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Whether you know it or not, you must have watched a TED talk. These talks organized by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) are widely shared on Facebook, through emails, and viewed on YouTube. But such is TED’s fame that it dominates this space. There are plenty of other (perhaps better) videos you’re missing out on.
We already told you about some fantastic alternatives to TED, but there’s a lot more you can find online. If you want to grow, whether as a person or as a professional in your job, check out these interviews, speeches, presentations, and even animated talks.
1. Ignite: Speedy Presentations
If you like the style of TED talks, then Ignite is for you. Speakers have to be on point, delivering their entire talk in a matter of five minutes.
Here’s how it works. Ignite asks speakers to prepare 20 slides, which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The speaker thus gets a total of 300 seconds (or five minutes) to make their entire presentation. Watch a few videos and the format will instantly grow on you.
Ignite gets speakers you know about, like Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal, as well as those you don’t. And the topics covered vary wildly. You’ll hear about everything from serious topics like politics and autism to soliloquies on the Star Wars franchise and the discomfort of bras.
Just like you will improve your presentation skills with TED talks, Ignite can help in making you a better speaker with time.
2. The RSA: Talks, Interviews, and Animations
Regular TED talk viewers know the RSA without knowing you have been watching it. Those lovely animated videos that you see for some talks? That is the work of the RSA, or Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce.
The RSA also hosts its own talks and collaborates with powerful minds to talk about our past, our present, and our future. All of this content is available on RSA’s YouTube channel, along with some of their finest animated videos. It picks the best moments from longer talks from events and conferences, giving the viewer exactly what they need.
While the bulk of the videos are short, the RSA also works with artists who create hour-long documentaries. So if you’re in the mood to learn more, there’s something for you too.
3. CreativeMornings: One Creative Talk Every Week
While creative thinking is important in any job, that’s not what CreativeMornings is all about. It’s a space for those in a creative field, so the talks are more specifically catered to that audience.
Like the others in this list, CreativeMornings gets some heavyweight personalities at times, such as marketing guru Seth Godin and co-founder of Mule Design Erika Hall. But it’s the regular talks by the not-so-famous people that you’ll love the most. These are creative professionals who have some success, but haven’t climbed to the level of a Godin or a Hall yet. The advice seems more realistic, less generic, and painfully personal.
CreativeMornings calls itself a “breakfast lecture series”, since that’s what it started as, back in 2008 in New York. Since then, it has garnered a worldwide following, with people hosting their own CM events. The resultant archive of videos is massive, and you’ll have a good time going through the most recommended talks.
4. Capture Your Flag: Short Tips by Professionals for Professionals
Capture Your Flag (CYF) isn’t about famous people, it’s about “near peers”. CYF defines a near peer as “someone who has recently been through a situation you are facing now. Their story is your story, but a few years ahead.”
CYF conducts video interviews with lots of people and slices them up into small clips. These aren’t “talks” like TED, they are actionable (and searchable) plans to improve your career or your personal life.
It’s particularly wonderful how CYF learns lessons from a person’s professional and personal life. For example, Julien Gordon talks about buying a house as a newly married couple, and then goes into defining and measuring personal achievement.
5. FindLectures: Search Over 150,000 Lectures
The big lesson from all these is that lectures, talks, presentations are abundantly available on the internet. Heck, you can get a university education for free these days. If it’s overwhelming, FindLectures will help search for what you need.
When we last checked, FindLectures had 156,143 lectures in its database, amounting to roughly 90,000 hours of education. You can sort lectures by category (video, audio), category (technology, science, fine arts, etc), type (conference, academic lecture, historical speech, etc), speaker, and more. Or simply type what you want in the search bar at the top.
Everything on FindLectures is from free resources, although some might need you to register for a service. You might also want to sign up for their newsletter, which delivers a digest of three to five eclectic videos every Monday morning.
Have TED Talks Becoming Boring?
Is it just me or has your interest in TED talks also been waning recently? I used to love watching these talks, but I find myself quickly bored by them these days. There’s little that’s new and it feels like an echo chamber sometimes.
What about you? Do you still watch TED Talks or are you ready to move on?
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