However, TED talks are fantastic resources for anyone looking to expand their knowledge and self-education. Where on TED, you can find talks on topics going from strange sea creatures to how to boost your creativity to emerging technologies.
While there are many high-quality, inspiring TED talks, we’ve compiled a list of 20 of the most popular TED talks to get you but No. 17 will bring a big change in your life. So, let’s get started.
1. How To Live Passionately–No Matter Your Age
In this inspiring TED talk, Isabel Allende, a Chilean author who has written masterpieces such as The House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts, gives an incredible perspective on how to live your life. She claims that no matter your age, you have the freedom to live passionately on your own terms.
2. The Danger Of A Single Story
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist, encourages people to listen to stories that are outside of their comfort zone and warns of the dangers of critical misunderstanding if we only hear one story about another person or country. Adichie will inspire you to befriend those who are different from you and to open your mind to the unfamiliar in one of the most popular TED talks of all time.
3. The Puzzle Of Motivation
Dan Pink, a New York Times bestselling author, discusses how incentive design does not inspire creativity in this insightful TED talk. Traditional incentives aren’t always as effective as we believe. Watch this video to learn about the different types of motivation that can be used to inspire change.
4. The Power Of Vulnerability
Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, argues in one of the most popular TED talks of all time that the ability to feel connected is what makes us feel alive. She teaches us that “shame” is the fear of being disconnected, which leads to vulnerability, and that we must embrace it if we want to live a full life.
5. How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Simon Sinek, a British-American author, and inspirational speaker explains how great leaders inspire others to act by asking one simple question: Why?
6. Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are
Amy Cuddy, bestselling author, and award-winning Harvard lecturer discusses how we use body language to influence how our lives unfold. She claims that a “power pose” can increase our confidence despite our self-doubt.
7. Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Sir Ken Robinson, New York Times bestselling author, discusses how children’s creativity is educated in them. He believes that an education system that fosters rather than stifles creativity is required. This is one of the most popular TED talks, not only because of the quality of the information but also because of Robinson’s ability to entertain while delivering that information.
8. Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance
In this short TED talk, Angela Lee Duckworth, an American academic, shares insights from her research and demonstrates how passion and perseverance can outweigh high IQs when it comes to success. Her exposure to this concept came from a job she had teaching seventh graders math.
9. Inside The Mind Of A Master Procrastinator
Tim Urban discusses his procrastination habit and challenges viewers to reflect on what they’re really procrastinating on before they run out of time to get to what’s really important. The combination of humor and inspiring information provided by Urban makes this one of the most popular TED talks ever.
10. What Makes A Good Life? Lessons From The Longest Study On Happiness
Robert Waldinger, an American psychologist, and Harvard professor discusses a 75-year-old study on adult development that revealed some secrets on how to be happy in this life-changing TED talk. He provides some practical advice on living a fulfilling life that every viewer will find useful.
11. The Art Of Misdirection
Apollo Robbins, the world’s greatest pickpocket, uses a hilarious demonstration to demonstrate how simple it is to use human perception against individuals. Be cautious; he might steal something while you’re not looking.
12. The Next Outbreak? We’re Not Ready
This TED talk by Bill Gates seems especially appropriate in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Much of what Gates talks about is being experienced by people all over the world. For years, this has been one of the most popular TED talks, and for good reason. In this informative and inspiring talk, Gates suggests ways to continue planning for outbreaks and pandemics.
13. The Happy Secret To Better Work
Shawn Achor, an American author, and positive psychology advocate delivers a hilarious speech on the psychology of positivity and how happiness motivates us to work productively.
14. How To Spot A Liar
Liespotting author Pamela Meyer demonstrates the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to detect deception. In one of the most popular TED talks of all time, she argues that honesty is a value worth preserving and recognizing.
15. Your Elusive Creative Genius
Elizabeth Gilbert, the no.1-New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, believes that rather than being a genius, each of us possesses a creative genius. Unfortunately, she claims, we frequently get in our own way, preventing our creative genius from expressing itself fully.
16. The Surprising Science Of Happiness
According to Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert, we can feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned. This is an excellent talk for anyone dealing with difficult challenges or adversity in life.
17. My Stroke Of Insight
Jill Bolte Taylor, an American neuroanatomist, was given an opportunity that few brain scientists get: she suffered a massive stroke that allowed her to watch as her brain functions—motion, speech, and self-awareness—were shut down one by one. Taylor shares profound insights into how our brains work and how fragile they truly are in one of the most popular TED talks of all time.
18. Strange Answers To The Psychopath Test
Jon Ronson, a Welsh-American journalist, author, and filmmaker, delves into what it means to be insane and sane, and how thin the line really is. This lively and eye-opening talk may have you wondering if you, too, have a little psychopath in you.
19. The Power Of Introverts
Susan Cain, an American writer, and lecturer argue in this insightful TED talk that introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world that should be celebrated rather than shunned. If you’re an introvert, you’ll feel completely understood after listening to this talk. If you’re an extrovert, you’ll gain a newfound respect for those who don’t share your viewpoint.
20. How To Make Stress Your Friend
Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, and lecturer at Stanford University make the case in this inspiring TED talk that we should stop viewing stress as an enemy and instead see it as a positive part of our lives. She contends that reaching out to others is the most effective way to deal with stressful situations.