Some Ted Talks are inspiring, others are funny and interesting, but the truth is that there are so many options that it’s hard to sift through all of them. So TMG has picked 5 Ted Talks everyone should watch.

1. William Kamkwamba: How I Harnessed the Wind 

William Kamkwamba tells the story of how he built a windmill from scratch when he was just a 14-year-old boy. This is extremely impressive: aside from the fact that a kid did something that most of us wouldn’t even try, William was born and raised in a poor village in Malawi; his Village was so poor that people didn’t have much to eat, he didn’t understand English very well, and he couldn’t go to school because his family did not have money to pay for it. After reading books about civil engineering, electrical engineering, and physics, he not only figured out a way to build a windmill out of things he found in scrapyards, but he also learned English from those books. The windmill produced electricity and pumped water from the ground which helped his father’s farm produce corn, helping a lot of people in his village.

 

2. Derek Sivers’: “How to Start a Movement”

“Leadership is over-glorified” is one of the many things that you can learn from watching this three-minute Ted Talk by Derek Sivers, as he studies social behavior. He explains how a “crazy shirtless guy” dancing alone and making dozens of people dance with him, can be an example of how someone can start a movement. It’s not about being a leader, it’s about the movement.

 

3. Will Stephen: How to Sound Smart

Although Will Stephen starts his TEDx Talk by saying that he has nothing to talk about, it was entertaining and difficult to stop watching and he makes a point in his speech: you don’t need something interesting, to make it sound interesting. This is a great lesson on how to engage your audience with rhetoric, and make them listen even if you don’t really have much to say.

 

4. David Blaine and How He Held His Breathe for 17 Minutes

This one might be the most amazing story on this list. If you don’t know David Blaine, he is a TV star, a magician, and one of the best illusionists in the world. In this talk, David Blaine explains his thought process and everything that he had to do to break a world record, in which he had to hold his breath for 17 minutes underwater. He tried to cheat, he tried to make an illusion out of it, but at the end he decided to go for it and break the record without tricks.

 

5. Dan Pallotta: The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong

Dan Pallota inspired a lot of people with his TED Talk, and I’m sure that the more views this video has, more people will donate and help others, that’s the main reason why this video is on this list, it is not here for entertainment, it is here to inform, to educate, and to make people understand why even a small donation can help the future of this country and the world.

Mr. Pallota explains that most people see the CEOs of NPOs (non-profit organizations) with huge salaries as something wrong, but what they fail to see is that not many bright minds leave their high-paying jobs in the private sector for a low-paying job at a NPO. That, and other misconceptions are some of the reasons why it is so hard for charities to reach or surpass their goals. Questions like “Why has Poverty remained stuck at 12% of the U.S for 40 years?” and “Why it isn’t a bad idea for charities to advertise instead of using that money for the needy” are successfully answered in the talk, and can change the way most people look at charities.