Since it began life as a one-off Silicon Valley event in 1984 (with demonstrations of both the Sony compact disc and the Apple Macintosh computer, no less), TED has grown into a global phenomenon and the intellectual face of viral sharing and social media.
Millions of people every year swap videos of TED speakers, men and women ranging from authors and artists to scientists and psychologists, discussing topics as broad as the meaning of happiness to how to tie your shoe laces properly (that one can be found below).
Here, we've gathered five of our favourites that offer real, practical advice for how to improve at work and at home.
1 | Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
Everyone knows their body language can influence what other people think of them. But can your body language change how you think of yourself? Social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains how preparing for stressful situations using 'power poses' actually changes your brain to make you perform better. If you have a job interview coming up, this video could just give you the edge.
2 | Terry Moore: How to Tie Your Shoes
You've been doing it wrong all your life. Seriously.
3 | Nilofer Merchant – Got a Meeting? Take a Walk
We sit down for an average of 9.3 hours a day – longer than most of sleep. No only is this inaction contributing to widespread health problems, argues author Nilofer Merchant, but it means we're missing a golden opportunity to change how we interact with one another at work. In this short videos, she advocates the 'walk and talk' meeting.
4 | Joshua Foer: Feats of Memory Anyone Can Do
Journalist (and memory competition winner) Joshua Foer explains how, by associati things you need to remember with a strong or absurd visual image, you can dramatically improve your powers of memory. Turn this into a habit and you need never forget to send an important email or miss your nephew's birthday again.
5 | David Pogue – 10 Top Time-Saving Tech Tips
Did you know you can track flights in Google without even clicking search? Or that scrolling down an internet page using your mouse is a complete waste of time? We're betting you didn't know at least half of the simple tech hacks in this brief – and extremely useful – presentation.