Improve your business 20 minutes at a time

Have you ever put off education because, while you knew it would improve your business, you weren’t excited about it?

Have you saved that podcast or blog post you know contains useful information because you knew you didn’t have the extra hour in your day?

It’s okay, I have too.

But recently I’ve stumbled upon – and devoured – a series of talks on every subject you can possibly think of. (With new talks almost daily, I’ve still got a long ways to go.)

TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading

If you’ve never heard TED talks, you’re missing out. Each talk is about 20 minutes long and presents research-based ideas, experience-based lessons, and sometimes surprising conclusions from some of the most brilliant minds on the planet.

And best of all? They’re entertaining. You’ll laugh. They make learning fun and interesting.

Most importantly, they’ll improve your business in creative and unusual ways.

Let me give you three examples:

Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

In this talk, Amy reveals how your body language not only speaks to others, but it actually changes your physiology. By using ‘power poses’ before going into stressful business situations, you can raise your testosterone (power) levels and lower your cortisol (stress) levels to give you the best physical ability to nail that presentation or sales meeting.

Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation

Did you know financial incentives can have a negative impact on overall performance? Dan makes a compelling case for changing the way you motivate your team, especially for non-mechanical, creative problems. By using intrinsic rewards like autonomy, mastery, and purpose, people find better solutions in less time, often solving additional problems that weren’t part of the original task.

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

Make no mistake, some choice is a good thing. But too much choice is paralyzing and decreases our overall satisfaction. Barry discusses these and other inherent problems with providing too many options for your customers.

Improve your business and yourself at the same time

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about TED talks is summed up in the tagline: ideas worth sharing. It’s not just your business that will benefit from these 20-minute videos; it’s your life and the lives of those around you.

TED has a great app for tablets and phones so you can download, watch, and share them no matter when you have an extra 20 minutes (e.g. while pedaling away on a recumbent exercise bike like me).

What TED talks do you find most applicable to your business? Share them in the comments below!

Don’t miss out on the next brilliant POST!