The 10 Most-Watched TED Talks of 2013

Best TED talk 2013 blog of Alex Cequea

Oh, how I love TED talks. This little conference, which many people don’t know actually started in the mid-80s as a one-time event, started to grow in popularity since 2006 when they decided to post the presentations online. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and in addition to the yearly conference, there are now independently organized TEDx events happening all over the globe and throughout the year.

To help you end 2013 on a high note, and start 2014 with some inspiration and knowledge, here are the best TED talks of 2013, as ranked by their number of views as of Dec 2nd, 2013.

Note: I was able to manually organize these based on this handy Google spreadsheet made by TED, which shows every TED talk ever given. There were 228 TED talks posted in 2013, and these are the most-viewed talks as of Dec 2nd, 2013.

#1) Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20 

Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, shares 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings everywhere can make the most out of the defining decade of their lives. (3,784,275 Views)


#2) Amanda Palmer: The art of asking 

This former street artist and courageous musician explores the intimate relationship between fans and creators. (3,081,863 Views)


#3) Dan Pallotta: The way we think about charity is dead wrong 

Dan Pallotta urges you to consider rewarding nonprofits for their big goals, not how little they spend. (2,641,118 Views)


#4) Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model. 

Cameron Russell admits that she’s been privileged because she won the genetic lottery, and shows how our beauty expectations are unfair to our youth. (2,526,370 Views)


#5) Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion 

Rita Pierson makes a passionate plea for believing in our youth. (2,288,329 Views)


#6) Esther Perel: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship 

Esther Perel explores ways to sustain sexual desire in long-term relationships. (2,351,291 Views)


#7) Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley 

Sir Ken Robinson, whose first TED talk is one of the most watched ever, shares 3 principles needed for human creativity to flourish. (2,241,707 Views)


#8) Hyeonseo Lee: My escape from North Korea 

Hyeonseo Lee grew up in North Korea believing that it was the “best country in the world.” When she was 14, he escaped. This is her story. (2,176,524 Views)


#9) Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend 

Kelly McGonigal shares some surprising insights about stress, including new research that shows it’s only bad for you if you believe that to be the case. (2,139,838 Views)


#10) Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit 

Angela Lee Duckworth explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success. (2,066,581 Views)



David Pogue: 10 top time-saving tech tips 

As a bonus, check out tech columnist David Progue’s tips for being more productive with mobile and online technology. Did you know that hitting the letter “B” on your keyboard while giving a presentation on Keynote will black out the slide so your audience is not distracted by it? I didn’t! If it was part of this list, David’s presentation would have come in at #11, with 1,899,298 Views.

What’s your favorite TED talk from 2013? Tell me in the comments below!


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  • Emmanuel Kigen

    TED talks are very inspiring, the one about escape from N.korea is my favorite

    • Alex Cequea

      Thanks Emmanuel! That one was very moving. What an incredible story.

  • Lori Bosworth

    These TED talks look great! I’m interested in “How to make stress your friend.” Another TED talk I really enjoyed was by Susan Cain who wrote “The Power of Introverts”:

    • Alex Cequea

      Thanks Lori! Susan Cain’s talk is really fantastic as well. Thanks for sharing :-)

  • Javier Minaya Merlos

    Seems we share the same love for TED talks! I always thought that more people should be aware of them, there’s always innovative ideas and also really thought provoking talks. I feel surprised I have seen all those you posted, probably the “make stress your friend” was the most useful for me! 😛 Though as Lori one of my all-time favorite talks was “The power of introverts”.
    Thanks for posting these, they’re really good!