On Saturday I decidedMarathon TED Talk Saturday to do something different.  You know, push the comfort zone a little and just do it, so after a nice 9km run in the morning I decided to do a marathon TED watching day.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with TED (www.ted.com), I can only explain this as a website filled with recorded talks of unbelievable thinkers.  Anything from science to business to mindfulness.  You can get a talk on just about anything and it WILL touch you in some way.

So where to start … Mmmm … I received a link to a blog post about some great talks and started there.  Then it progressed and I ended up with a talk by Ricardo Semler.  I have always been a fan, but have never seen this talk.  I thought by that time that I just cannot be motivated more, boy was I wrong.  It was the perfect ending to a day.

Below I want to share some of the learning I took away from this day.  I’m not going to talk too much about the content of the talks (I’ll leave you some links to go view that yourself), but I want to touch on the actual individuals and what makes them so special.

Let’s face it, you can watch as many motivational talks as you want, but its all about taking ACTION at the end at the day.  Actually implementing what is being taught and what I took away literally blew my mind:

Sir Ken Robinson - TED1) They just don’t care

Most of the speakers talked about their topics without having a care in the world if anyone else agrees or not.  They talked about their believes and dreams as if it was the most important message in the world and it was their DUTY to inform everyone of it.  If you don’t agree, so be it, they did not care.

2) It’s about helping others

Every talk had a message about helping others.  The speakers had found a way to hack some part of their lives and it made such a profound impact on their (and others’) lives that they felt a desperate need to share it with others.  It was all about Helping Other People and changing the world!

3) Passion

When someone talks about something they truly believe in you can spot it a mile away.  The passion that comes out of the speaker grabs your attention and keeps you nailed down until the end.  Every single talk I listen to kept me nailed down and kept my attention 100%.

TED Steve Jobs4) Embrace Change

“The only constant in life is change”. This might be seen as a cliche, but you cannot ignore the truth in this statement.  Every single speaker talked about and EMBRACED change in there lives.  It might have been dramatic event, a discovery of some sort or it was the flow out of some research done, but something in their lives changed and they embraced it 100%.

5) Action

Yes, as always it is about action.  All the knowledge in the world will not help anyone until it is acted upon and ALL the speakers have done that.  Some of the took massive action and some started small and progressed from there.  The important point is that they TOOK ACTION and they are changing humanity for the better.

In Summary

The five most important characteristics of a TED speaker:

  1. They don’t care what others think
  2. There mission is to help others and change the world
  3. The have unbelievable passion for their dreams and believes
  4. The embrace change
  5. They take ACTION!


Below I have left links to some of the talks I listed to.  There are literately thousands so do not limit yourself to these 5.

Listen to it in your own time, but also browse TED.com and just go watch some of the talks.  You can even download your favorites!

 Sir Ken Robinson – How Schools Kill Creativity

Simon Sinek – How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Jill Bolte Taylor – My Stroke of Insight

Brene Brown – The Power of Vulnerabilty

Ricardo Semler – How to run a Company with (Almost) now Rules

I would Love to hear from you!