I was introduced to TED.com a few years ago by a fellow Rotarian in the Netherlands. I’m convinced that it really is an idea worth spreading, and one that needs such a viral introduction at first. I probably would not have stumbled upon it had he not told me about it.
The value of videos on TED.com grows over time because it becomes a database of useful and inspiring presentations & performances all over the world, largely through TEDx. The way the presenters engage and empower the audience on topics that are timeless and yet timely is one reason why it will live on.
We performers have much to learn from its success.
TEDx are produced in different locations around the world. Maui started its own in 2012 with presenters somehow related to Maui or Hawaii.
On Sunday 13th January 2013, I attended the last 3 segments of the TEDxMaui 2013 production at the Castle Theatre of the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC).
I was most impressed by the ability of certain speakers to convey a knowledge or skill that I had originally considered complicated in a way that made me learn and see the beauty of its simplicity. The elder explorer who taught the audience how to navigate the Pacific Ocean by the stars gave us a taste of that extraordinary craft of ancient Polynesians. The Hawaiian musician Mahala made us chuckle and laugh while he showed us the secrets of the slack key guitar, in particular, his view that each of the 6 strings represented a different instrument.
The lights were not off as typical of most performances. They were ON — because the audience was just as important as the performer(s).
Audience engagement is more important now than ever before.
My burning question was this: why was TEDxMaui able to attract a full-house at the 1,200 seat Castle Theater but not Dame Kiri Te Kanawa?