Inspiring Speeches From the TED Archives

April 22, 2008

Every week, the Sapling Foundation posts Ted Talk Image.jpg fresh TEDTalks on its Web site TED.com, bringing inspiration, innovation and new perspectives to the world. The talks include highlights from recent TED Conferences as well as videos from its archives dating back to 1984. (More details about the conference can be found here.)

Here are some of my favorite presentations from the TED archives:

Jeff Skoll
Jeff Skoll, the first president of eBay, talks about driving social change with his movie company called Participant Productions, which has produced Syriana, Good Night and Good Luck, Murderball and An Inconvenient Truth.

Besides being a very captivating story, Skoll’s speech demonstrates how to use visual slides, humor and pacing.

Some interesting concepts he talks about include “closing the opportunity gap” and “betting on good people doing good things.” The latter, which is a reference to a John Gardner (“The Great Society”) quote, refers to people using business skills to solve social problems.

Richard St. John
Marketing guru Richard St. John outlines the 8 Secret to Success in a three minute speech. He grabs the audience’s attention at the start with a compelling story about a teenage girl from a poor family who wanted to “make something of her life.” She asked St. John: what leads to success?

Although St. John’s slides have too much text, he uses good humor throughout the speech.

Patrick Awuah
Patrick Awuah, who left a comfortable life in Seattle and job at Microsoft, talks about his drive to return to his native country of Ghana to educate the next generation of African leaders through a liberal arts college he co-founded.

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