Best Ted Talks

TED is the acronym for technology, entertainment and design. These fields joined forces in 1984 as a non-profit organization devoted to spreading ideas through powerful talks. Today, TED Talks cover various topics, from global issues, to science, to business, in over 100 languages. This global community has since expanded to include TEDx events run independently in different parts of the world.

The aim is to give inspired thinkers a platform to express their knowledge and spread ideas that can help make the world a better place. If you want to learn more about TED Talks and what some of the best TED Talks are, keep reading.

What to Expect

TED Talks are held once a year on the west coast of North America. It’s a five-day event where over 70 speakers give talks and presentations. It can have a similar vibe and content to a live podcast, but instead of a radio show style, it is a presentation. TED Talks are under 18 minutes long, aiming to ensure people pay attention to what is being said. Some talks have been as short as five minutes. There are several types of talks, and they fall into the following categories:

  • The performance.
  • The dazzle with wonder.
  • The tech demo.
  • The small idea.
  • The big idea.
  • The issue talk.
  • The artist's statement.

There are specific content guidelines that a speaker must follow, so you won’t hear a TED Talk that contains any of the following:

  • Bad science.
  • Religious agendas.
  • Political agendas.
  • Commercial agendas.
  • Inflammatory rhetoric.

The Best TED Talks to See Live

The best TED talks to see live are those that provide thought-provoking and engaging information that invoke action and inspire change. Due to audience response, the following TED talks have been labeled as the most popular. The good news is that they are available to watch for free on YouTube.

1. Simon Sinek

Leadership expert Simon Sinek has spoken about the leader's unique ability to impact and inspire change. In his research, Sinek has discovered that there are behavioral patterns in thinking, communication and actions that are significantly different from the average person.

2. Dr. Brené Brown

Dr. Brené Brown is the author of the bestselling book “Daring Greatly.” Her TEDx Houston talk about the power of vulnerability is one of the top 10, most viewed in the world. She talks about how vulnerability can become your greatest asset and gives several accounts of incredibly successful individuals who have leveraged vulnerability, becoming extremely successful because of it.

3. Tim Urban

In this highly entertaining speech, blog owner Tim Urban gives an interesting account of the process that takes place inside the mind of a procrastinator. He talks about the two entities that live in the mind of the person who struggles to get stuff done: the panic monster and the instant gratification monster. Then, Urban provides a solution on how to deal with these entities to start completing tasks consistently.

4. Cameron Russell

Cameron Russell has stomped the runways for some of the most famous designers in the world. She has graced the covers of an innumerable number of fashion magazines.
In her speech, Russell provides the audience with candid insight into the fictitious nature of the modeling industry and unrealistic beauty standards. She acknowledges that because her looks fit the socially-constructed image of beauty and she is a model, she has an unfair advantage over those who look different and have not had the same opportunities as her.

How to Book a TED Talk

There are different types of TED Talk events, and some are significantly more expensive than others. To attend a TED Talk conference, you will need to become a member and pay a fee. Here are the different membership options:

  • Vanguard: $5,000 for the year.
  • Standard: $10,000 for the year.
  • Donor: $25,000 for the year.
  • Patron: $250,000 for a five-year membership.
  • TEDWomen: $5,000 for the year.

All memberships give you exclusive access to TED Live, which enables you to watch the conference live no matter where you are in the world.

TEDx events are the cheaper option, and tickets will cost you no more than $100. Purchase your tickets early because there is limited seating, and they sell out fast.

Final Thoughts

TED Talks give you a motivational boost, and one of the best things about them is that they are so diverse that everyone can find something that appeals to them. So, whether you plan on becoming a conference attendee, or you are tuning in online to watch a rerun, prepare to have your thoughts challenged, be entertained, but most importantly, inspired.