Ted Talks for Freelancers: The Must Watch List


June 27th, 2006 was a momentous day for freelancers, freethinkers, and otherwise creative individuals all around the world. Why, you may ask? Well, you may have been unaware of it at the time, but this day marked the beginning of the completely free, online Ted Talks. Through watching or listening to just twenty minute speeches you can gain advice, inspiration, and wisdom on how to manage your time, how to proficiently sell your service or product, etc…

Ted Talks popularity and range of topics covered have grown substantially in the past decade. Ted has quickly become a guru-like resource of information for anyone who is looking for short, sweet, and informational speeches; whether for inspiration or procuring new information. Here we’ll go over the must watch list.

Ted Talks (We Listen)

Many of the Ted Talks now available are pure gold for freelancers such you and I. Ted Talks is making sure that experienced, cultured individuals from all walks of life are able to share their experience and knowledge with the rest of the world. This includes information on a variety of topics that you can use to improve your own work; and personal; life.
Ted Talks are an absolutely fantastic resource for information and inspiration. Below, I have listed the top five Ted Talks that I believe are the must watch list for freelancers.

1. David Pogue: Simplicity Sells

This 22:06 minute Ted Talk segment by David Pogue is a read between the lines case. While it is technically focused on information regarding designing and integrating an interface, the techniques that Mr. Pogue suggests using are all applicable to running a freelance business or service.
Mr. Pogue is a New York columnist in additional to being a regular (and favorite) Ted Talk contributor. His experience based advice on technological use, influence, and abuse is incredibly insightful. I also found his Ted Talk entitled ‘10 Top Time-Saving Tech Tips’ useful.

2. Nigel Marsh: How to Make Work-Life Balance Work

We all know that we are supposed to take care of ourselves in all of the multi-faceted aspects of our lives; including our work lives and our personal lives. Most of us also know, however, that this is much easier said than done.
In this 18:14 minute Ted Talk segment, Mr. Marsh explains not only the importance of having work-life balance, but also how we as freelancers can more effectively manage our time. He walks listeners through the steps of gaining/taking control of our time and then making the most out of it.
You may be familiar with Mr. Marsh’s popular work, Over-worked and Under-laid. If not, you should consider adding it to your to-read list. It is a clever and entertaining read; as well as an informational resource for those struggling to establish their work-life balance.

3. Nilofer Merchant: Got A Meeting? Take a Walk

This wonderful Ted Talk by Nilofer Merchant is only 3:24 minutes, but it is packed with great, inspirational information that will truly change the way that you think about your sitting habits; whether while working or at home. Renowned business innovator Ms. Merchant, shares her own personal story that has led to her revelations revolving around being more active in our day to day lives.
She stresses the importance of finding a way to satisfy your obligations to yourself (taking good care of your body and mind), as well as your professional obligations. Ms. Nilofer has great advice on how simple it can be to integrate exercise into a daily work routine. As the title suggests, it can be as simple as taking a walk while taking a meeting with a client.

4. Scott Geller: The Psychology of Self-Motivation

In just 20:26 minutes, psychology professor Scott Geller will radically change the way that you think about your own ability to motivate yourself. He describes how you can take charge of the level of self-motivation that you have. This particular Ted Talk really spoke to me, as a writer.
He talks about many different concepts, including the value we actually place upon the fruit of our labors. He gives examples of the conditions that inspire and motivate people; as well as the conditions that cause people to feel defeated before they even begin.

5. Gary Vaynerchuk: Do What You Love. (No Excuses!)

While you may assume that the title gives it all away, I guarantee you that you’ll be surprised by some of the things that author of The Thank You Economy; Gary Vaynerchuk; has to say. Mr. Vaynerchuk may come off as a bit loud and boisterous initially, but just listen to the actual advice and ideas that he imparts in this 15:27 minute Ted Talk.
Mr. Vaynerchuk delves into all of the questions that we as people frequently avoid asking ourselves about our work, the lies we tell about being happy while actually feeling unfulfilled; as well as how easy it can be to actually accomplish our dreams. Vaynerchuk preaches that it is possible to monetize absolutely anything, and to be honest, he has me convinced.

How to Take the Time Out for Ted Talks- Don’t

If you keep a tight schedule and cannot make time to watch a twenty minute segment, don’t stress about it. Ted Talks are available as podcasts so that you can listen to them while performing other tasks. Whether you listen to these Ted Talks during your commute, lunch break, or down time; there is a lot to be gained.

Ashley Victoria Owen

Ashley Victoria Owen is a Freelance Writer who specializes in creating unique and engaging articles, blogs, and other content (the ABC’s!). By day she is an avid hobby aquarium enthusiast, blogger, crafter, dog lover & gardener. By night she is a dedicated and passionate freelance researcher and writer.

By Ashley Victoria Owen

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