Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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The present study aims to provide a conceptualization of how narratives function in TED talks. It uses Bamberg’s positioning theory as a theoretical framework to build a communicative model of TED Talk narratives. TED narratives are “small stories” that are told, indeed performed, in the presence of an audience and designed to accomplish particular rhetorical aims. The model specifically investigates (1) how genre features affect the design and rhetorical aims of TED talk narratives, (2) TED speaker’s narrative positioning and multi-modal narrative performance, (3) evidence of the audience’s engagement in the narrative and finally, (4) TED narratives as a scaffold for potential individual and social change. Using a multi-modal discourse analysis approach, the model is applied to the narratives used in Guy Winch’s TED Talk (Winch, 2015). The model provides an analytical tool for investigating the dynamic interaction and semiotic signaling involved in the communicative performance of TED Talk narratives.


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