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Ted Talks – Top 10+

by | Last updated: Dec 1, 2021

Favourite Ted Talks of all timeMeanIT Ted Talks

If you like storytelling and listening to people with passion tell their tale in about 18 minutes, you will love TED Talks. Most of these people seem like they are simply having a conversation with the audience and you are invited – pull up a seat. www.ted.com

This list is somewhat personal taste and as it builds up we will categorise it. It is mostly talks that educate, inspire or entertain, ideally all three, possibly focusing somewhat on business and personal development.

They are not in any particular order. If you like what we like, then this will save you time searching in Ted Talks growing library of wonderful videos. As a business you can create your own Youtube video channel and share it in your website or Social channels.

1. “Do schools kill creativity ?” 2007 Sir Ken Robinson 20.00 minutes Circa 10m views. Topic – Education.
Ken says that kids are born naturally creative, but schools work hard at removing that creativity. The system is wrong, the priorities are wrong and we continue to educate people who will then educate more people who will simply continue the cycle. We prioritise Maths, Science and Languages, over Art & Humanities. Even within these there are hierarchies, so Art will emphasise Fine Art over Dance etc.
The standardised testing of all kids makes schools like factories, with short classes, weekly timetables and term schedules, producing conforming little automats, instead of being more like a place to develop ones own skills and personalities or to get in to a state of flow on a topic or even to collaborate on projects. Children who cannot conform end up dropping out physically or mentally. Why can we not encourage independent flights of thought, creativity and self belief? Ideal for people with an interest in Education.

2. Your body language shapes who you are.” 2012 Amy Cuddy 21.00 minutes. Topic – Confidence.
We can change other peoples perceptions of us by changing our body language to communicate differently. We can even change our own body chemistry or self confidence by changing our own posture or non verbal expression. First impressions do last, so why not create your own desired impression and influence the perception of people you meet. Amy is an inspiration for her own personal back story as much as for her studies on power poses or faking it until you make it or rather until you become it. Make some small changes and grow in confidence. If you are bursting with confidence, you can skip this one, as it may seem too obvious.

3. “How great leaders inspire action” – 2009 Simon Sinek. 18 minutes Topic – Inspiration.
Learn where true inspiration comes from. When you finish this one, check out Simons book Start with Why. People will work for you in exchange for money, but will work much better with you, if they believe in, what you believe in, your aims and ambitions, your own why. He cites people like Steve Jobs. Old topic, great delivery and a talk that is oft used to explain the concept of your ‘why’..

4. “The happy secret to better work”  2012 Shawn Achor Topic 12 minutes 4m+ views – Personal happiness.
Does happiness inspire productivity ? Definitely entertaining

5. “The Puzzle of motivation Dan Pink Topic” 2009 18 minutes 4m+ views – Motivation.
Dan shares his views on how we help our team or employees perform better, be happier and more productive. Dan writes about autonomy, mastery and purpose. He wrote Drive which was a bestseller and hosts the 1-3-20 podcast.

6. “The riddle of experience versus memory” 2009 415,500 views Daniel Kahneman Topic – Education.
Choosing between experiences and the memories of experiences. Daniel is one of my favourites and wrote Thinking, Fast and Slow, a best-selling book published in 2011

7. “Why we do what we do” 2007 Tony Robbins 4m+ views  Topic – Education.
Not my favourite inspirational speaker, but here he nails it, in terms of his delivery. He entertains an audience of his peers, leaving them wanting more. He points out that we all strive for fullfillment and get it on two ways, by seeking to contribute to a cause or community or by the need to continue to grow. He describes Six common Human Needs and asserts that all behavior is simply an attempt to meet those six needs;
1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others

8. “Are we in Control of our own Decisions?” 2009 4m+ views Dan Ariely Topic – Awareness
Our decision making processes are well understood by marketers, so we can be manipulated. Understand this and why we make decisions to avoid making the wrong ones in future. Try thinking past a decision, how it will affect you in the future? Very much like chess, you can take a little time in advance to look forward to the possible results of any decision, before committing. Very entertaining guy.

9. “How to get your Ideas to Spread.” 2007 Seth Godin 1m+ views. Topic – Business management
Seth rarely speaks without adding value. Sometimes the output seems obvious, but every time is thought provoking. In this one he simply asks that we consider how we promote our offering, how we show value or benefit and how we get the message to spread to our desired audience. He uses some good examples. Seths ideas are never new, but they are evergreen ideas. His delivery and his personality make him a very popular speaker.

10. “8 Secrets of Success”   2007 Richard St. John 4m+ views Topic – Success
1. Passion, do it for love not money
2. Work, there is no free lunch
3. Focus, singlemindedly on the project
4. Push, yourself way past your comfort zone
5. Ideas, can become reality if you believe enough and search for answers to challenges or obstacles
6. Improve, to get better and be the best
7. Serve your customers and deliver value
8. Persist, through the challenges and succeed.

More Ted Talks to add in future include:
11. Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce
12. Tim Harford: Trial, Error, and the God Complex
13. Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From
14. Cameron Herold: Let’s Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs
15. Dan Cobley: What Physics Taught Me About Marketing
16. Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work
17. Tom Wujec: Visualize your business problems to solve them quicker.
18. Kare Anderson: You can’t change the world by yourself.
19. Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons from an Ad Man
20. Tim Urban: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator and current full time Blogger. Funny, great delivery from a guy who tried hard to find out why he did not knuckle down at college. All the distractions of internet, socialising and instant gratification ensured he did not perform well academically.
21. Robert Waldinger: What makes a good life?
22. Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend.
23. Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness
24. Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen – this guy is truly and technically a professional speaker, in a way that most are not. And he is very entertaining.
25. Susan Cain: The power of introverts – a talk that catapulted Susan the introvert in to a career of teaching introverts that they are not broken in industry and government through the mission-based for profit company Quiet Revolution established in 2015. Her 2012 book is called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
26. Tim Ferriss: Why you should define your fears instead of your goals.
27: “The future we’re building and boring” 2017 8m+ views Elon Musk Topic – Transportation – the future. 40 minutes of mind blowing invention. This guy thinks differently, in a much bigger way than most, about simple things.

I’m sure you will find a lot of these Ted Talks interesting and also quite inspiring.

I also like the Youtube videos that use graphics to do fast book summaries, just to give you a flavour of a book, such as:

1. OnePerCentBetter
2. ImprovementPill
3. FightMediocrity

About The Author

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 34 ‘Professional Services Firms‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 34 in 2024?


Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on SEO and how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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