TED Note Taking

Good note takers can listen to a talk and note the key points while they listen. They understand what is important as they listen, and they write necessary details accurately.  They do not waste time writing down unnecessary words.  This is a complex task for the brain; with practice you can develop note taking skills.

“LISTEN and TAKE NOTES ” in fact means

  1. LISTEN,
  2. UNDERSTAND the topic in general,
  3. which is best if you can PREDİCT what might be said what is EXPECTED
  4. IDENTİFY the key points,
  5. and IGNORE less relevant information
  6. WORK OUT how they connect with each other,
  7. WRITE key words using abbreviations, symbols, focusing on meaning, with bullet points: develop your own symbols: Meaning and Accuracy are important, not spelling or grammar.

Many people – even those at advanced level – do not feel confident taking notes: if they are frightened of failing, they can make even more mistakes 😦   If there is less fear 🙂 it is possible to focus on improving just some of the tasks of this complex process – a few at a time…

To start to note take: 

  1. Choose a talk 
  2. Listen (with NO subtitles!) to the talk – as many times as necessary, until you feel comfortable. This way you will know the topic and what will be said.
  3. Then try taking notes. Focus on noting meaning – Key Words, not sentences.  Do not worry about mistakes.  
  4. Check the questions (see the number of the talk (in brackets), and look at the list at the bottom of this webpage, below the TED links): can you answer them?  This will show how good your notes are.  Where are your notes good enough? What information did you miss? Where did you lose concentration?  What unnecessary things did you write?  
  5. Try note taking again, until you feel more confident. You can listen to the same talk, or try other talks. In time, you will try note taking after fewer pre-listenings, and your notes will be more complete and more accurate.   
Take as long as you like 🙂 practice makes perfect
Do you want to contribute?  Write 5 listening questions, and mail them to me with the link to the TED talk: claireozelproje@gmail.com

TED Talk Titles


Your body is my canvas                                                               (11)

The orchestra in my mouth                                                       (12)

Old books reborn as art                                                              (45)

The enchanting music of sign language                                 (57)


I am the son of a terrorist; I chose peace                             (5)

How I work to protect women from honor killings          (50)

The key to success: Grit                                                               (47)

An invitation to men who want a better world for women    (56)

The woman on the airplane                                                       (62)


How to speak so that people want to listen                         (1)

I listen to color                                                                               (32)

The Power of Cartoons                                                                (38)

Ecology- Nature

How to grow a tiny forest anywhere                                       (14)

Why we should build wooden skyscrapers                         (25)

Why you should care about whale poo                                  (39)

Stunning photos of the endangered Everglades                 (54)


Every kid needs a champion                                                     (2)

How schools kill creativity                                                        (20)

Teach every child about food                                                     (42)

How I taught kids to love science                                             (55)

The best kindergarten you’ve ever seen                                 (58)


One more reason to get a good night’s sleep                       (15)

Colour blind or colour brave                                                    (18)

The simple power of hand washing                                       (19)

Why do we sleep?                                                                          (22)

The 4 ways sound affects us                                                      (29)


The world’s English mania                                                        (3)

Steve Jobs Stanford  2005                                                         (4)

How to learn any language in six months                            (8)

How language transformed humanity                                  (21)

The linguistic genius of babies                                                 (24)

Your body language shapes who you are                             (27)

Breaking the language barrier                                                 (36)

Hacking language learning                                                        (37)

How to Learn languages effectively                                        (63)

You are fluent in this language – and don’t even know it        (64)

How Language shapes the way we think                            (65)

Quality of life

Looks aren’t everything                                                              (6)

The happy secret to better work                                              (10)

Which country does the greatest good for the world       (13)

My philosophy for a happy life                                                (26)

Why thinking you’re ugly is bad for you                               (33)

How autism freed me to be myself                                         (40)

How beauty feels                                                                            (46)

Why we laugh                                                                                  (48)


Wii remote hacks                                                                           (9)

A skateboard, with a boost                                                         (7)

A computer that works like the brain                                    (16)

My underwater robot                                                                  (28)

What is next in 3D printing?                                                     (31)

A demo of wireless electricity                                                    (41)

Imaging at a trillion frames per second                                 (44)

How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream          (52)

Play with smart materials                                                           (51)


The art of stillness                                                                         (17)

Why I take the piano on the road and in the air                (23)

The leaders who ruined Africa, and the generation who can fix it       (30)

Weird, or just different?                                                             (34)

How to start a movement                                                           (35)

Why people believe weird things                                             (43)

How to spot a liar                                                                           (49)

There are no mistakes on the Bandstand                              (53)                   

A forgotten Space Age technology could change how we grow food    (59)

Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator                          (60)

Mindset is more Important than Strategy                             (61)

How to cope with Anxiety                                                            (66)

Farming Insects to Save the World                                            (67)

What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness  (68)

Embrace the shake                                                                       (69)


1. ————————————————

  1.  Why is speaking powerfully so important?
  2.  What habits do we need to move away from, so that people want to listen to us speak?
  3.  What cornerstones can make our speech powerful?
  4.  According to the speaker, what is “sodcasting”?
  5.  How can people warm up their voice before speaking in public?

2. ————————————————

  1. What was the occupation of the speaker’s parents?
  2. What is the core of the education operation in the view of the speaker?
  3. What bright idea did the speaker invent to impress and encourage her student?
  4. Give 2 reasons why students do not learn?
  5. Why did the speaker cry at  the funeral of her mother?

3. ————————————————

  1. What is the meaning of the word “mania”?
  2. Give 3 examples of mania.
  3. Give 3 reasons why so many people are concentrating on learning English.
  4. What does English represent in our world?

4. ————————————————-

  1.  What did the biological mother of Steve Jobs believe in, concerning his adoption?
  2.  Why did he decide to drop out of college?
  3.  What is the meaning of ( connecting the dots ) in your understanding?
  4.  Why did he consider himself a lucky person?
  5.  What did he realize a while after getting fired?
  6. Why did the doctors cry when they got the results of the tests?
  7. What advice did he give at the end of his speech?

5. —————————————————-

  1.  What started the changes in Zak’s family dynamics?
  2.  Why did Zak Ebrahim lack social skills?
  3.  Which two experiences opened Zak Ebrahim’s eyes?
  4.  Why was Jon Stewart an important person for Zak Ebrahim?
  5.  Why did Zak Ebrahim decide to put himself in danger, after he had started a new life?

6. ————————————————-

1. What is fearlessness, according to the speaker?

2. What is speaker’s advice to people who want to be a model in the future?

3. What is the speaker’s purpose in showing the photos?

4. What does the speaker really think about being a model?

5. Why is this speech so difficult for her?

7. ————————————————-

  1.  How powerful are the engines?
  2.  Where were the items bought from?
  3.  How is the skateboard controlled?
  4.  How much energy does it consume, compared with a car?
  5.  Is it fast to charge or cheap to build?

8. ————————————————–

  1.  What is the function of hypnopeadia and did it work?
  2.  Why did the speaker go to China?
  3.  Why does immersion not work?
  4.  What happens if someone is not tolerant of ambiguity?
  5.  What are three rules of language parenting?

9. —————————————————

  1.  What motivates the speaker?
  2.  Why has he used wii remote for this project ?
  3.  How fast was the first application downloaded by half a million people ?
  4.  Why is the second project interesting?
  5.  How can people found out about these projects?

10. —————————————————

1. What is the study of “averages” used for?

2. Why do some people have different charasteristics?

3. Why are people not happy, even though they are successful?

4. What determines long-term happiness?

5. What is the formula for a negative brain to retrain to happiness?

11. ————————————————

  1.  How did she get the idea of turning people into paintings?
  2.  Which department did she graduate from, and what job had she dreamt of doing?
  3.  What was food did she try to paint?  Why were they difficult?
  4.  Why did she enjoy working with the retired old man go for exhibition?
  5.  In the Milk Pool project, why does the model hide her arms and then her face?

12. ————————————————-

  1.  Who is Tom Thum?
  2.  Where is he from?
  3.  What does he do to earn money?
  4.  Where does he work generally?
  5.  Which countries does he take us to visit?

13. ————————————————–

  1.  What is globalisation according to speaker?
  2.  What are the great challenges that we face today?
  3.  What is the primary reason that we are so slow at achieving the advances?
  4.  Why do governments have the idea wrong for the solution of global problem?
  5.  Why do we like some countries more than others?

14. ————————————————-

  1.  What is the lecturer’s job?
  2.  Why did Dr. Akira Miyawaki come to the Toyota factory?
  3.  What did the lecturer and his colleagues’ benchmark?
  4.  What is Heijunka?
  5.  What is now possible through the internet platform?

15. ————————————————-

  1.  Who is Galen and what did he believe?
  2.  How does circulatory system solve the nutrient delivery problem?
  3.  What is the function of the body’s lymphatic system?
  4.  As the brain lacks lymphatic vessels, how does it clear its waste?
  5.  How does amyloid-beta affect people with Alzheimer?

16. ————————————————-

  1.  What is Blue Gene?
  2.  Which happens at a synapse?
  3.  How is the behavior of transistors changing?
  4.  What makes the brain inherently robust?
  5.  What is the similarity between the brain and a computer?
  6.  Which kind of information does the retina extract?

17. ————————————————-

  1. Why did the speaker make annual flights over the north pole?
  2. What is the first lesson people learn when travelling?
  3. What do we most need in our accelerated life?
  4. What have sociologists found out about Americans’ working-hours?
  5. Explain in few words the internet Sabbath.
  6. What does the presenter suggest for our next holiday?  And why?

18. ————————————————-

  1. Why does the speaker think that her mother is a realistic?
  2. What is colour blindness?
  3. What example of “colour bravery” did John Skipper develop at ESPN?
  4. Who does the speaker suggest that you invite into your home?
  5. Why did her swimming coach make her swim under such difficult conditions?

19. ————————————————-

  1. What are two of the top diseases which kill children under five?
  2. What three diseases which can be reduced by hand washing with soap?
  3. What is necessary to make hand-washing a daily habit?
  4. What is the role of private industry in the campaign?
  5. What inspires Dr.Myriam Sidibe?

20. ————————————————

  1. Why people pin you to the wall if you ask about their education?
  2. Why did Ken Robinson tell the story of the girl who draws a picture of God?
  3. Why, according to the speaker, is it important to be prepared to be wrong ?
  4. Why is the example of Gillian Lynne given?
  5. What does speaker believe is the only hope for the future?

21. ————————————————-

  1. What is the irony behind the Tower of Babel story in the bible about language?
  2. Roughly, how many languages are spoken on earth?
  3. Why are humans the only animal that have the potential to adapt to all sort of life conditions?
  4. What is the main problem associated with social learning that human race encountered, and what solution was developed for it?
  5. Why does the author think that our world is tending towards a monolingual structure?

22. —————————————————

  1.  What percentage of our life is spent sleeping?
  2.  What is the connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain?
  3.  What is the main side effect of alcohol addiction on sleep?
  4.  Which tips does the author suggest to solve sleep deprivation problems?
  5.  What is the link between bipolar disorder and sleep deprivation, and why is this important?

23. ——————————————————

  1. Why did pianist Davia van den Bercken fly with her piano through the air and drive it down the street?
  2. Why did she fall in love with George Friedric Handel’s baraque keybord music?
  3. What does she aim now?
  4. Which two contrasting characters did she experience in Geoerge Friedric Handel’s music?
  5. In children’s concerts, what are the differences between children 7-8 and 11-12?

24. ————————————————-

  1. Why does the speaker describe 6 month old babies as Citizens of the World?
  2. What linguistic skill develops in babies between 8 and 10 months old?
  3. What was the essential condition for 8-12 month old babies to recognise the sounds of the secondary language?
  4. What do the magnetoencephalograpic images of babies brains show?
  5. What might research on the babies language learning capabilities on show?

25. ———————————————-

  1. Why are buildings going to continue to be big ?
  2. Which metarials are commonly used to build cities?  What are their contribution to greenhouse gas ?
  3. Why is wood a solution for reducing emission of greenhouse gas ?
  4. What are Mass Timber Panels?
  5. According to the speaker, how can deforestration be prevented ?

26. ———————————————–

  1.  What was Sam Burns’ dream difficult to realise, and how was the problem solved?
  2. What is the most important thing that he wants people to know about Sam?
  3. What is one thing that Sam is passionate about?
  4. What is the third aspect, that keeps him going through difficult times?
  5. What does he love about being with the band?

27. ————————————————

  1. Give two verbal expressions which show power and dominance, and two that show powerlessness.  (What is a digital “non-verbal”?)
  2. What difference did she notive in her MBA classes?
  3. What hormonal changes happen when someone feels powerful?
  4. How did the traumatic event change her life?
  5. What are the speaker’s final recommendations, and why does she give them?

28. ————————————————-

  1. Give three details about how the ROV was made?
  2. How does the ROV compare to previous underwater robots?
  3. What happened when they developed the website?
  4. How did they get funding? How quickly did they get enough money to start?
  5. What is the potential of the community of DIY ocean explorers?

29. ————————————————-

  1. How are breathing and the ocean sound associated?
  2. How can sound affect our behaviour?
  3. Give two reasons why music is powerful?
  4. What is one of the golden rules?
  5. Why do the people think the birdsong is reassuring?

30. ————————————————–

  1. Which leader first impressed Fred Swaniker, and why?
  2. Why in African countries can one leader make more changes than any other country in the world?
  3. Why is Generation 1 important?
  4. Why is creating employment so important for Africa?
  5. Where does Fred Swaniker think Generation 4 will come from?

31. ———————————————–

  1. What will be unwanted uses of 3D printing?
  2. What connection does the speaker make between 3D printing and our past?
  3. Who are some of the people benefiting from 3D printing?
  4. What is the most significant advantage of 3D printing?
  5. How does the speaker connect his job with that of his grandfather?

32. ———————————————–

  1. What is the electronic eye?
  2. How can a person with achromatopsia adapt to using the electronic eye?
  3. What happens when someone with an electronic eye visits a supermarket?
  4. What makes an electronic eye more useful than a human eye?
  5. What does the Cyborg Foundation do for achromatopsic people?

33. ————————————————

  1. What is leading teens to posts their videos on Youtube?
  2. Why did Meaghan ask her mother when she stopped kissing herself in the mirror?
  3. Why are today’s teenagers are under pressure?
  4. How does lack of body confidence affect the economy?
  5. List three of the aspects that must be included in an effective body confidence training program.

34. ———————————————-

  1.  What is weirdness or being weird?
  2. Where do differences come from: the point of view or the place that you are in?
  3. What is the difference between American and Japanese city maps?
  4. How are some Chinese doctors paid?
  5. What can we learn by going to other countries?

35. ———————————————-

  1. What are stages of starting a movement?
  2. What are the necessary qualities for being a leader?
  3. What is the relationship between the leader and the first followers?
  4. Why do many wait until enough followers have joined in before they also  join in?
  5.  What is the biggest lesson about leadership?

36. ———————————————-

  1. Why did Tim want to learn many foreign languages?
  2. Why does he feel uncomfortable when the media approach him?
  3. What is the difference between knowing a language and knowing some words in a language?
  4. What is the relationship between culture and language?
  5. How did he remember many different words in many different languages?

37. ———————————————–

  1. What excuses do people have for not learning a foreign language?
  2. Is it important to live in a foreign country to learn a foreign language?
  3. How can people change their language skills?
  4. What is the role of motivation in learning a foreign language?
  5. What motivates ployglots to learn so many languages?

38. ————————————————

  1. Who was the Vietnamese cartoon lover?
  2. According to the speaker, what are two ways that the internet has changed the world?
  3. What happened when cartoonists from both sides were brought together for the three day workshop in Abidjan?
  4. What can be found on YouTube/Kenyatoons.
  5. What is good news for dictators?

39. ————————————————-

  1.  How do whale movements affect food chains in the ecosystem?
  2.  What is the importance of dead whale carcasses?
  3.  How are whale conservationists generally seen, and why is this a disservice?
  4.  What is the role of the deep oceans in terms of reducing the global CO2 emissions?
  5.  Name a modern problem that whales face these days.

40. ————————————————

  1. What do people commonly think about autistic people?
  2. What can autistic people do better than the normal people?
  3. How does the speaker choose her friends?
  4. What does she say about normality?
  5. What is her greatest achievement?

41. ————————————————

  1.  Who had the first visions of wireless electricity?
  2.  Why do batteries suck?
  3.  What does the speaker compare WiTricity technology with?
  4.  Why is WiTricity safe?
  5.  Name 3 applications that could use WiTricity.

42. ———————————————————————–

  1. What is different about the youngest generation’s lifespan?
  2. What should supermarkets do according to Jamie Oliver?
  3. Name the three places that directly affect our nutrition habits?
  4. Which people are making the biggest decisions about Americans schools canteen, and why are they the wrong people?
  5. What should children learn in school to save their lives?

43. ——————————————————————

  1. Why does the speaker talk about the Quadro 2000 Dowsen Rod?
  2. How fast is intelligence changing?
  3. What should we check before saying something is “out of this world”?
  4. Name two problems that Galileo had while observing the Saturn.
  5. Which weird shapes do people tend to “see” in nature, and why?


  1. What inspired the researchers to study the behavior of light?
  2. What is a femto-camera?
  3. How does the camera see around a corner?
  4. In which areas can this technology be used in daily life in the future?
  5. Which famous scientist would have loved to see these photos, and why?

45. —————————————————————-

  1. Why did the speaker create a stack of books?
  2. Why does he consider his work to be a remix?
  3. According to speaker, why are people disturbed when books are destroyed?
  4. What are similarities between his work and archeology?
  5. What did photography do to painting?

46. —————————————————————–

  1.  What is special about the picture of the butterfly and the flower?
  2.  How do people react when they see something which is very beautiful?
  3. Which two types of beauty does the speaker mention? Which one is he most interested in?
  4. As a designer, why does he cut up the picture the picture of the face?
  5. Why are the first 50 microseconds important?

47. ——————————————————————

  1. What did the teacher notice about her students?
  2. What conclusion did Angela Lee Duckworth reach about education?
  3. What does not measure success, according to the speaker?
  4. What is grit?
  5. Why should kids learn about the brain and how it responds to challenge?

48. ——————————————————————

  1. What happens to the muscles in the rib cage while we are laughing?
  2. Why do people laugh?
  3. How many kind of laughter are there? Give two differences between them.
  4. What is a social benefit of laughter.
  5. Why did the German musicians laugh?

49. —————————————————————-

  1. What is the name of the book that the speaker wrote?
  2. Why does Meyer say “Lying is a cooperative act”?
  3. How many times do strangers lie within the first 10 minutes of meeting each other?
  4. Name two signs that indicate someone is lying.
  5. Why is it important to be able to understand honesty in our current world?

50. ———————————————————————–

  1. What is honor killing?
  2. Give two examples of how the Wake Up Campaign changed community reaction.
  3. Why did the first campaign fail?
  4. What else were women learning at the embroidery center? Give three examples
  5. What happened in 2013?

51. ————————————————————————

  1. Name two of the futuristic composites that are mentioned and describe what they do.
  2. Why do people not know enough about high tech components?
  3. What is Open Materials?
  4. Name three materials used to make paper speakers.
  5. Why are makers interesting?

52. ———————————————————————-

  1. What makes dark net so special and how can it be accessed?
  2. What is so innovative about the dark net?
  3. Why are market exchanges on the dark net so customer friendly ?
  4. What makes payments on the dark net exchanges so reliable ?
  5. Why is the dark net going to become an everyday use in the future ?

53. ———————————————————————-

  1. What does the speaker mean by “palette”?
  2. How does the speaker see mistakes?
  3. What limits the artistic possibilities in jazz?
  4. What is sacred about the bandstand according to the speaker?
  5. Why is it important to be patient at first while playing?

54. ———————————————————————–

  1. How does Mac Stone use photography?
  2. Name three endemic animals of the Everglades
  3. How can we understand the value of nature?
  4. Name two kinds of problems did Mac Stone experience while taking photos?
  5. What is the role of the Everglades for raising consciousness about nature?

55. ———————————————————————–

  1. Why do teachers and students document inventions step by step on a web site?
  2. What is spectrometry? Why do they need to use it?
  3. What did the earthquake in Japan cause?
  4. Why is the speaker’s complaint about adults?
  5. According to speaker, why do children have to take care of their environment and be aware of the impact of nuclear disasters?

56. ———————————————————————–

  1. In what way did the woman in a blue uniform affect the speaker?
  2. What is the aim of the initiative?
  3. What was an unexpected outcome of the launch of HeForShe?
  4. What did a youth advocate organize in India?
  5. What do personal impact stories about the program ‘HeForShe’ show?

57. ————————————————————————

  1. What did Christine think of sound when she was young?  Now what does she think?
  2. What is the meaning of movement in Deaf culture?
  3. What did she notice during her Berlin trip?
  4. Name a similarity between music and ASL.
  5. What did she discover when she looked at ASL through a musical lens?

58. ————————————————————————

  1. What did the principal ask for?
  2. Why was the roof built low?
  3. What does the speaker say about danger or injury?
  4. What happens if a child wants to leave a class?
  5. What animals are the children compared with?

59. ————————————————————————

  1. Why is the “Closed Loop Carbon Cycle” important?
  2. How did Dr. Dyson and her colleagues decide to use this formula on planet Earth?
  3. What did they produce using this technique?
  4. Why do we need a new type of cultivation?
  5. Why are modern agriculture techniques insufficient?

60. ————————————————————————

  1. What example did the speaker give at the beginning of the presentation?
  2. In which ways does the speaker compare the procrastinator’s brain to that of a monkey?
  3. What is the Dark Playground?
  4. What was the example about the Panic Monster?
  5. What is a Life Calendar?

61. ————————————————————————

  1. According to Pugmire, why should mindset come first?
  2. What is the only stage of Preston’s mindset stages that matters?
  3. What is the first thing necessary before using the mindset strategy?
  4. Why does he suggest getting a coach?
  5. Why is taking things off your plate important?

62. ————————————————————————

  1. Why does the speech giver offer candy to other passengers on a plane? 
  2. Which word does news coverage use instead of “refugee”?
  3. Who were the people murdered in their homes by a radical racist American?
  4. What happened at the speech giver’s school after 7/11 attacks?
  5. Why is it important to ask the name of person’s when you talk to them? 

63. ————————————————————————

  1. What are the four major key principles in learning a language?
  2. Why is understanding a language more important than forcing ourselves to memorise hard vocabulary and phrases?
  3. Why did the speaker have a hard time learning Spanish and Italian?
  4. What is a parent speaker?
  5. What does “Immerse yourself in the language” mean?

64. ————————————————————————

  1. What makes this language so powerful?
  2. What does the mind do with negative space?
  3. What is the purpose of the abstract-o-meter?
  4. Why must a designer understand the visual and cultural vocabulary of the audience?
  5. What is the purpose of Sunday-Sketching?

65. ————————————————————————

66. ————————————————————————

  1. What is the difference between normal anxiety and anxiety disorder?
  2. What happens if we set standards too high?
  3. What can happen if one tries to “Do something badly”?
  4. Explain one of the other ways of coping with anxiety.
  5. Why does the speaker mention working as a volunteer?

67. ————————————————————————

  1. What are the benefits of insect farming?
  2. What does nature do when plant wastes falls on the ground?
  3. How does the FAO expect the future protein gap to be filled?
  4. Why are chickens which are fed with insects healthier?
  5. Would you eat insects with your own will?

68. ————————————————————————

  1. What was the purpose of the study?
  2. Why is this study exceedingly rare? 
  3. Which groups were included in the study?
  4. What was the unexpected result of the study?
  5. What are your thoughts on this subject?

69. ————————————————————————

2 Responses to TED Note Taking

  1. This is neat 😀

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