5 minutes Reading Time

At Maximus, we love TED Talks. They spark our thinking around a variety of subjects from sales training and leadership development, to neurology and organisational psychology. Here are the top 10 TED Talks that we use to stimulate our thinking and inspire others.


1. What makes us feel good about our work?

Israeli American Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University and MIT, Dan Ariely, gives this insightful TED Talk discussing his own research and findings on what really motivates people to work. Similar to Dan Pinks acclaimed TED Talk ‘The surprising truth about what motivates us’, Ariely argues that contrary to conventional wisdom, money is not the only driver of motivation. Ariely goes on to dissect two of his eye-opening experiments to showcase and highlight our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward finding meaning in our work.


2. Start with why

What do Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright Brothers all have in common? They started with the “why”. This is a fantastic resource that explains the concept of reframing your product or service to build credibility and ultimately sell it. It’s a must-watch resource for every sales person.


3. The transformative power of classical music

An incredibly energetic and charismatic leader, Benjamin Zander describes: “The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful”. Benjamin helps us realise our untapped love for classical music and therefore our love for new possibilities, experiences and connections.


4. 3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand

Organisations can no longer tightly control their brand or their reputation. In this six-minute video, Tim Leberecht helps spark new thinking with an interesting take on brand management in the modern world of mass social media.


5. The surprising science of happiness

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert shows us our beliefs about predicting what will make us happy are often wrong. We can manufacture happiness. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.


6. The 3 A’s of awesome

Neil Pasricha’s blog 1000 Awesome Things savours life’s simple pleasures, from free refills to clean sheets. In this heartfelt talk, he reveals the three secrets (all starting with A) to leading a life that’s truly awesome. A fantastic video that reminds you to stop and remember the little things.


7. Try something new for 30 days

Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? Matt Cutts suggests trying it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.


8. Your body language shapes who you are

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.


9. Where good ideas come from

People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the “liquid networks” of London’s coffee houses to Charles Darwin’s long, slow hunch to today’s high-velocity web.


11. The power of introverts

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.



  • Amy Cuddy
  • Dan Ariel
  • Dan Gilbert
  • Duke University
  • Harvard
  • Matt Cutts
  • Mit
  • Neil Pasricha
  • Steven Johnson
  • Ted
  • Why