Top communication TED talks about crafting your message

8 Mar 2021

TED Talks and TEDx Talks are fantastic sources of education, inspiration and ideas. With over 3000 talks to choose from, there is a lot of information to sift through. It can be difficult to find the right talk about your topic. To save you time, here are my picks for the top communication TED talks about crafting your message. Learn from some of the best. Enjoy the thought leadership from these world-class experts on communicating at work.



  • Link: Thea Knight: Lost in translation: The joy of a jargon-free world
  • Duration: 5 mins
  • Description: When was the last time you optimized something? Perhaps you’ve been engaging proactively? Are you strategically evolving a market in real-time? Any idea what any of that means? Thea Knight is on a crusade to kill the jargon that is strangling our conversations. She explains how we can be more ‘intentional’ about our words, so we can start to actually say things again.
  • Why this related to communication at work: This talk directly relates to The First Minute principle of simplicity and clarity. Thea describes how to remove jargon, technical terms and abbreviations. She goes on to tell us how to use simple, straightforward language that anyone can understand.



  • Link: David Grady: How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings
  • Duration:  7 mins
  • Description: An epidemic of bad, inefficient, overcrowded meetings plagues the world’s businesses — and makes workers miserable. David Grady has some ideas on how to stop it.
  • Why this related to communication at work: In the follow up to ‘The First Minute Fundamentals’ I focus on the use of The First Minute principles in emails and meeting invitations. David’s talk about the importance of meeting invitation content is directly aligned to The First Minute principles.
  • Watch the talk and then read my article on meeting invitations to really see the effect a bad invitation can have on your reputations.
  • The article is available here.



  • Link: Katherine Hampsten: How miscommunication happens (and how to avoid it)
  • Duration: 4 mins.
  • Description: Have you ever talked with a friend about a problem, only to realize that he just doesn’t seem to grasp why the issue is so important to you? Have you ever presented an idea to a group, and it’s met with utter confusion? What’s going on here? Katherine Hampsten describes why miscommunication occurs so frequently, and how we can minimize frustration while expressing ourselves better.
  • Why this related to communication at work: This short video does a great job of describing the complexities of communication. Katherine tells us how the intended meaning of a message is not what the audience receives. These nuances are important to consider, especially when creating your message. This is because they demonstrated how the understanding of your audience. They also show how simple, unambiguous language is critical to clear communication.


  • Link: Melissa Marshall: Talk nerdy to me
  • Duration: 4 mins
  • Description: Melissa Marshall brings a message to all scientists (from non-scientists): We’re fascinated by what you’re doing. So tell us about it — in a way we can understand. In just four minutes, she shares powerful tips on presenting complex scientific ideas to a general audience.
  • Why this related to communication at work: This short but impressive talk highlights why it is important to include the ‘so what’ in a message. Melissa provides a great reminder to skip the jargon, and only share what’s relevant.

So there you have it, my top communication TED talks about crafting your message. I hope you enjoy these. Keep an eye out for more recommended TED and TEDx talks about communicating at work.