My Favourite TED Talk – Derek Sivers “How to start a movement”

When the TEDx Whitehaven organisers asked me to talk about my favourite TED Talk I knew I was in trouble. As a fan, no, more of a devotee of TED for nearly 10 years I’m probably one of the few people who can cite the top 20 talks from memory!

So what to choose as my absolute favourite of all of them? Now that was a real stinker of a question…

Do I go with Brene Brown’s excellent talk “The power of vulnerability” that taught me I don’t have to maintain a superhero image and it’s OK to let people see my more vulnerable side. Or, do I choose Simon Sinek and share how he inspired me to review my approach to every major undertaking since seeing his talk? It’s proper title is “How great leaders inspire action” but it’s underground TED Title is simply “Start with why”.

TED TRIVIA ALERT: Both of the above talks are actually TEDx talks and are in the top 20 most popular talks by number of views, thus reinforcing the power of TEDx events in helping to uncover and promote some of the most valuable ideas worth sharing.

Or, in an attempt to appear all enigmatic and arty before meeting the TEDx Whitehaven audience should I plump for something like Marco Tempest and “The Magic of truth and lies (and iPods)”? It’s more of a performance art piece than an actual talk and it was delivered at a TED Global event. As a budding yet failed sleight of hand magician I am in awe of Marco’s mastery of timing in order to be able to deliver such an exceptional and thought provoking message in such a novel way.

Finally I kept coming back to a talk of 3 minutes and 9 seconds in duration… not the longest ever talk, especially when you take into consideration it’s somewhat challenging title, “How to start a movement”. When I first saw the title, and the proposal that the solution would be provided in significantly less than 4 minutes, I was sceptical to say the least. But, I have to hand it to Derek Sivers, in an engaging and unhurried piece of observational excellence he NAILS the topic superbly.

As somebody who is attempting to start a movement himself, I have taken Sivers message to heart and because of its brevity, I can play it to myself every day, several times a day!

I can’t promise that all of the TEDx Whitehaven will be as succinct as the Sivers talk (my own included) but I can promise that I will be doing my best to make the event worthwhile and memorable.


Steve has had a ‘colourful’ and challenging life (so far) and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change much in the future (which he is more than happy with). Steve helps you to understand how being aware of your attitude and subsequent behaviours can massively improve both your professional and personal relationships. He draws on his own life experiences from an early age and having spent a significant part of his youth and early adulthood as an ‘emotional land mine’.