3 TED Talks Everyone Needs To Watch

Recently, when at the airport on my way to Sicily, I stumbled into a book shop to discover they had a “half price” sale going on. This to me is very exciting news, so I quickly went to the “personal development” section to get my hands on some life changing books. And that I did. I found Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, paid and headed to my flight.

Can I just say this book is incredible and you need to read it. I’m a student, so have no career where I require making stressful and important business presentations, I do, however, have aspirations of a career shaped around public speaking. Nevertheless, if you have none of that, still read this book. This book talks about all the components you need to be a good and persuasive speaker. Something that applies to everyone; from lawyers and politicians, to teachers and doctors. Everyone can learn something from this book.

I’ll be honest, I could probably count the amount of TED talks I’d watched prior to this book on one hand. Now, I think I’ve lost count. This book talks about so many incredible talks covering everything from body language to climate change and I had to watch them all. I had to learn for myself why these talks were as good as they sounded. So after watching rather a lot, I’ve learned so much. Not just about public speaking, but about life. I’ve learnt more in the few days following reading this book than I had in a long time and I thrive off of learning new things.

I wanted to share for you three of the talks I found amazing. Quite frankly, it was hard to narrow it down to three. But these three talks cover very different topics but they all prompted similar responses in myself. I felt inspired, motivated and moved by what I watched. I wanted to learn more, to do more, to be more. That is what a TED talk is. It’s something that wants to make you feel inspired.

‘Do schools kill creativity?’ – Dr. Ken Robinson

This talk is the most watched TED talk for a reason. With, at the time of writing 46,700,000+ views it really is firmly planted in TED talk history. Robinson says what everyone is thinking but no one is saying.  We prioritise certain skills and subjects in our education system that means that the creative subjects get neglected. Creativity is what we need in a world were we are constantly valuing higher education more and more. Nowadays, you need a degree for a job that 20 years didn’t require one and you need a Masters or Phd for ones that used to only require a degree.

“Many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they’re not — because the thing they were good at at school wasn’t valued, or was actually stigmatized.”

Robinson is funny and inspiring with what he says. It’s 18 minutes of your life that are well worth using to watch this.

‘We need to talk about an injustice’ – Bryan Stevenson

Social justice is something that is important to me and should be important to everyone. This talk in the short 20 minutes makes you want to join Stevenson in his fight for justice. A lawyer by profession, Stevenson runs a non-profit law program to help those that are being treated unfairly in the American justice system.

One way of asking is, “Do people deserve to die for the crimes they’ve committed?” But another way is, “Do we deserve to kill?” For every nine people on death row executed, there is one found to be innocent and released. That is a statistic that would never be allowed in any other industry: Imagine if one out of every nine planes crashed?

By thinking about these issues in such a plain and open way it really is moving. It makes you question why we allow any of this to happen.

‘My stroke of insight’ – Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

This talk actually moved me to tears. It’s unbelievable how your emotions are transported through this talk. It really is incredible. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist, which (to put it very simply) means she studies the brain. Dr. Jill talks about her ‘fortune’ to be able to study her own stroke. A stroke is an unbelievable thing within our bodies. My mum had a stroke 7 years ago, thankfully she recovered very quickly because she was so young when it happened, but the whole experience is life changing. Dr Jill talks about her stroke as an outer-body experience and the whole talk you are completely captured by her incredible energy.

“How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out? I’ve gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career.”

These TED talks are quite incredible. When you look at the lives of the individuals speaking, it really is inspiring. I have somewhat become addicted to TED talks and I don’t think that that is a bad thing. I encourage all of you to really look at the talks, emerge yourself in “TED” and all it can give you. These three talks are the must sees, the talks you cannot not watch. But there are so many more, so many more things to learn on so many different topics. Just 18 minutes is all some of the talks take, and some take even less.

Below are some other talks I have gained from. I feel it would be somewhat selfish to keep them to myself. TED.com is free and therefore we should all abuse it! It’s not often a resource as useful as this is!

Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.

Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do

Richard St. John: 8 secrets of success

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friendOx

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