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Top 5: TED talks that will pretty much change your life

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You might not have heard about TED. Or have you? TED is basically ideas worth spreading, a series of conferences over time where people with the ideas they want to spread come together and share them on stage. These talks then go online and often go viral.

There are loads of them. So many that you’ll probably always be able to stumble across one you’ve never seen before. I’ve never been to a TED conference, but I’ve watched videos online. I stumble through them. The talks under 6 minutes are my favorites, simply because I get distracted easily {Oh look, what’s that shiny thing…?}.

Below I’ve shared 5 of my favourites. I love them all for different reasons. You don’t have to watch them all at once. Bookmark them and come back when you’re bored or uninspired.

Derek Sivers: How to start a movement

This is a great one for bloggers, encouraging you to be brave enough to start a movement. But even more than that, “when you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in.” A movement takes more than one person, and you shouldn’t be afraid to follow.

Shane Koyczan: To This Day … for the bullied and beautiful

This talk is just so powerful. It’s a long one, but worth investing 12 minutes of your life to. It gave me goosebumps and made me cry, more than once.

Courageous beauty: Brittany Gibbons

“I’m not sure why anyone is calling you pretty, I just see another fat girl on the internet.” You can sense the vulnerability in her voice as she speaks, and I just think it’s so beautiful and brave.

Brené Brown: Listening to shame

Ever felt vulnerable? Being someone who isn’t comfortable in the spotlight, I feel vulnerable all the time living online… and even more so when online goes offline and I have to speak in public. “Vulnerability is not weakness. It fuels our daily lives. It’s an accurate measure of courage. Vulnerability is the birth place of innovation, creativity and change.”

Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread

Oh, I love Seth Godin. Be remarkable. Just do it.

Do you have a favourite TED talk that I should know about? If you could speak at a TED conference, what topic would you speak about?


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  • katie

    love love love ted talks!! however being in the education world my all time total favourite ted speaker is sir ken robinson, and this speech of his is the best ever… i can’t even count how many times i’ve watched it (and then despaired over the state of our education system!!).

  • Shane Koyczan is amazing. I was really lucky to hear home do some of his poetry at the Sydney Writing Festival some years ago and he had the (mostly) women in the audience laughing and weeping. He performed ‘Visiting Hours’ – which is so worth a search around to listen to.

    I’ve recently listened to the Joe Ehrmann talk on redefining the term ‘Be a Man’ – instead of it being about toughening up and being rough – it should be about learning to love and be loved. He uses sports as his driving vehicle (he used to be a coach, etc.) but if your little bub is a son, this one is a must.

  • Saski

    i’ve been so inspired by the Smart People podcast. They interview lots of people, including a few I’ve seen on TED talks (only just started with Ted Talks, a lot to see there, it’s always good to get tips on who’s good to listen to!. The Smart People guys interview heaps of awesome people. I agree about Seth Godin and Bene Brown, they interviewed them too. Dr Lawrence Krauss on the universe, Gretchen Rubin on happiness, Dr Gary Chapman of Five Love Languages fame. On topics of health and nutrition, I liked Debra Benfield, Dr Walter Willett and Dr Joel Fuhrmann (also: DVDS – Food Matters, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, Eat Fast and Live Longer). Other inspirational interviewees of note were Josh Klein, Tony Hsieh, Meg Jay, Austin Kleon, Brian Dunning. Also, if you haven’t watched Louise Hay’s new DVD “You can heal your life”, do yourself a favour. She’s amazing in her 80s, such positive thinking! Thanks for your blog and congrats on the win!

  • Love Brittany’s talk – can you imagine my excitement at meeting her in NYC last year? I may have squealed 🙂

  • Amelia @ chai a cup of life

    I recently watched this TED talk video about body language
    Really informative video about “faking it until you become it”. I posted it on my FB this week.

  • Brittany’s talk is inspirational. I realised when I had m daughter that I don’t want her to ever feel about herself the way I have felt about myself in the past. When she was a little baby she had the chubbiest thighs. I jokingly called them Thunder Thighs. One day I realised this was so silly. Why was I even joking about it? SHe was beautiful. I loved those chubby, rolly thighs. I now see her at 2.5. It doesn’t occur to her that she has a chunky butt, or thick thighs. She loves looking at herself in the mirror. I also know that when she sees me, it never occurs to her that I am fat, have strect marks or cellulite. I’m just Mum. I look how I look. I want her to not have to think about how she looks for as long as possible. I want her to keep loving what she sees in the mirror.

  • Lauren Burke

    omg! YES! I LOVE ted!! next year, you should come on down for TedXSydney 🙂 I went this year and was blown away by EVERYTHING!!! and because the focus was on ‘Grow it Local’ – all the food was AH.mazing ! (yes, capitals are totally on purpose!)

  • Maxabella
  • I love you so much more now that I know you watch TEDtalks. I KNEW there was a reason outside of … you know, you being all around awesome and creative and a generally lovely person. Yaaaaay, these are all awesome!

  • Thank you so much for sharing these talks. I was absolutely floored by Brene Brown. I have heard of her before but never seen her work. I have shared it with heaps of my girlfriends – amazing stuff. I mentioned on Twitter the TED talk by Karen Walrond – link to it here if you’re interested. She is wonderful.

  • Kelly Smith

    These are some of my favourites. I love love love Shane Koyczan’s talk.