TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks are short but powerful speeches (usually around 15 minutes in length) that are part of the annual TED Conferences.
These conferences are watched by millions of people online, with topics related to tech, entertainment and design. They have also added topics which include science, culture and academics.
History of TED Talks
The conferences were started in 1984 by the non-profit Sapling Foundation.
From 1990 onwards the conferences were held on an annual basis in Long Beach and Palm Springs, California (the venue later changed to Vancouver, Canada). The speakers have a maximum 18 minutes of time to speak about their ideas in the most engaging and innovative ways as possible.
Past speakers include Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Richard Dawkins, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and several Nobel prize winners.
Many inspirational talks are part of the TED archive. Here are the top 5 TED Talks that deserve a watch:
1. Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Schools are often blamed for killing human creativity. There is also a recurring theme about schools that they’re making children follow a conformist attitude towards things and follow orders.
Do schools turn children into robots? Does that mean all schools are to blame for making them this way?
In the 21st century society, creativity is an essential part of the job if you’re following a career that does not have traditional requirements. This TED Talk takes a look at how schools are contributing to this culture of unimaginative proportions.
2. The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers
Often times we are told that original ideas are worth more than even gold, be it for business or culture.
Suppose if you go for a tried and proven approach. you won’t get very far depending on the type of market you are in.
An original idea, an innovation, can take you ahead by leaps. And believe it or not, even procrastination holds the key to originality. Watch the video to know why that is and more:
3. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
Body language is often the defining piece of your personality. The more expressive you are, the more likely you are to use gestures more often while speaking.
Managers in higher positions for example tend to stand in an imposing or dominating way in front of their staff. Similarly they also know when not to appear dominating i.e. when they’re in front of their bosses.
If you’re curious about knowing more about body language and its effects, watch the following TED Talk:
4. The Puzzle of Motivation
Motivation is the driving force behind employee performance and your own performance as well whether its your job, your studies or just something you regularly do.
What motivates you is not as simple anymore. Even the “carrot and stick” model put forward in the 20th century doesn’t do much for your motivation.
This TED Talk gives you a look at what can be done to stay motivated and how it differs from person to person:
5. How to Speak so People Want to Listen to You
Ever wondered why nobody listens to you when you talk? Happens to some of us at least.
Not just that, how do some people manage to capture audiences just through the way the speak or the power of their voice?
Julian Treasure in his TED Talk explains how to speak in an effective and efficient way. How you can get your point across. He also lists down some bad speaking habits which are annoying for all:
Nobody is born flawless and as human beings we are supposed to mend those flaws and improve ourselves in a way that helps us and those around us so we can all live better and more productive lives. TED Talks happen to be illuminating for people who are looking to improve themselves.
Is there any particular TED Talk you think that people should watch? Did a TED Talk manage to change your life in some way or affected you in a positive way? Sound off in the comments below.