If you haven’t heard of TED talks you must have been living on another planet. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) started as a one-off event in 1984 and is now a world wide phenomenon, covering topics as diverse as brain science, sleep, art, education and leadership.

Speakers have a maximum of 18 minutes within which to speak, entertain and educate the audience. Some have been watched millions of times and have turned the speakers into world-renowned experts.

I like to think of TED talks as the perfect thing to listen to or watch when exercising. If running you can just listen (although sometimes you miss a good power point slide) or watch on the treadmill. You could say it is called a TEDmill.

Here are some of my all time favourite TED talks:


Your body language shapes who you are – Amy Cuddy

This TED talk has now been watched over 31 million times. You read that right.   Social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s theory, backed by science, is that over time, our body language not just impacts how others see us, but also changes how we view ourselves. “Power Posing” is the new way for building confidence when you don’t feel it. When I first saw this I was an early adopter – it had only been viewed 2 million times


How to make stress your friend – Kelly McGonigal

Viewed 10 million times. What an underachiever!

We are all told that stress is bad for us. But psychologist Kelly McGonigal has done new research that suggests that stress may only be bad for us if we think of it that way – if we train ourselves to think of stress as positive, it has fewer harmful effects.


Why good leaders make you feel safe – Simon Sinek

Viewed almost 5 million times.

What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety — especially in an uneven economy — means taking on big responsibility.


How great leaders inspire action – Simon Sinek

Viewed 25 million times. This is another great Simon Sinek talk and another favourite. He has a simple message for leadership – start with ‘why’. The what and the how will follow when you are clear about why you are doing what you do.


The danger of silence – Clint Smith

Viewed 3 million times. I would like to see this short inspirational talk by teacher and poet Clint Smith get a few more views– it is about having the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice. One of my favourite quotes “Silence is the residue of fear”.

So here you have less than 90 minutes of inspiration ready for you to watch. What is your favourite TED talk?