I will admit that my knowledge of TED talks is limited - I didn't know until recently, for instance, what TED even stood for. (Technology, Education and Design, in case you're as much in the dark as me.) But I do know that after watching a few talks on topics of interest to me, I was struck by the fact that the presenters, who were all good speakers, really had very little to say that was groundbreaking in any way. I was a little underwhelmed, to be truthful.
Mr. Bratton has had the opposite experience - he critiques the American Idol-style presentation of TED talks and argues that the great ideas of great minds should not be dismissed simply because they don't translate well to theatrical presentations. Scientists may not make great public speakers, for instance, but their work should not be judged on its stage-worthiness. I agree with this view as well, so I guess for me, that's two strikes against TED talks.
What about you? What are your thoughts on this popular presentation format? I'd love to hear in the comments.