In 2008 at the elite TED Conference, brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor brought the house down with a very personal and unusual talk.
She described in explicit detail, as only a brain researcher could, what was happening as she faced the fascinating and terrifying experience of having a stroke. Since her talk was posted online, it has been viewed 12 million times in 45 languages, and word has it a Hollywood movie about her story is in development.
In the last five years or so, the TED Conference has revived the dramatic talk as a popular art form. A year ago, TED talks had been viewed more than a billion times online. Under the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading,” TED talks are a powerful way to convey an innovative idea to a giant global audience and have helped turbocharge hundreds of careers. If making it onto the TED main stage is near the top of your bucket list of career achievements, you wouldn’t be alone.
The only problem is, you have to be invited. And being invited seems about as likely as winning a lottery ticket.