When it comes to high impact communication it is hard to surpass the power of TED. Not only are the pithy 17 minute presentations a mark of high credibility, the tight format and preparation that goes into a TED or even an affiliate TEDx speech results in an outcome that is destined to influence thousands (or even millions) of people for years to come.
As an entrepreneur and especially as a communicator it is worth your while to hone the ability to “talk like TED” regardless of where you present. As a longer term goal, consider preparing and applying to speak at a TED or TEDx program as well.
In the meantime, here are 10 TED Talks that clearly qualify as ideas worth spreading. I invite you to listen, learn and share the following presentations that will inspire you to take positive actions right now:
1. Why You Should Let Your Fears Guide You | Leonard Kim
Chances are, you aren’t fearless. And if you are, you may be missing a part of your amygdala, the reptilian portion of your brain. You may act fearless at times, but deep down inside, you’re scared. But that’s okay. In this talk at TEDxUCirvine, Leonard Kim shares the reasons you shouldn’t run from your fears. Instead, you should use them to guide you.
2. Your body language may shape who you are | Amy Cuddy
You move around each day. Your body, whether you know it or not, is communicating a message to everyone you encounter, from your family, to your friends, colleagues and coworkers. It’s also creating an image that is contributing to (or detracting from) your personal and professional brand. Instead of letting your natural body language define who you are, use Amy Cuddy’s tips to redefine and take control of that image.
3. Borderline Millennial Disorder | Ryan Foland
You have probably seen studies and research that indicate social media is impeding your progress (and draining your time). But in Ryan Foland’s talk, he provides three keys to using social media to accelerate, not hinder, your career.
4. Start with why | Simon Sinek
The “why” of your business or life is a powerful factor. For many, it is the driving force that propels their success, in both their personal and professional lives. By using Simon Sinek’s method of starting with why, you can discover your own “why” and lay down a foundation that can influence the rest of your life.
5. The power of vulnerability | Brené Brown
This presentation is a personal favorite. When Brené Brown was first identified as a “storyteller,” her ego wanted to get in her way. Her academic career made her want to be known as a researcher. Ultimately, however, she opened her perception to the bigger picture. In this talk, Brown covers the power of connection, shame, vulnerability and courage.
6. Teach girls bravery, not perfection | Reshma Saujani
Despite what the title may say, this talk is for both girls and boys. So many people are striving for perfection. Instead, they should cultivate the boldness to show off their work before it is perfected. In this talk, Reshma Saujaniexplains why we should be comfortable with imperfection. He advises listeners to be brave, not perfect.
7. Know your worth, and then ask for it | Casey Brown
It’s quite easy to undervalue who you are and what you do. We see it all the time, in people such as Casey Brown’s friend, who says she has a “little web design company.” But using language that diminishes your value impedes your ability to earn what you’re worth. By changing your language, you can see a measurable increase in your income.
8. How to achieve your greatness in life | Chatri Sityodtong
When is the last time you took a risk? It may have been yesterday, last week or years ago. Chatri Sityodtong tells how to achieve your greatness in life, by following three steps: love, improving yourself and having an unbreakable will. He shows how to develop a cycle of risk taking, learning and improving that will allow you to create an unbreakable will during the bad times in your life. His secret sauce? Commit to improving yourself one percent a day, every single day.
9. The happy secret to better work | Shawn Achor
In this hilarious talk by Shawn Achor, he states that normal is merely average. If you study what is merely average, you will stay merely average. But how do you change that? You reverse the formula. In The happy secret to better work, Achor expresses that it’s not reality that shapes us, but the lens from which your brain views the world. Watch this video to see how you can change the lens you’re looking through.
10. Pay Attention | Daniel Midson Short
We check our smartphones frequently, we set it down, and then we check one more time just to make sure we have no new messages. We know that we do this, and most of us do it often. But this behavior is causing problems that trickle through our entire society and culture. Daniel Midson Short reminds us to put our phones down and pay attention. His video explains why.
Each of these videos can make a direct impact on your life. I suggest you challenge yourself to watch one per day, for the next 10 days. Then take action, and share your results with others. This will raise the bar on your communication abilities as well.
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