TED Talks to make you seem smarter.


Show your friends, your boss or even your coffee guy that you know a thing or two.

Been at a dinner party lately, where conversation has gone quiet? Perhaps you’re at an event and want something to break the ice that isn’t work related. The answer to your problems – TED Talks. They’re inspiring short videos that focus on numerous topics from technology and entertainment, to current world issues. You will be introduced to inspirational and beloved speakers including Sir Ken Robinson, British author and international speaker, as well as Amy Cuddy, an American social psychologist known for her research on discrimination, emotions and power. TED Talks challenge you to think and broaden your worldview, so take note. With over two thousand talks to choose from, we’ve picked our favourites to get you started.

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson

In this engaging talk, Sir Ken Robinson contends “creativity is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” Robinson reasons that education systems strongly insist mistakes are the worst thing a child can do and so as children, we are educated out of our creative capacities. This aligns with Pablo Picasso’s belief of all children are born artists and the only problem is remaining one. Robinson also presents his findings that all educations systems around the world have subjects like mathematics, languages and humanities as the main focus, while art is the last priority. ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’ is a truly thought provoking TED Talk that will definitely give you something to ponder. To watch this talk, click here.

Why We Do What We Do.

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins is the self-proclaimed “why guy” who studies why people do what they do. Robbins examines motivations and patterns in life, ultimately discovering emotions are the invisible force of life which incline people to take action. ‘Why We Do What We Do’ determines ones resources aren’t a requirement for success, rather resourcefulness, like creativity, passion and curiosity, are fundamental. Robinson talks about the six human needs, four being needs of the personality, the other two being needs of the spirit. This interesting examination of emotions compels you to think about your own life choices and the true motivation behind your actions. To watch this TedTalk, click here.

The Danger of a Single Story. 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie presents a powerful and thought provoking presentation in which she re-tells stories of her own experiences with uneducated understandings. Moving from Nigeria to study in the United States, she recalls meeting her American room mate for the first time. Her roommate was shocked by Adichie’s well spoken English, ability to use a kitchen stove and also her lack of tribal music (Adichie pressed play on her Mariah Carey CD instead). ‘The Danger of a Single Story’ explains how dangerous it is to have narrow minded perceptions of foreign countries, and how this shapes ones perspective of locals from that country. Adichie manages to link our perception of other cultures to the stories we read or have been told, and their power to “dispossess and to malign” rather than “empower and to humanise.” To watch, click here.

Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. 

Amy Cuddy

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy uncovers an easy way that you can feel more empowered and confident. Simply spend two minutes each day power posing. This TedTalk explores the power of body language and how others perceive you based on the way that you utilise non-verbal communication. Cuddy explains that positive and inviting body language, alongside a natural smile is the key to quality leadership as opposed to being the smartest in the room. Cuddy also advises that while you should “use strong, open non-verbals”, you shouldn’t be too overconfident by using “alpha cowboy moves.” Learn more about Cuddy’s study of body language here.

Looks Aren’t Everything. Believe Me, I’m a Model. 

Cameron Russell

In 2012, Cameron Russell introduced her TED Talk in the best way possible. Russell entered the stage wearing heels and a short black dress, which she shortly replaced with a long skirt, a sweater and a pair of flats. This small experiment highlighted how quickly we judge others, purely based on their looks alone. A successful catwalk model, Russell criticises our obsession with the way we look, referring to her own experiences in the fashion industry. She also discusses the insecurities and uncertainties that people struggle with as a result of these pressures. To watch this TED Talk, click here.


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