5 Must-Watch Ted Talks To Make You A Better Speaker

What makes TED Talks so irresistible…..? 

That’s the answer I was seeking in the early years of my own speaking journey.

Except I didn’t want just a *high level* understanding.

I wanted to know EXACTLY what techniques they used, to make their talks so special.

In order to replicate similar results myself.

So I set out analysing and decoding some of my favourite TED Talks. Perhaps that was the maths nerd in me coming out. 

This then became a rich source of inspiration and techniques that helped me immensely (and still does to be fair).

Today, I thought I’d share with you my Top 5 TED Talks of all time.

If you can take the learnings from these talks, you’ll be a far more engaging, memorable and persuasive speaker!


The main reasons I love the Simon Sinek TED Talk are because:

  • He uses questions in such an effective way to get you curious at the start of his talk. It would be hard to listen to the start of his talk and not be intrigued about what the answer was.
  • He doesn’t use any PowerPoint Slides. He only uses 2-pages of a flip-chart and for the majority of his talk he talks to his simple idea (The Golden Circle). It’s this restraint that I think makes his talk so memorable.
  • He repeats his key phrase “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” 17 times. You can’t watch his talk and not have that replaying over and over in your head!

His TED Talk has been viewed over 62M times and you can view it here 👇


I reference Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk equally as often, because:

  • She has a very bold promise at the start of the talk regarding ‘What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)’. Her talk is about power posing, yet she says she’s going to share a no-tech free life hack that could significantly change the way your life unfolds. Talk about compelling!
  • She uses audience interaction in a very clever way. It works equally as well for the TED Stage as it does for people like us watching in online years later.
  • Her Call To Action at the end is very clear. She details and re-iterates what she’s recommending, including when you’d need to do this, how long it would take and where ideally you would be when you’re doing it. Clarity is power!

Her TED Talk has been viewed over 68M times and you can view it here 👇


This one isn’t as well known, but it’s well worth being on my list!

I love it because:

  • His passion is soooo contagious!! You get excited about classical music because he’s so excited about classical music
  • His delivery is EPIC – his facial expressions, vocal emphasis and movement around (and off) the stage is like nothing I’ve ever seen!
  • He brings a piano onto the stage and plays it to illustrate what he’s talking about

His TED Talk has been viewed over 16M times and you can view it here 👇


I love this TED talk for many reasons:

  • He’s funny! I love how he makes his points with natural humour. So relatable and amusing
  • He ‘shows’ vs ‘tells’ people what he’s talking about (using worked examples)
  • He has awesome vocal emphasis to drive his points home

His TEDx Talk has been viewed over 4.5M times and you can view it here 👇


This one is a favourite for a lot of people I know and for good reason.

  • She uses the power of storytelling so well throughout her talk.
  • She’s very vulnerable herself, which helps drive connection and her point home
  • It’s very conversational. You feel like she’s talking 1:1 to you. It keeps you enthralled to what she’s saying

Her TEDx Talk has been viewed over 61M times and you can view it here 👇


If you want to become a better speaker, look at some of these TED Talks for inspiration.

If you like them, ask yourself why.

What is it specifically which makes it so interesting, binge-worthy, memorable, persuasive, etc???

Decoding TED Talks has been a game changer for me in my speaking journey and I know it can do the same for you too.

Q – Tell me, what’s your fave TED Talk and why?



Emily Edgeley is a Public Speaking & Storytelling Coach for the Tech industry. Since 2017 (after leaving a 10+ yr career in Cyber Sec & Tech), she’s run over 280 group coaching sessions, coached more than 250 people privately, and formally supported (first time and experienced) speakers at 10 Conferences, covering 1000+ people across the globe. 

She’s on a mission to help anyone in the Tech arena learn how to speak with clarity, impact, and confidence, whether that’s at work or at a Conference. So they can share their ideas, build their brand and get more of what they want.