It is easy to get lost in the ocean of videos of public speaking presentations online. The search that stands out the most is for TED and TEDx talks and, even so, there is an endless supply of videos with the most varied topics, styles, length, etc. TED has been there since 1984 and TEDxs are spreading since 2009, which can give you a hint of the voluminous number of talks that have been filmed.
Watching these videos is a particularly nice way to not only a way of consuming content, but to learn and improve your public speaking skills as well. Learn by example. These are usually the best people in their field and are highly trained speakers. Public speaking is a skill you learn and train by practicing.
In this era of abundance, the hard part is how to find the best videos to learn from. There are many blog posts that compile outstanding presentations and they are a great way to learn. TED itself has this post with its “25 most popular talks of all time”, but we think there are more videos you should see.
We will drop from time to time a few lists with presentations that we at Get Sandwich think are valuable for you. For starters, we had people in our sandwich team reveal their favorites! Here are the favorite TED talks of our members.
Let’s start with our CEO! Martha’s favorite TED talk is from 2017 and is about great ideas and where they come from. How to find a wonderful idea is a presentation from the music group OK Go, known for their elaborate music videos, on their creative process to come up with the ideas for them, with wonders and surprises. They actually say that their ideas are not thought, but rather found. Martha says, “It uses everything it can to make a talk a performance. I re-watch it every few months (I’m re-watching it now…)”
Part of our advisory board, Grant works as a coach, for which he regularly looks for insights. The talk he chooses is Richard St. John’s 8 Secrets of Success, from 2005, which delivers years of research on how and why people are successful. Grant loves it “because it’s super short and in less than 4 minutes he tells 8 secrets of success based on research and interviews. It’s simple, funny, powerful, informative and memorable.” One of Grant’s favorite secrets revealed by St John is about Persistence, in which he talks about dealing with “CRAP = Criticism. Rejection. Assholes. Pressure”!
That’s yours truly, from marketing! My favorite TED talk was actually in the 2012 TEDx Euston, by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, called We should all be feminists. This woman inspires me every day with her strength, honesty, and willingness to change the world. She mostly reads her speeches, and that could make her delivery dull, but, since she is a very good novelist, the content and the way she builds the narrative are amazing. With personal tales filled with extremes of emotions, Adichie invites us to see the importance of conversations about gender to think of a different and fairer world.
Min’an is our CTO. He also chooses a TEDx talk, The happy secret to better work by Shawn Achor in 2011 at Bloomington, and says “Of all the Ted talks I’ve watched this one still sticks.” Achor is a psychologist who studies how happiness, or the lack of it, impacts our lives, especially our productivity. Min’an admires this presentation because Achor “is energetic throughout, packs so much information in, weaves humor as part of the message and manages to paint a lasting picture with vivid examples/illustrations!”
So, do you like any of this talks? Have you seen them before? Do you have a favorite one? Do you know which are the characteristics the attract you the most in your favorite talk? Is it style? Content?
Make a plan. Refine and focus your search. Study the talks you watch and understand why you like/dislike them. This way you can expand your learning experience and improve.