My favourite TED talk, where do I start?

At the start I’ve got to confess I’m a big fan of TED and have watched a lot of them.

There’s loads that I really love, from the very famous ones from Simon Sinek and Ken Robinson, the funny How to sound smart in your Tedx Talk by Will Stephen to the scary (and brilliant) What to do when Antibiotics don’t work anymore from Mary McKenna.

A TED talk is a chance to get your idea “out there”, and I was almost going to pick, Roger Frampton’s talk, Why Sitting Down Destroys You

I know how hard he worked on that talk, it was worth it, 4 months later almost 750,000 people have heard his idea

But the one I keep returning to, my all-time favourite is Josh Kaufman’s , The first 20 hours — how to learn anything

For me it’s got all the best elements of a Ted talk, it makes me laugh, is a new idea and has inspired me to do new things – it’s also got the ukulele!

Malcolm Gladwell in his excellent book Outliers, talks about the premise that to become an expert in anything takes 10,000 hours, in the few years since the book was launched, it’s sort of become accepted that it takes 10,000 hours to learn and be good at doing anything new.

I’m not sure about you but 10,000 hours seems like quite a lot to me and is a bit off putting.

Josh’s idea is that it doesn’t take 10,000 hours, it actually takes 20, which seems a lot more achievable!

To prove his point, at the end of the talk he plays a song by the band Axis of Awesome which shows how every pop song ever recorded can basically be played using 4 different chords, he plays it on the ukulele, an instrument he has been learning and practising with for exactly 20 hours, he might not be an expert, but he is very, very good – have a watch it’s a great talk

So, I’m putting the 20 hour theory to test, my own Ted talk is just about written, I’ve got just over 2 weeks until Tedx Whitehaven on the 7th of September and I’ve got my 20 hours scheduled into the diary to practice and hone my Ted talk skills, let’s hope he’s right!



Richard Morgan is an entrepreneur and author, his passions lie in technology and people and he believes that amazing things happen in the space where great people meet great technology. He works with companies to help them find the right people at the right time for their businesses and he helps people find better, more rewarding jobs. He believes that jobs transform lives and over the last 10 years he has personally interviewed over 3000 people and helped 1500 people into better jobs. Richard has a passion for work, is interested in the future of work, what it will look like and what we will do. His belief is that technology will free people to make a real difference to the world, to rip up the rule book and start solving the big problems, solving the real challenges that affect society. Originally from South Wales, he lives in London with his wife Esther and his little son Zach. In his spare time, he really enjoys writing about himself in the third person and is a very keen (but equally very rubbish) sportsman.