5 must-see TED Talks for students
Some bite-sized inspiration for every student. Source: Shutterstock

If you haven’t already jumped on the TED Talk bandwagon, it’s about time you did!

TED Talks are a great source of motivation when you’re in a funk; an unparalleled means for listening to the views and opinions of others; and a way to build your general knowledge through speakers who come from all corners of the globe.  All this without having to leave your house.

So, whether you’re looking for information or motivation, here are five TED Talks worth listening to:

The power of introverts

If you’ve ever been made to feel bad about being an introvert, have no fear. Susan Cain’s talk, ‘The power of introverts’, can make you feel less alone about the challenges of being an introvert in a world that favours extroverts. Her talk covers situations any introvert can relate to, helping you realise that you still have so much potential, despite what some might say.

So, if you’ve always been the quiet kid in class, this may be just the video for you.

Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.

As students, who isn’t plagued by a lack of confidence about how they look? For this talk, model Cameron Russell took to the stage to speak about her “privilege”, sharing that being white, slender and beautiful was what the industry calls “a sexy girl”. Acknowledging that she had won the “genetic lottery”, Russell informs her audience that while an image is powerful, it is also superficial. Her honest account about being in the modelling industry can help put some things in perspective if you’ve ever felt down about the way you look.

The danger of silence

This must-watch video features slam poet and teacher Clint Smith, who will get you thinking about silence and discrimination. At just over four minutes long, ending with quite the emotional crescendo, Clinton’s speech is about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice, with part of it delivered through a powerful poem that will give you goosebumps.

Grit: the power of passion and perseverance

Why do some students excel in school while others drop out? Does it have anything to do with talent? Wealth? In this talk, Angela Lee Duckworth shares some findings from her research about how grit was a characteristic that emerged as a significant predictor of success.

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” she said, reinforcing the need for the seriousness to reinforce grit in ourselves.

Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

Are you a master procrastinator? We can’t blame you. In this hilarious and yet highly relatable talk, writer and blogger Tim Urban walks his audience through the journey of procrastination, and why procrastinators are the way they are. He shares his experience about writing a 90-page thesis, which was done over 72 hours while pulling two all-nighters – to terrible results. This video is only 14 minutes long but it’s well worth any student’s time and attention.

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