Most of us have learned to really appreciate TED over the past years for bringing us very unique perspectives, and showing us human potential. It has been called the 21st Century free University education. The honor to be able to speak at TED was enormous and the regular expectation of audiences was that these speakers were truly special. As it has expanded and created the TEDx franchise, I feel that some of its original power has somewhat diluted given that there are some speakers that don’t measure up to the level of inspiration that created the respect and appreciation of TED.
The TED blog recently listed its top 20 most watched TEDx talks. For the most part, these talks measure up to the stature of those from the original TED. I was surprised at the order of some given their level of inspiration, storytelling power, and uniqueness compared to others. However, some of these speeches are truly genius. I have listed all 20 speeches from the blog post below and have inserted the few that I really enjoyed. I hope that you in turn enjoy them as well. Feel free to let me know which ones you really liked and why.
1. Simon Sinek – How great leaders inspire action (Using people such as Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King this speech shows how to drive the right kind of action) – 7,355,029 views
2. Brene Brown – The power of vulnerability (video below) – 6,345,473 views. A truly great speaker with great humor and incredible clarity that digs into the core barrier to connection: vulnerability.
3. Shawn Achor – The happy secret to better work (absolutely hilarious speaker but didn’t dig enough into the topic) – 3,024,547 views
4. Thomas Suarez – A 12 year-old app developer (the fact that such a young kid is doing such great things is encouraging for the upcoming generation that will need to redefine what business and our economy should look like) – 3,022,261 views
5. Jane Fonda – Life’s 3rd act (video below) – 2,075,905 views. A fascinating look at how to approach the retirement age to give it as much energy and purpose as your youth and adulthood.
6. Louie Schwartzberg – Nature, Beauty, Gratitude (A bit too new age for me) – 1,687,383 views
7. Jason Fried – Why work doesn’t happen at work (see video below) – 1,685,662 views. An absolutely brilliant talk about the ways to release true inspiration, true thinking on a broader scale. It requires a change of the current working construct paradigm.
8. Larry Smith – Why do you have to fail to have a great career (An animated chat about the need to pursue your passion or you will fail and how parents are part of the problem. More a fear speech than an inspiring one) – 1,614,291 views.
9. Joe Smith – How to use a paper towel (the title says it all, not worth watching) – 1,585,879 views
10. Birke Baehr – What’s wrong with our food (the information is not new, but the fact that an 11 year old is speaking with such knowledge is inspiring) – 1.544,537 views
11. Neil Pasricha – The 3 A’s of awesome (see video below) – 1,455,980 views. Arguably the best TEDx speech. A truly inspiring story of how to approach life to fend off the bumps and beatings. The delivery is very emotionally gripping yet very funny at the same time. Truly beautiful.
12. Nigel Marsh – How to make work-life balance work (see video below) – 1,403,385 views. A very inspired talk about the core issues of work-life balance and how the individual needs to take control of his actions, and not not relying on company policies or waiting for retirement.
13. Charlie Todd – The shared experience of absurdity (see video below) – 1,384,172 views. The man behind the hit viral films where people walk in public places in their underwear. Aside from being good entertainment (?) it gives insight into how the unexpected actually brings happiness.
14. Luis von Ahn – Massive scale online collaboration (the man behind the Captcha technology that helps web security talks about his thinking behind this innovation, and how the new technology will help digitize books) – 1,242,599 views
15. Dan Meyer – Math class needs a makeover (see video below) – 1,161,857 views. A brilliant talk about how the education system needs to be reworked so that it better fosters reasoning and creativity (see article I wrote on this topic)
16. Amy Purdy – Living beyond limits (see video below) – 1,113,388 views. An emotional speech that shows what passion and persistence and drive can do to remove obstacles or to find the creative solutions to overcome them.
17. Dan Buettner – How to live to be 100 (Talks about a study that gives insight into life longevity) – 1,102,431 views.
18. Erez Lieberman Aiden & Jean-Baptiste Michel – What we learned from 5 million books (Discuss a new technology that helps read through the books on the web) – 1,088,771 views.
19. Patricia Kuhl – The linguistic genius of babies (An interesting demonstration of how babies react to multiple languages as infants to understand audio digestion) – 1,049,003 views
20. Michael Norton – How to buy happiness (see video below) – 997,798 views. A simple but incredibly powerful reminder of how giving helps fuel happiness, success, and progress. It reminded me of a person who was invited to some talk show in the US years back who was very ill and simply decided to give something to a stranger everyday, and she got better.