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Alison Hardy - Digital Marketing Specialist, TP3

We all want to be happy, to be successful, to overcome adversity and be the best we can, don’t we? But our busy and complicated lives make it hard to achieve these things without support and a regular dose of inspiration. And that’s exactly what the thought-provoking TED Talks, hosted by the Technology, Education and Design (TED) organisation, set out to do — to spread ideas that can change attitudes and even lives.

The collection of over 2,000 videos is freely accessible on the web. They feature some of the world’s leading minds covering such diverse topics as leadership, disability, creativity and even chimpanzees.

With so many TED Talks to choose from, you might not know where to start. So we’ve put together 20 of our favourites to help you start to think differently and bring you closer to your goals.

Whatever your career stage, or role in your organisation, there’s a talk here for you. Some of them may make you laugh, some may make you cry, but all of them have the power to broaden your mind, lift your spirit and inspire change.

Indulge yourself in a little personal development time — sit back and watch these compelling short videos.

On problem solving & innovation

Sweat the small stuff

https://www.ted.com/talks/rory_sutherland_sweat_the_small_stuff

Do you have a Chief Detail Officer in your organisation? Ad man Rory Sutherland explains what that means and why you need one. Watch out for the amusing quadrant slide at the end.

Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits

https://www.ted.com/talks/navi_radjou_creative_problem_solving_in_the_face_of_extreme_limits

Think you need a big budget and endless resources to make an impact? Think again. Innovation strategist Navi Radjou reveals how entrepreneurs in emerging markets are using ‘frugal innovation’ to do more (and better) with less. And he has some tips for you too.

The world needs all kind of minds

https://www.ted.com/talks/temple_grandin_the_world_needs_all_kinds_of_minds#

Drawing on her first-hand experience with Autism, Temple Grandin explores the different kinds of minds we have and how they are all brilliant and invaluable. Don’t miss the Q and A at the end.

On creativity & happiness

Do schools kill creativity?

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity

Sir Ken Robinson, a leading education advisor, gives an engaging and light-hearted presentation with a serious message. Our education system is letting us, and our children, down by not valuing creativity enough. Very thought-provoking.

The power of vulnerability

https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

In one of the most popular TED Talks of all time, Brené Brown discusses human connection, vulnerability and how living wholeheartedly may make you happier. What does that mean? Watch it to find out.

The happy secret to better work

http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work

Psychologist Shawn Achor explores the path to happiness, its uneasy relationship with success and what can happen if you seize the ‘happiness advantage’. He’s another brilliant storyteller who’ll put a smile on your face.

Do what you like, like what you do

http://www.tedxbeaconstreet.com/speakers/bert-jacobs/

Bert Jacobs is not your typical ‘business man’. His message is simple – be optimistic and open-minded and you’ll change both yourself and the world around you. He did just that and grew a hugely positive and altruistic lifestyle brand. This talk rocks.

On communication & presentation

Your body language shapes who you are

https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

This talk explores how our non-verbal communication influences not only the way the world sees us, but the way we feel. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy includes a few power-posing tips to help strengthen your personal presence.

The secret structure of great talks

http://www.ted.com/talks/nancy_duarte_the_secret_structure_of_great_talks

Presentation expert Nancy Duarte shares the dynamic structure she uncovered for creating powerful speeches that pack a punch. It’s something to bear in mind when you’re preparing your next presentation.

How to speak so that people want to listen

https://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_how_to_speak_so_that_people_want_to_listen?language=en

When you speak, do people listen? Sound specialist Julian Treasure unpacks the seven deadly sins of speaking and offers you some tools for better voice communication. It ends with some handy exercises.

On work & stress

Why work doesn’t happen at work

http://www.ted.com/talks/jason_fried_why_work_doesn_t_happen_at_work

Does this typical workday sound familiar? Jason Fried, a serial software entrepreneur, highlights the problems of the modern workplace and offers some practical solutions.

All it takes is 10 mindful minutes https://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes

Andy Puddicombe was once a monk. In this refreshing 10-minute presentation, he explains how stepping out of your life for 10 minutes a day can help you live more peacefully in it.

How to make work-life balance work

https://www.ted.com/talks/nigel_marsh_how_to_make_work_life_balance_work

Nigel Marsh is the author of bestseller Fat, Forty and Fired and co-founder of Earth Hour. In this motivating talk, he shares his observations on work and urges us to take responsibility to design the life we want without delay.

On confidence & identity

The skill of self-confidence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-HYZv6HzAs

Leading sports coach Dr. Ivan Joseph has seen how practice and self-affirmation can wipe away doubt and fear. Listen to his thoughts on confidence, self-belief and focusing on what we do right for a change.

Embracing otherness, embracing myself

https://www.ted.com/talks/thandie_newton_embracing_otherness_embracing_myself#

Actor Thandie Newtown reveals her struggles with her own background and how she discovered who she really was. This is a revealing and deeply authentic speech with a far-reaching message.

How do you define yourself?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c62Aqdlzvqk&feature=youtu.be

Lizzy Velasquez delivers an incredibly touching 13 minutes on looking different, beating the odds, and defining yourself — regardless of what cards you’ve been dealt. Try not to cry.

On leadership & success

How great leaders inspire action

https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

Leadership expert Simon Sinek believes there’s a simple reason why some companies and people succeed greatly while others with the same resources don’t. The answer to the headline comes right at the end.

Success is a continuous journey

https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_st_john_success_is_a_continuous_journey

Success is hard won, but keeping it can be harder. Success analyst Richard St John shares his eight principles to success and why he had to do them twice.

A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

http://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success

Western society has developed specific definitions of success and failure and likes to pass judgement freely says philosopher Alain de Botton. He proposes that our individuality is the solution to all this harshness. Don’t miss the tabloid headline experiment around the 10-minute mark.

How to start a movement

http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement

In this three-minute presentation, watched over 4.8 million times, Derek Sivers uses a candid video clip to illustrate what, and who, you need to start a movement. The visuals really stick in your mind!

 

 

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