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6 reasons students should watch TED Talks

Ah the internet – useful, inspiring and resourceful but also a source of procrastination. Always there to help you avoid any looming deadlines and tempt you into a binge watching a cycle of fail videos and cats being terrified by cucumbers.

You get the point. Even though it’s 60% of your final grade it’s easy to get side-tracked from that essay or miss an important lecture. Especially when you know that it’s going to be another yawn fest… unless it’s a TED talks that is.

Who the F is Ted? Well, in this case we are not referring to Mark Wahlberg’s inappropriate teddy bear – though he definitely gave a good TED talk – we are talking about talks on Technology Entertainment and Design.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, they are basically short inspiring and, most importantly, entertaining lectures from some of the world’s most inspiring and renowned thought leaders. All accessible on your trusty mobile or tablet, which means you are just a scroll away from discovering something epic. Not convinced? Challenge accepted. Here’s six reasons why aspiring students should check them out.

Man watching TED talk

1. You mind will be blown: daring content that gets you thinking

One of the best things about TED talks is that there is literally something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in improving an area of your life, want to  learn something new or just want to have a laugh, TED talks have got you covered.

Before you know it, you’ve not only watched a few back to back but you’re aching to try out a new technique in conversation or tip you’ve learnt. With such great content, you’re actually remembering the information. Of course, our next point helps.

2. They’re short & sweet: fast learning with a zesty bite

TED’s curator Chris Anderson has made sure that the majority of TED talks are no longer than 18 minutes. While this may sound like a long time – compared to your scared cucumber cat experience – when compared to a two hour lecture you may have sat in earlier that day, it really is bitesize. The reason for the duration according to Chris is that:

“18 minutes is long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention.”

Think about it. How much information do you really take in from those long lectures? Not much at all. Watch a TED talk and you will not only get a boost from learning something new, you’ll actually remember it. What more could you want from a learning experience?

3. TED Talks are free & accessible: watch them anywhere

Whether you have a smartphone, laptop or tablet, just like those fail videos, TED talks are available on any device and totally free. Result. That means there are literally thousands of hours of inspiring content waiting for you and all you need to enjoy it is a few spare minutes – 18 minutes to be exact – to take it all in.

TED talks are a great way to inspire you in the morning or help you wind down for the day. So, next time you are feeling deflated and stuck in traffic on the bus, why not stick your headphones in and give one a try?  Whenever you’re having a down moment or feel your motivation drop, you can just hit play on one of these and boost your mood in just 18 minutes.


4. Top quality speakers: learning from the best

While not all TED talks are presented by the rich and famous, it’s pretty cool to know that you can learn so readily from people like James Cameron, Bill Gates and even former president Bill Clinton who have all spoken about subjects close to their hearts that has inspired their lives. Well-known or not though, all TED talk speakers excel in their fields and have been carefully selected for their charismatic lectures. What a great place to hang out as your digital self? Where else could you find all the brightest and most inspirational people in the world in the same place?

5. Just one TED talk could inspire your next career move

Whether you’re studying a new skill to make a career change or a recent graduate at the beginning of your journey, your education will only take you so far. Watching TED talks will not only give you a motivational boost while your studying, it could also inspire your next career move. Better than that, it could help you improve your interview techniques and confidence in meetings helping you advance your career once you get your foot in the door. Watch the right TED talk and maybe you’ll be able to communicate with your colleagues better or develop a stronger sense of empathy? Who knows, you may just happen upon a TED talk that inspires you to go in a totally different direction with your career!

6. They can give you a conversation starter at interviews

Unfortunately, we are not all blessed with social butterfly skills, which can make interviews and conversation or being in the general vicinity of another human being a daunting process. If you often find yourself lost in awkward silences then TED talks will give you great fodder to strike up a conversation. They’re interesting enough to maintain an open dialogue and the subjects are packed with knowledge and passion. This is especially helpful if you are struggling in an interview. Bringing up innovative subjects or even referencing a TED talk will demonstrate that you are proactively learning in your own time and showcase you as an intelligent and thoughtful individual. Look at that? Suddenly that next conversation doesn’t seem so scary.

Business meeting

Get TED talk watching and start making waves

TED talks have been around for decades. So if you’re the type of person to get excited when Netflix releases multiple seasons of your favourite TV show, just imagine how many hours of binging content you could have with TED talks. Not to mention these free little media slices are easy to fit into your routine.

So take a break from your studies and try some of these for size with our list of inspirational TED talks for graduates and office newbies.