16 October, 2009

Talking sound

I'm delighted and thrilled to see my short TED talk go up on the TED website. I had a very warm response from many people to the talk over the four days at TEDGlobal in Oxford - four days which were a huge highlight of my year - and already there are some great comments on the TED Facebook page. Five minutes is a short time to condense a lot of material into, but I managed not to gabble! I'm now looking forward to a longer stint at the upcoming Audio Branding Congress in Hamburg next month.

The human voice is the most powerful sound on the planet, and I hope to continue to use mine to good effect to transform the sound of the world's business, and thus improve the sound of the world for all of us.


  1. Hi,

    It was a beutiful speech. I congratulate you for your effort to teach how sound influences us .

  2. Lots of artists especially potters put on background sound to concentrate....sound like TV and old movies.... it seems to be better than very low sound...or music that you really like... got any Ideas why that works??

  3. I really enjoyed your TED talk. Interested to know your take on something:
    Why does Bach distract me more while driving than all other forms of music?

    I play many instruments and am always listening to diverse music, so what makes Bach distract me from taking the right exit?

  4. You cited a 66% drop in knowledge worker productivity in open offices. Is there a study behind that number? I'd like to be able to reference an empirical source as I reference that fact and your presentation of it.



  5. Thank you for a wonderful TED talk.

    Amazing how much you packed into 5 minutes.

    As a voice actor, I run into both good and bad uses of audio on a daily basis. Nice to see some thought and action being taken to improve our audio world.


  6. Thanks for all these comments.

    Jon, I would guess that Bach's complex patterns must capture your brain's attention and thus distract you. I wouldn't recommnend much classical music for working to - it's too dense and variable. Bach is particularly rigorous and almost algorithmic, so you are probably betters with some very slow pared down Mozart or Chopin.

    To dtmoore, the study was Banbury, S. and Berry, D. C. (1998) Disruption of office-related tasks by speech and office noise. British Journal of Psychology, 89, pp 499-517.

  7. Enjoyed the talk. Do you recommend any audio recordings of nature sounds? (ocean, birds, etc.)

  8. Your talk was fascinating.

    It really resonates with me (sorry), because I am terribly sensitive to background noise. My children fiddling with paper packaging, or crunching toys together jangles me to the core.

    I wonder how much variation there is in sensitivity or distraction to ambient noise?

    You've made me consider redesigning my office space to get the CPU further away from me, as even that fan noise is disruptive. Thank heavens I don't share office space!

  9. Heres a link direct to the Video: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/julian_treasure_the_4_ways_sound_affects_us.html

    Good to see you are up to great things again! (I was with you at TPD)


I welcome your feedback!