My Top Five Picks for the Most Effective TED Talks

Who doesn’t like TED talks? Every seventeen seconds someone somewhere in the world is watching a TED talk. With thousands of talks available to be educated and inspired by, you have access to every kind of presenter.

It’s fascinating as a speech/leadership coach to see the varying types of speeches and approaches. No matter the subject, take the time to watch a TED talk as often as possible–you’ll not only learn more about the topic, but you’ll begin to pick up on what makes some speakers more effective than others. Also be aware of how you feel about a topic before a presentation, and subsequently how you feel after. What changed? The presenter was likely a big part of that change; try to figure how they accomplished that.

I frequently point my clients to a number of TED talks. The following are my top five picks for the most effective TED talks I’ve seen thus far–of course, there are plenty more to see!

  1. Ken Robinson: “Do School Kill Creativity?”
    In this talk, Ken Robinson asserts that people and organizations acknowledge the current educational system is failing to meet the challenges we face, and is working zealously to create alternative. His impassioned message underscores the need to better foster our natural-born capacities for creativity. Rethinking the approaches to the educational system is a strong start. His talk is gripping, authentic, and powerful. 
  2. Amy Cuddy: “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.”
    Social psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses that body language affects not only how others see us, but may also change how we see ourselves. This absorbing talk on nonverbal communication is thought provoking and a call-to-action on the need for self-awareness as a path to personal and professional growth. 
  3. Stacy Kramer: “The Best Gift I Ever Survived.”
    This is a moving, though brief, story of how a frightening and traumatic experience can turn out to be a priceless gift. It’s delivered with conviction, suspense, and power. Sometimes less is more. 
  4. Brene Brown: “The Power of Vulnerability.”
    This is funny, poignant, and a lesson on human connection. Brene Brown shares insights from her research on empathy and the importance of embracing our vulnerability. I love her positive attitude and loving spirit. 
  5. Dan Ariely: “Are We in Control of Our Own Decisions?”
    Behavioral economist Dan Ariely boldly shares his research findings that humans are not as rational as you may think. It’s great to listen to a credible expert challenge conventional wisdom to help us make better decisions.

What are some of your favorite TED talks? I’d love to hear which ones they are and why they’ve made any impact on you! Find me on LinkedIn.

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