Many of you may be scratching your heads at my title thinking, “what the heck is a TED talk” or “isn’t that for computer geeks” or maybe even “is that the stuffed animal that talks in a Mark Wahlberg movie?” If you have not experienced the wonderful world of TED talks, allow me to play Willy Wonka and show you around.
First, what is a TED talk? It started out as a conference way back in 1984. Yes, great things from the 80s are still around and not obsolete and archaic despite what the younger generation thinks. It brought together three industries Technology (the geek connection), Entertainment and Design. The TED conference still creates a tremendous amount of buzz and many new and noteworthy ideas are presented. Interestingly, the 1984 conference featured demos of the Sony compact disc. Yep, I’m right there with you, makes me feel old too.
The TED talks were launched as a way to share the ideas from the conference with everyone else and it has become so much more. The concept behind TED talks is Ideas Worth Spreading. Pretty much all of the TED talks are worth watching and sure, if we had infinite time on our hands, we would probably watch them all. But we don’t.
Compiling a list of the top five TED talks is very subjective it’s like picking your five favorite foods. Most of you might go “really?” at my love of saltine crackers (yes, it would probably make it into the top five). And, more TED talks get added each week so this list most definitely will evolve and change, perhaps becoming a regular feature on this blog.
With these provisos, here goes:
(1) one of the most viewed TED talks is by Ken Robinson on the topic of How Schools Kill Creativity. I guarantee it will make you think about your kids differently.
(2) An awesomely funny and interesting look at finding your “soulmate” through online dating by Amy Webb How I Hacked Online Dating. For anyone in the dating world, re-entering the dating world, or people not in the dating world anymore, this talk is a great look at how technology has changed the way we “market” and view ourselves and how we view, and should view, others.
(3) A non-TED talk makes the list because it is just so great and you can find it on the TED website Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford How to Live Before You Die.
(4) Another must watch is by Brene Brown on the Power of Vulnerability, which addresses how we numb ourselves (though things like food, drink, drugs, and medication) to feelings of vulnerability and the power of being vulnerable.
(5) Last, but certainly not least, a great talk by Simon Sinkek on How Great Leaders Inspire Action and explains that great leaders and successful businesses tap into the “Why” we do things, buy things, follow people/ideas.
I encourage you to explore the TED talks website, find topics that interest you. Maybe you’re in the mood for something inspirational? Yeah, they got that. How about cool new science or emerging global issues? They’ve got a little of everything. Most are no more than 18 minutes and some are less. So, sit down with a copy of coffee today and enjoy an Idea Worth Spreading!