When I need a pick-me-up, I turn to what my old teachers would dub a school classic: TED Talks. Informative, engaging and powerful, TED Talks are something you’ve probably come across at some point in your life. I’ve watched countless TED talks. Yet, to this day, a few still stick in my mind because of the larger message they bring. Hence, I wanted to compile a list of must-watch speeches for anyone who wants to dip their toes in the world of TED Talks.
Inside the mind of a master procrastinator
As one of my all-time favorites, this video was the first thing that came to mind when I compiled this list. Tim Urban hits all the checkmarks in his speech: funny, informative, relatable. If you’re looking to laugh and learn a valuable lesson at the same time, this is the perfect video. He dives deep into what goes on in our minds when we procrastinate, and while most of the video is lighthearted and humorous, it ends on a surprisingly touching note with a lingering message on seizing life by the reins.
How to speak so that people want to listen
In high school, a coach showed this to our class to better promote listening skills and empathy. At first, I dismissed this video upon seeing the title. After all, I already knew how to talk to people. However, Julian Treasure’s insight on how to get anyone to listen to you while listening to others taught me how to empathize with people in a way I had never tried before. He sets out concrete steps to further your communication skills to become a better, more understanding person no matter who your audience is. To top it all off, it comes with a handy acronym that makes these tips easy to remember.
Why people believe they can’t draw
While this video seems specific to drawing, in reality, it tackles the mindset behind it. Graham Shaw walks the audience through a couple of simple techniques to draw cartoons. In doing so, he demonstrates how within a few minutes anyone can learn how to draw, thereby dispelling the belief that you can’t draw. This process offers valuable insight into how to view new skills and challenges in the world. The problem is often that someone doesn’t believe they can do it. Graham teaches his audience a universal lesson through drawing and shows how our imagination can often limit us more than our skills themselves. The potential is inside all of us.
With so many different kinds of issues in the world, it’s hard to find something that can apply to almost any situation. But the universal application of these videos, combined with their powerful emotional impact, touches the hearts of a diverse audience. As a self-proclaimed TED Talk veteran, these videos are something that you can always turn to in such a chaotic world.