Six TED Talks You Must Check Out

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You’ve probably heard of TED Talks, but do you know exactly what they are? TED Talks are short but powerful talks that aim to share ideas and knowledge in a wide variety of areas, from business to psychology to science – and beyond. In fact, there are TED Talks on just about any topic you can imagine.

TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment, and Design were brought together and has grown exponentially from there. Their “talks” have become world-famous and have been translated into over 100 different languages.

One of the selling points of TED talks is that they are all 18 minutes or less (for the most part) – which means they pack a lot of excellent information into a short period of time. If you’ve been wanting to check out some TED Talks, but you’ve been overwhelmed by the vast quantity, here are some good ones to start with.

  • The Power of Vulnerability – Brené Brown: Brené Brown can be considered one of the rock stars of TED Talks. She’s a research professor at the University of Houston, where she focuses on “leadership and wholeheartedness in families, schools, and organizations.” Her talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most-viewed TED Talks with over 40 million views.
  • The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen – Hans Rosling: Do you find statistics somewhat boring? You’re not alone. Many people do. But if you want to have your mind changed about the world of data, then you need to watch this TED Talk by Hans Rosling. He presents data about the “developing world” that will keep you engaged and wondering why everyone doesn’t present stats like he does.
  • The History of Our World in 18 Minutes – David Christian: Have you heard of “Big History”? It’s a branch of academics that studies history from the Big Bang to the present, and one of the most well-known names in this field of study is David Christian. In his TED Talk, he gives you the history of the world from the Big Bang up to the Internet in 18 minutes. There are lots of great illustrations, and you’ll find this talk mesmerizing.
  • Do Schools Kill Creativity? – Sir Ken Robinson: Education is a popular topic for TED Talks, and Sir Ken Robinson has delivered one of the most talked about educational TED Talks out there. He wants schools to change the way they think about educating children so that creativity is nurtured and not destroyed. You can read more about Robinson’s beliefs in his book, You, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best Education.
  • How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek: This is a must-watch if you are currently a leader in your business or if you aspire to be a great leader. Simon Sinek includes some great examples in his talk, like the Wright Brothers and Martin Luther King Jr.
  • How to Speak So That People Want to Listen – Julian Treasure: If you’ve got ten minutes, then watch this TED Talk by Julian Treasure. Everyone has probably felt at one time or another that they’re talking, but nobody is listening. Julian Treasure aims to make this a thing of the past. And with this ten-minute video, he makes some great suggestions to help – including some vocal exercises!

If you’re looking for new and creative ways to learn new things, expand your horizons, or just spend 18 minutes (or less) relaxing, then take a look at TED Talks. Check out these six talks and then spend some time exploring topics that interest you.

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