Inspirational Presentations: Celebrating 10 Years of TED Talks with a Reading List!

On June 27, 2006, the first six TED videos were posted to TED.com. Ten years of great ideas, inspirational talks and mind-bending presentations are definitely worth celebrating. In the spirit of celebrating, here’s a reading list from some of our favorite TED speakers! Think of it as recommended reading for your every element of your various TED Talk bingeing.

For Life Advice:

Find a Way, Diana Nyad (Knopf, 2015)

find-a-way-diana-nyadOne of the best things about TED Talks is their ability to inspire. One of the most inspirational trailblazers to ever take the TED stage is Diana Nyad, the long-distance swimmer who finally achieved her goal, a 100 mile swim from Cuba to Florida, at the age of 64. Her startling story of perseverance, which she also tells in her memoir, is motivation for anyone who needs a reminder that we’re capable of anything we put our minds to.

 

 

 

For (Love) Life Advice:

The Mathematics of Love: Patterns, Proofs, and the Search for the Ultimate Equation, Hannah Fry (Simon & Schuster/TED, 2015)

the-mathematics-of-love-fryMathematician Hannah Fry, in her TEDx talk at Binghampton University in 2014, broke down her top three mathematically verifiable tips for finding love. Her talk is fun, poppy and refreshingly insightful, and the book she wrote for TED Books on the same subject is equally charming. Use the power of mathematical patterns to optimize your online dating efforts, figure out the best time to settle down, and generally be less nervous about asking people out at bars.

 

 

 

For a Heart-wrenching Story of Real-Life Obstacles:

Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, Suki Kim (Crown Publishing, 2014)

without-you-there-is-no-us-kimAs filled with inspiration, wonder and discovery as TED can sometimes be, some of the best talks are those that give insight into the world’s hardest issues. One such talk comes from Suki Kim, from TED 2015, where she discusses her experience working at an elite school for next generation of North Korea’s political aristocracy. She grapples with teaching critical thinking in a country where critical thinking can get someone in serious trouble, and expands on it in her memoir about her time in North Korea.

 

 

For the “What?” Factor:

TED Talks make you think. They make you wonder. They impress you with how insightful they can be. Sometimes, they even make you laugh. The most special talks do all four, and this weird prompt of questions from YouTube wizard Ze Frank, meant to determine whether you’re a human being, is definitely one of those uniquely versatile presentations. While you can’t buy a whole lot book-wise from Frank, it’s worth it to take four minutes and 34 seconds to find out whether or not you are, in fact, human, because fundamentally, that’s what TED is all about.

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