One of the lovely things to come out of this project is the fact that I’m often invited to go and speak to people about reading and the world. From standing on stage at International Translation Day talking to a packed audience of translators (eek! – actually they were lovely) to speaking to a handful of booklovers in a yurt at the Wise Words Festival in Canterbury last September, I’ve been privileged to share these adventures with many people and I’ve met some fascinating bibliophiles along the way.
I have to confess, however, to being particularly excited about an invitation that I’ll be taking up soon: in March I’ll be flying out to Geneva to talk at a TEDx event organised by Procter & Gamble.
As anyone familiar with the TED format will know, this involves speaking to an audience (in my case of about 300 people) while being filmed by several cameras. The film is then edited together and shared free online.
It’s a fantastic opportunity and a great honour to be asked, but it’s not a little daunting too. As a result, I am spending a lot of time preparing and will be watching many TED talks in the coming weeks.
I’ve shared my favourite above – the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s talk on ‘The Danger of a Single Story’, which she delivered at TEDGlobal in 2009. This was a big inspiration for me throughout my project and kept me conscious of trying to avoid falling into the trap of thinking that one book can stand for a nation.
But I’d be really interested to hear your recommendations. Are there any TED talks that have stood out for you? If so, what was it about them that made them particularly powerful?
Any thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thanks!