2 Most Inspirational Ted Talks Ever

Posted on:
Student Lifehacks
best ted talks

Main topics in this article concern inspirational ted talks, ted talks topics, motivational videos, self-improvement, inspiration, how to be motivated, and successful people.

Ted Talks

If you are feeling blue and you are not satisfied with your life, what can you do to improve the situation? One of your options can be talking to your close friends to share your angst – this will help you feel better. You can get some advice from your family members, you can find a new hobby or go traveling to refresh yourself. You can also learn more about Tim Ferriss and his books — a shot of inspiration guaranteed. Once you start feeling inspired, you will feel that your problems are not the end of the world and that there are roads that lead to happiness! This is a fact, our dear friends!

Here at BooksRun, we decided to share our 2 top favourite inspirational TED videos that will boost your motivation. You should treat them as your daily dose of motivational vitamins in addition to your self-motivation! We all understand that it might be hard at times to stay goal-oriented in the spring, so it is always a good idea to get your portion of inspirational quotes even if they come from YouTube videos! You never know where these words of wisdom shared on TED platform as well as on will take you and to which career heights they will inspire you!

What is a TED talk? It is a recorded live presentation of 5-18 min long given on the topics related to Technology, Entertainment or Design (TED). It is given by the speakers at conferences for free: it is an opportunity to share their ideas with the audience all over the world and popularize certain points of views or discoveries.

So you want to become more successful? Do you want to find happiness? Do you want to know what makes a great leader? Below you can find some ideas on how to answer these questions.

Amy Cuddy on Power Posing

This talk given by Amy Cuddy about the impact of power posing on your life is our Number one selection. In fact, this presentation is one of the best TED talks ever and it has been appreciated by more than 52 million people only on ted.com! It is more popular than some of the well-known YouTube music videos! The most important topic raised in this video concerns how our body language shapes who we become and what results from we achieve. But let’s talk about the presenter first.

Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and scientist who is interested in looking at the effects of body language on people’s judgments. What does our own body language communicate to other people? And what does their body language communicate to us? She uses her research in body language to help people become more powerful and more successful. Her research is based on her own personal experience as well as her teaching at Harvard Business School. According to her, it is possible to learn how to feel powerful just by tweaking your posture for 2 minutes a day. Fake it till you make it – that is how it works!

These are not simple words for Amy Cuddy: during her times at the University of Colorado, she suffered a serious car accident which resulted in her IQ dropping down by 2 times. All the previous life she had been regarded as being smart but due to the incident, she lost her core identity for a while. She started hearing more and more often that college was not for her and that she could realize herself in something else. Nevertheless, she decided not to give up: “she worked, worked, worked, got lucky and worked, worked, got lucky and worked again”. It took her 4 years longer than her peers to complete her bachelor degree and she had to confront the sense of feeling like a stranger, of not belonging to a place with high-achievers. Later on, when she was accepted at Princeton, she almost quitted because she was so afraid to give her first-year talk in front of 20 people. She was able to pass through this difficult stage of her life by continuously empowering herself, by overcoming her fear through numerous repetitions of a confident body posture, of speaking in a calm and confident voice. This out-of-body experience of stepping out of her comfort zone and pretending that she is not nervous, not afraid, that she is in the right place let her get to the point when she started to feel “I have become this. I am actually doing this”.

Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become” 
― Amy Cuddy

Such an experience of overcoming personal weaknesses and insecurity has allowed Amy Cuddy to help many of her students in highly competitive MBA programs at top business schools in the USA. She empowers and teaches them how to deal with their fears and their sense of unworthiness. Some of her motivational quotes are very inspiring and we are sure Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk will help you stay goal-driven no matter what obstacles you encounter on your way!

2 Most Inspirational Ted Talks Ever 1

Amy Cuddy has summarised her years-long research into the psychology of leadership and self-esteem in a mesmerizing book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. Get it and enjoy more insights from this top specialist!

Simon Sinek on Great Leaders

Our Number 2 choice for the most inspirational TED Talk goes to… Simon Sinek and his code for inspiring action! According to him, formulating unique and concise answers to the “golden circle” of “Why-How-What” questions will distinguish inspirational business leaders from the average ones.

2 Most Inspirational Ted Talks Ever 2

Simon Sinek is a British-American author who became famous for his business motivation speeches, brain exercises and as an author of 5 books including the most famous one called Start with WHY written in 2009. He has his own YouTube channel where you can find a number of playlists with videos where he shares his ideas about the habits of successful people, memory techniques, self-improvement and encourages aspiring businessmen and businesswomen to start their business plan with Why. He also collaborates with Columbia University where he lectures on strategic communications.

“People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it”.

— Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek is convinced that more or less all the organisations have successfully defined WHAT they are doing and HOW they are doing. But their WHY is not unique or inspirational enough to motivate people to get the products of these companies immediately. This is why such companies are struggling to become as profitable and recognised as Apple. He speaks about this example in his TED presentation: all the computer manufacturing companies deliver a similar message to their customers  –

WHAT: We make great computers.

HOW: They are beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly

WHY: Would you like to buy one?

This WHY is not well communicated, it does not inspire people. You remember those massive queues of customers in front of Apple stores all over the world trying to be one of the first ones to get the new model of iPhone? It happens because Apple’s WHY message resonates well with the ideas of these people.

By asking WHY about a certain company’s marketing message, Simon Sinek means asking a number of associated questions:

  • What is your PURPOSE?
  • What is your CAUSE?
  • What is your BELIEF?
  • WHY does your organisation exist?
  • WHY do you get out of bed in the morning?
  • WHY should anyone care?

Let’s take the example of Apple again to see how their marketing message is being communicated:

WHY: Everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently.

HOW: The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly”.

WHAT: We just happen to make great computers. Do you want to buy one?

It is a totally different level of convincing a customer and making him believe that he will miss an opportunity of a lifetime if he does not buy Apple’s products.  So why is this statement so attractive to the customers? The answer is here: Apple’s sales message starts from WHY – from their purpose, from their ambition, from their belief to change the world and the status quo of technical products.

The idea resonates really well with people, it demonstrates that this company is inspiring and that they must be producing the same inspiring products! This is proved by most recent sales of new iPhone models: people spent a whole night in front of Apple stores to get as early as possible on the first day of sales of a new product! They believed that this product could change their life!

Another argument from Simon Sinek supporting his theory of the “golden circle” questions comes from such a domain as biology. He gives an example of a cross-section of a human brain: when you look at it top down, you will see that it is organised in 3 major components.

  • The outer part is our newest “Homo sapiens” part of the brain and it correlates with the “WHAT” level. It is responsible for our rationality and analytical thinking. It is also responsible for LANGUAGE.
  • The 2 middle sections create our limbic brain which is responsible for our feelings including trust, loyalty and decision-making. These 2 parts have NO capacity for  LANGUAGE.

This means that when the message of a company is communicated from outside in – people can understand some ideas (features, facts and figures) but it will never drive their decisions or impact their behaviour! In return, when the message is communicated from inside out  – the part of a human brain responsible for behaviour gets excited. The rationalisation of the process will happen at the end with the part “WHAT” giving all the details. Another way to put this, the inside out message excites so-called “gut decisions” in people!

So if you do not know WHY you do what you are doing, you cannot expect people to respond to what you do! You cannot expect them to be loyal and believe in what you believe in. This TED talk gives a great deal of food for thought for the people who would like to understand how to communicate their messages to other people more profoundly. If you are studying an engineering degree and you came up with a cool idea — start from the WHY part; explain why you started doing it, why you wanted to solve this particular problem, why you spent nights figuring out all the details of your proposal. As we have learnt just now, this inside out approach will excite the limbic part of your tutors’ and reviewers’ brains and will help you convince them in the best possible way!

Iliana K