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The Top 10 Most-Viewed, Must-Watch Ted Talks on Communication

Your body language may shape who you are by Amy Cuddy


Ted: 58,700,734 views

YouTube: 18,521,598 views


Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk is inspiring, empowering and offers tips on how to communicate by leveraging body language and nonverbal behaviour. We make judgements on other people’s nonverbal behaviour, and we are influenced by our own nonverbals. Through her research on power poses, she has found that “when you pretend to be powerful, you are more likely to actually feel powerful.” Which is beneficial for how we convey ourselves in social situations because “powerful people tend to be more assertive and more confident, more optimistic.”


By power posing for just two minutes, you can change the presence you bring to social situations, “it’s not about the content of the speech, it’s about the presence they’re bringing to the speech.” People get anxious or nervous for presentations, speeches or job interviews, but power posing can help you to show up as your assertive, confident, authentic self instead of your nervous self.


At the end of her talk she encourages you to not fake it until you make it, but instead make it such a practice that you “fake it until you become it.”

How to speak so that other people want to listen by Julian Treasure


Ted: 43,640,677 views


Julian Treasure offers a well-rounded Ted Talk about how to communicate in important situations. He first mentions habits to get rid of which encourage people to not listen. He recognizes the voice as an engine, and he demonstrates how you can speak powerfully to be an agent for change in the world. He then describes “four foundations that we can stand on if we want our speech to be powerful and to make change in the world.” These four foundations form an acronym which encourages you to “greet or acclaim enthusiastically.” He demonstrates how to increase the power of your speech including register, timbre, prosody, pace, pitch, and volume.  


This is a must watch to develop your ability to communicate effectively using the specific tools he demonstrates.



10 ways to have a better conversation by Celeste Headlee


Ted: 21,129,226 views


Conversational competence is a key skill to develop, but it is not the first skill we think of when it comes to personal development. Celeste Headlee asks the audience a profound question, “is there any 21st century skill more important than being able to sustain coherent, confident conversation?” She shares 10 ways to have better conversations, to be present, engaged, and to walk away feeling connected, “feeling like you’ve been perfectly understood.” All of her tips provide insight into how to communicate better and they all come down to being “interested in other people.”



As you can probably guess from the title, this talk would be beneficial for you if you want to have more meaningful and deep conversations with others.




5 ways to listen better by Julian Treasure


Ted: 8,755,389 views

YouTube: 3,053,995 views


Julian Treasure made it on the list for a second time for good reason. He offers a powerful talk on how to connect and listen intently to others to make the world a better place. You can begin to make a difference in the world by being more conscious, because “conscious listening always creates understanding.” He outlines 5 exercises to improve your conscious listening which he powerfully demonstrates, and he also offers an acronym to “listen consciously in order to live fully.” These exercises will not only improve your listening skills, but they will reduce anxiety and improve your well-being. Listening is a huge part of communication so don’t overlook it.



This talk would be beneficial for you if you want to make a difference in the world, understand others better and change your perspective of the world around you to simply live better and fully.




The surprising secret to speaking with confidence by Caroline Goyder


YouTube: 7,917,725 views


Caroline Goyder offers a simple-but-effective approach to developing confidence. She empowers the audience that “confidence exists within” and offers practical tips on how to be perceived as more confident. As she states, “the most powerful person in the room has the most relaxed breathing pattern.” It is a must watch because she offers an engaging demonstration of how to develop your confidence, and it is a simple concept to put into practice because you are in complete control of the one thing that can make all the difference – your breath. My favourite line of hers is that “if you want confidence in speech, all you have to do is know when to shut your mouth.”



Her talk would be beneficial to you if you want to take control over your anxiety and develop confidence. Her strategies for developing confidence can be implemented immediately.


Body language, the power is in the palm of your hands by Allan Pease


YouTube: 5,659,960 views


This Ted Talk is unique to the other talks on this list that are centered around nonverbal behaviour because Allan Pease strictly speaks about hand gestures and how they signal trust to our ancient brains. He offers an educational and entertaining demonstration on how to give a confident handshake which can make or break a first impression. When you want to make a good impression for a job, a date or persuade others to your choice of restaurant, be conscious and intentional about how you are using your hands. His concept is simple, “by intentionally practicing positions suddenly with the palm up, you’ll find that people start feeling like they’re drawn to you.”



His talk would be beneficial for you if you give a lot of presentations, if you’re a leader or a manager or if you just want to develop confidence in yourself and give off the impression to others that you are more confident.


Speak like a leader by Simon Lancaster


YouTube: 3,270,623 views


Simon Lancaster offers a very engaging and entertaining talk on the “secret language of leadership.” He is passionate, enthusiastic and demonstrates to the audience how to transfer energy in addition to how to communicate emotion to make speech “compelling, convincing and credible.” It is an empowering talk about how to use and improve your ability to articulate and express yourself. My favourite line of his is: “instead of telling our children to sit down and shut up, we should be telling them to stand up and speak out.”



This talk is beneficial to anybody who wants to learn strong communication tactics – from the greatest leaders of history – to develop influence.


Own Your Behaviours, Master Your Communication, Determine Your Success by Louise Evans


YouTube: 2,905,282 views


This talk is about how to communicate effectively by managing your emotions, living consciously and being intentional about how you behave. Louise acts out different ways she could respond to one scenario which is a powerful demonstration because it is relatable to everybody. Our thoughts are going a mile a minute and we can react negatively or positively, in ways that can hurt or benefit us. Ultimately, we have the power of how we respond. It is empowering because we choose our behaviour, and it is these “choices that we make have a direct impact on the conversations that we form, the relationships that we have and the quality of our lives in general.”


She shines the light on our typical weaknesses including vulnerability, self-doubt, but offers an empowering notion that we are the ones choosing how to think, how to feel and how to respond. She offers practical solutions to be more conscious about how we respond to external circumstances, by analyzing what’s going on, how we feel about it and how we can respond best. 



This is very informative and beneficial for everybody because it can be applied to every aspect of life to make you a better person.


The importance of being inauthentic by Mark Bowden


YouTube: 2,753,459 views


The title of this talk may deter you from watching, however Mark Bowden is one of the top body language experts. The inauthenticity he is referring to is based on his comedic demonstration of the contrasting signals of friend versus predator and how these signals affect others’ perception of us. He informs the audience that we all make snap judgements about everyone, within fractions of a second people unconsciously decide whether we like one another. His talk is about how to signal to others that you are friend not foe, and that these signals may be inauthentic though they do signal to the primitive brain that will trigger others to want to be your friend, to trust you. 



This talk is beneficial for everyone because our body language and nonverbal behaviour plays a large role in whether people decide to like us or not, and Bowden offers practical tips to be a friend instead of a foe.

The secret structure of great talks by Nancy Duarte


Ted: 2,616,825 views


Nancy Duarte offers an informative talk on how effective speeches are structured and the importance of delivery because an idea is powerless if you can’t convey your idea effectively. She researched the structure of talks from big thinkers and movers including Steve Jobs, and also Martin Luther King and describes what made their speeches so powerful. Throughout her talk she relates great speeches to the hero’s journey which has profound implications.    


This is a must watch for you if you want to develop influence and communicate effectively as a leader because “if you communicate an idea in a way that resonates, change will happen, and you can change the world.”