- Be interested.
- Be generous.
- Be interesting.
In that order. If all you can do is repeat cocktail party banalities about yourself, don't come. If all you're hoping for is to get more than you give, the annual event is not worth your time. If you're not confident enough to share what you're afraid of and what's not working, you're cheating yourself (and us).
These aren't just principles for TED, of course. They're valid guidelines for any time you choose to stop hiding and step out into the world. It would be fabulous if people who were willing to commit to these four simple ideas had a special hat or a pin they could wear. Then we wouldn't have to waste our time while looking for those who care about their work and those around them.
[TED is a conference that started small, got big and then spawned more than a thousand local versions. Mostly, it's a culture of connecting interesting ideas and the people who have the guts to share them. Sometimes people at TED even follow these imperatives].