8 Creative Ways To Listen Your Way Into Finding Your Expertise

How to maximize TED talks to accelerate your professional development.

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Do you want to build expertise in a new area? Maybe you want a promotion, better pay or just a deeper understanding of something. No matter what your reason is for wanting to gain knowledge in a particular area, the nonprofit organization TED offers an excellent way to learn more—through informative TED Talks. 

Since 1984, TED has been spreading ideas and education around the world via short educational videos. TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. The organization’s motto is “ideas worth spreading.” Today, the organization offers thousands of talks on a variety of subjects from Alzheimer’s Disease to Botany. 

TED Talks have been watched over one billion times. This is because of the format of the talks. Unlike traditional lectures, with TED you learn through engaging storytelling. They usually feature the most pressing issues in society and are very sharable. Although TED videos are short, they are very compelling. The presenters are very engaging and informative. 

Some of the biggest innovators, thinkers and leaders in the world have delivered TED Talks. Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates, Bono, Al, Gore, Billy Graham, Stephen Hawking and David Blaine have all been presenters. 

Available in more than 100 different languages, TED talks provide ideas to communities all over the world. The talks cover a variety of global issues from war to democracy. 

You can use TED Talks to improve your expertise in a certain subject and expand your knowledge in general. Here are eight easy ways to help you incorporate TED talks into your day. Try all of them out if you can. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn by squeezing a TED Talk or two into your day. 

On Your Commute or Driving to Client Meetings 

Unless you work at home, you likely have to contend with some commute each day. Even then, you probably do some driving each day, such as to meet with clients. Sitting in traffic for extended periods of time can make you feel robbed of precious time.

Why not take this opportunity to learn something new? Connect your iPhone or Android to your auto’s stereo system and put on a TED talk. You’ll activate your brain and turn your daily commute into an enlightening experience. 

Jogging or Exercising

Listening to TED Talks is a great way to distract yourself on a long run or during an intense workout session. Why not strengthen your body and your mind—at the same time. It will help take your mind off the exercise, which will make it easier to meet your fitness goals. 

Doing House Chores

It can be really hard to get housework done. If you need an escape while you’re working on your domestic duties—then find an interesting TED Talk to listen to while you clean. This will help take your mind off the monotony of mopping the kitchen floors or folding laundry. 

Waiting in Line at the Grocery Store

Learn something new while waiting to check out at the grocery store. Listening to a TED Talk will also help you avoid mindlessly loading your cart up with candy, chips and other impulse purchases in the checkout line. 

On the Train, Bus or Plane

Make your daily commute on the subway or train more productive by learning something new. 

Put on a pair of headphones and find out how to build a jet suit or hear from the mother of one of the Columbine shooters. 

At Church

Let’s face it—everyone gets bored at church from time to time. Whether the preacher is just dull, you haven’t had enough sleep, or it’s just one of those days, it can be hard to stay focused during every sermon. Rather than zoning out, why not learn something new during that time? A TED Talk is an excellent way to banish boredom. 

Taking a Shower

Finding time to listen to even short TED videos can sometimes be challenging. One way of adding some learning into your day is by listening to a TED Talk while taking a shower. So, instead of listening to music during your next shower, try turning on a TED Talk to learn something new. 

Before Going to Bed

Do you often have trouble falling asleep? If so, you are exhausted and want to sleep but have too many things on your mind. You lay your head on your pillow desperate for some sleep, but your mind won’t stop racing. Maybe you keep thinking about the big presentation that you have later in the week or some other stress.

One way to take your mind off your stresses is to listen to a TED Talk. This might even help you fall asleep as it can help you relax. Plus, you’ll get the benefit of improving your expertise or knowledge.

What Is Your Expertise?

Using some of these tips, spend a little time investing into your self-reflection and finding out what you naturally excel in. Consider digging deeper into your findings and embracing what you come up with.

Just remember, you’re always evolving into a better version of yourself as you experience life in new ways.

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