Presentation at TEDxFayetteville Added to Best of TEDTalks

Kyle Kellams delivers “In Defense of Small Talk” at TEDxFayetteville.
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Kyle Kellams delivers “In Defense of Small Talk” at TEDxFayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – What's the first movie you ever saw in a movie theater?

This is a question that Kyle Kellams, news director at KUAF 91.3 FM, often asks when helping a guest warm up for an interview. It was also an illustration he used for his TEDxFayetteville Talk, "In Defense of Small Talk," which was recently chosen for Best of TEDTalks.

Created to continue the TED mission of "ideas worth spreading," TEDx events are locally-produced, independent programs designed to give communities and organizations the opportunity to hold TED-like experiences. Discovery was the theme for TEDxFayetteville, which used the sub-themes of business, impact and community to help connect the diverse topics presented at the conference. Kellams' talk was added to the Best of TED Talks You Tube channel four days after it was posed on the TEDxTalks channel.

"It was an honor, but also a bit intimidating, to be asked to participate in TED," said Kellams. "They ask all participants to present an idea worth sharing to your peers and a paying audience.  I was a nervous wreck for a few weeks after they asked because what I know most is talking, then it occurred to me to talk about talking."

Kellams' plan worked. His talk about talking closed the one-day event planned by David Bradley, Brent Robinson, Jodi Bezska, David Baker, Joe Payne, Matt Dromi, Clint Lazenby and Shan Pesaru, who enlisted a dozen volunteers to help with the first TEDxFayetteville.

The event, held on Wednesday, March 27, at Walton Arts Center, featured more than a dozen speakers from the area including two current University of Arkansas graduate students and four members of the faculty. Kellams' talk about how simple conversations can lead to greater understanding, as well as other TEDxFayetteville Talks can now be seen on the event's website.

"The most impressive aspect of the day was how many other wonderful, thought provoking ideas I heard," said Kellams.  "It made me incredibly proud to be part of northwest Arkansas."

TED is a nonprofit organization that began in 1984 as a conference to bring together people from technology, entertainment and design. Speakers at the conference were charged with giving a talk on a subject that could potentially change lives and attitudes. These presentations were video recorded and distributed without charge. More than 1400 TEDTalks are now available online, TED Conferences are held throughout the world, and NPR produces TED Radio Hour, a weekly broadcast featuring TEDTalks and their presenters.

KUAF, an NPR affiliate, broadcasts news, information and music to more than 50,000 listeners each week. It is a listener-supported service of the Walter J. Lemke department of journalism in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and School of Arts and Sciences. Billed as a journey though fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions and new ways to create, TED Radio Hour airs Sunday at noon on KUAF.


Darinda Sharp, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences


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