The TED Conference is making big changes in bringing new ideas to the world. The usual format for the TED and TEDx Conferences is to invite great thinkers to share their ideas in just 18 minutes. That's pretty condensed, but sometimes even an 18-minute TED Talk is more than we have time for.
So how can you get the motivation, inspiration and insights from TedTalks? Some of the TEDTalks last just three or four minutes, and still have inspiring and useful information.
Here are some of my favorite short talks from the TED Conference.
- Are you tying your shoes wrong?
The first three-minute talk was in 2005, when creative thinker Terry Moore shared how to tie your shoes. Seriously. You thought you were doing it right, I bet. In the perfect example of how sometimes a small adjustment can make a big difference, you may find out you've been doing it wrong, too.
- How to praise or thank someone.
In her three minutes, Dr. Laura Trice tells us that we are all hungry to be acknowledged and praised, yet we don't really get any training into how to give that to others. She offers an inspirational gem about how to ask for the appreciation we need, and how to truly thank the people around us for the things that will mean the most to them, a simple concept that is easily put into action.
- The simple secrets to success.
What is it that makes one person a success while another fails? In another three-minute talk, Richard St. John's eight secrets of success condenses years of research into the qualities that make some people succeed, and others fail. These success qualities range from serving others to persistence. Check it out and see where your success weak spots are.
- Down with legalese, up with plain English.
My new hero is Alan Siegel, the branding icon who's on a mission to simplify the legal jargon that is burying our government and legal systems, and to transform (often deliberately) confusing documents into simple, clear English. He's even simplified the form letters the IRS sends to taxpayers, so if you get one, now you can at least understand what it means, even if you don't like it. I'm jumping on this bandwagon. Take four minutes for this one.
- Keep your goals to yourself.
If you want a different way of seeing the world, check out Derek Sivers, who offers research that people who keep their goals to themselves actually work much harder and accomplish more than those who share their goals with others. As someone who's always studying how to get more done, I need to think on this one, and would love your thoughts.
- Try something new for 30 days.
Google engineer Matt Cutts talks about how he took on the challenge from American philosopher Morgan Spurlock to try something new for 30 days. The 30-day challenge is sweeping the country, and is a great way to create new habits, or let go of old habits that don't serve you, in small one-day-at-a-time steps that you can easily handle. Matt Cutts went from being a desk-dwelling computer nerd to a guy who bikes to work in just 30 days, and later even climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro! He even wrote a novel, by setting daily goals and meting them. We can do anything as a thirty day challenge, and when we're done, we've proved that we can do anything we set our mind to.
So go browse around on the TED site, and let us know which TEDTalks catch your attention and imagination.
For more about the TED and TEDx Conference, read: