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Expert speakers at the click of a mouse

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In today's business world, staying up to date with new ideas and the latest business practices is vital for any successful professional.

But with budgets shrinking and time pressures growing, it can be difficult to attend meetings, conferences and presentations where key developments and fresh approaches are being discussed.

Fortunately, there is a website that gathers more than 900 leading speakers in one place and offers videos and transcripts of their speeches free of charge.

TED.com is the website of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a non-profit organization based in Vancouver and New York that is devoted to "ideas worth spreading". Launched as a conference in 1984, it has grown to include two annual TED Conferences in Long Beach and Palm Springs, and a TEDGlobal Conference in the UK each summer.

Every event brings together key thinkers, leaders and creators, who are challenged to give "the talk of their lives" in 18 minutes or less. New videos of the talks are added each week, subtitled in English and many other languages, and can be shared and reposted.

The talks cover a huge variety of topics of interest to professionals keen to expand their knowledge base. Searching under the tag of "business", for example, reveals 191 speeches from such people as:
Other topics, presented by such speakers as ex-U.S. President Bill Clinton, billionaire Bill Gates, Canadian architect Moshe Safdie and Professor Stephen Hawking, range from lessons learned during a plane crash to trying something new for 30 days, and from how to listen better to "the three A's of awesome".

Pros: the breadth of information on offer free of charge.
Cons: many speeches have yet to be subtitled in French (especially Canadian French). Some talks would benefit from being longer.

Address: www.ted.com

360 Albert Street, Suite 1740, Ottawa, ON K1R 7X7
Tel.: 613.236.8196 Fax: 613.233.4552