On Wednesday 15th January, TEDx Klagenfurt Curators, Eithne Knappitsch and Marko Haschej, visited students in the Department of English and American Studies. The aim of the guest lecture was for students to find out about TEDx Klagenfurt and learn more about public speaking as part of the course titled, “Professional Speaking Skills.”
Who and what is TED?
Many people are familiar with the inspiring TED videos on Youtube. But what is TED and how did it all begin?
TED is short for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It began as a conference founded in 1984 by Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks. Today, TED is a global non-profit organisation with the mission to research and discover “ideas worth spreading.” In 2009, TED opened up its conference format to local, independently organised events called TEDx. Since then, thousands of communities around the world have come together to host their own annual TEDx events, including Klagenfurt.
Last year, Ms Knappitsch took over the role of TEDx Klagenfurt Curator from Mr Haschej, who was previously the Curator for 7 years. During their talk, the Curators shared the history of TED with the students and explained how TEDx events are organised. The group were given an insight into how guest speakers are selected and what goes on back stage on the day, which includes lots of rehearsing with coaches and even massages to help speakers relax!
Mr Haschej and Ms Knapptisch then gave the students advice on speaking in front of an audience. Some of their top tips included:
· When you have finished what you want to say either move on to your next point or wrap up, do not talk aimlessly.
· Think about who your audience are and why they should care about what you are saying.
· Be authentic.
At the end of this semester, as part of the course, the group will deliver individual presentations to their colleagues on the topic of institutional talk. This visit was not only an opportunity for the students to ask questions and prepare for their upcoming presentations, but also to find out how they could get involved with TEDx.
We would like to thank Mr Haschej and Ms Knappitsch for speaking to our group and wish the students all the best with their final presentations.
If you would like to learn more about TEDx Klagenfurt or attend an event, then you can find further information on the following website: https://tedxklagenfurt.com/home.