari “Hackers: the Internet’s immune system”

Keren Elazari covers a very technical and controversial topic: hackers. Her main point is that they are needed by the society to push it forward and protect our freedom. The video is accesible from the TED site:

The main strong points of this presentation are for me:

  1. Strong and memorable sentences: “I’m here today because I think we actually need hackers” nearly at the beginning clearly shows what her position is. “This is the rush of power that hackers feel” summarizes another fragment. Keren isn’t afraid to express strong opinions and we remember then. On the other hand, she offers examples and support for her points.
  2. Strong beginning and ending: the speech starts with a scene of a hacker able to get money from ATMs and ends with a cry: “ it is not information that wants to be free, it’s us”. Note that there are also other strong moments and examples, but the ending is for me strongest of them all.
  3. Illustrations: for every subject she raises, she has a story with example and illustrations (photos, websites etc). For example, the story of the security problem in a router is better understood and remembered when you see a photo of the router yourself and also the message the hackers left.
  4. Explications of technical terms: hacking is full of complicated terms. Keren handles the explications well and puts them in place when needed. For example, she illustrates the full disclosure with the story of a Facebook bounty that went wrong.

Speech analysis: Hans Rosling “The magic washing machine”

“The magic washing machine” is a very accessible speech that talks about complicate subjects. It is also one of my favourite TED ones. How does Hans Rosling do it? What are secrets of the way he delivers? Let’s watch it first. Take your notes on the items that make it good.

Here are my notes:
1. The structure: it goes around a (personal) story, it starts and ends with it. He also includes multiple references in the main part. I would draw the complete structure as:
* intro: story: when his family got first washing machine
* income levels in the world
* energy use levels in the world
* future: green energy, less consumption in the rich countries
* ending: personal story (what the washing machine changed in the family life)

2. Illustrations: first is of course the washing machine itself that takes the central place on the stage. He uses it very often. It is especially interesting at the end when he gets books out of it.

His slides are also important and illustrative, but secondary. Note that he has photos and simple diagrams. The diagrams are very easy to understand (people images as billions of people, energy units without any detailed value). The diagrams get directly to the point.

3. Fun: the audience laughts very often. Note that he uses a specific type of jokes: it is based on the contrast by what the audience finds normal and what he presents as normal in some time in the past or somewhere else in the world.

Do you have additional points to add? Leave your comment below.