TED roundup: production values

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If you still think a standard PowerPoint presentation or, worse, a C-Span-style speech from a written text is an acceptable level of public speaking, you obviously haven't been to a recent TED conference. I thought graphic design conferences had high production values, but these 18-minute talks set a new standard for polish and sophistication. (Speakers got advance help with their presentations from Duarte Design.) Fortunately, TED gave all attendees a copy of Nancy Duarte's slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations. Before my next talk, I'm going to have to study it.


TED's production standards did lead to a funny confrontation between curator Chris Anderson and Nobel laureate Kary Mullis, who dared to illustrate his three-minute talk with a data-heavy science-conference-style slide. Anderson informed Mullis that his slide was "not a good slide" (or maybe "not a TED slide"--I couldn't quite hear). "If you were a mouse with anthrax," Mullis shot back, "that would be a very important slide."

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Virginia Postrel is an Atlantic contributing editor and the editor in chief of deepglamour.net. She is writing a book about glamour. More

Contributing editor for The Atlantic and author of The Substance of Style and The Future and Its Enemies. Editor-in-chief of DeepGlamour.net.
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