TED is a nonprofit platform devoted to promoting “Ideas Worth Spreading” and provides a clearinghouse of videos that offers “free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers.”
Originally starting out as a conference that brought together industry experts across technology, entertainment, and design, we have put together a few thoughtful law-related presentations that made their way into the library of TED Talks. The format is simple. Compelling speakers with compelling messages are invited to speak for up to 20 minutes to an engaged audience. We have collated a list of our top choice law related TED videos as follows:
1. Alan Siegel: Let’s simplify legal jargon!
Credit agreements, tax forms, healthcare legislation: They’re all filled with gobbledygook, says Alan Siegel in his talk, and unnecessarily long. He calls for a simple, sensible redesign — and user-friendly English — to make legal paperwork intelligible to the rest of us.
2) Amy Cuddy: Changing How You Are Perceived by Changing Your Body Language
Whether you are trying a case in front of a jury or negotiating a deal, how you are perceived will change how people respond to your message. Strangely, knowing and purposefully changing your body language, you can change how you are perceived, and you can measurably change your own body chemistry.
3) Andrew Stanton: How Lawyers Can Tell a Great Story
The writer of Toy Story and other similar films reminds us of something critical to any trial presentation, “Make me care!” Learning to tell a better story may be one of the most important skills a litigator can learn. Making an emotional connection with your audience is how you get them on your side – not by overloading them with the details and facts.
4) Peter Donnelly: How Statistics Fool Juries
Oxford mathematician Peter Donnelly discussed the common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics — and the deadly impact these critical errors can have on the outcome of criminal trials.
5. Scott Fraser: Why eyewitnesses get it wrong
Scott Fraser studies how humans remember crimes — and bear witness to them. In this powerful talk which focuses on a shooting incident, he suggests that even eyewitnesses close to a crime can create “memories” they could not have seen.
6. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
Not legal profession specific, but applies widely, including to lawyers and legal professionals. It’s also one of the best Ted Talks we’ve seen. Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”
7. Nancy Duarte: How to Structure a Great Talk
Nancy Duarte does a superb job of explaining how to structure a good story and offers a simple format that can be applied easily to any brief, opening or closing statement for legal professionals.