One of my favorite things to do to unwind after a busy day is taking a moment to watch a TED Talk.

If you aren’t familiar with TED Talks, then this is the perfect opportunity to introduce something new into your routine. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. TED is a 34-year-old nonprofit organization that holds conferences all over the world which showcase short and powerful talks covering all kinds of topics by all kinds of people. These events spread ideas about any and all things you can imagine, and best of all, you have access to all of them online! While some make me laugh and some make me question my beliefs, each talk is empowering in its own way.

Taking advantage of these talks can open your mind to things you’ve never considered, things you want to know more about, or help you learn more about your favorite topics. I’m going to help you get started (or maybe just share a few you haven’t seen) with the list of 10 of my favorite TED Talks:

Luvvie Ajayi: Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

“In a world that wants us to whisper, I choose to yell,” says Luvvie Ajayi. This inspiring and bright talk discusses the power of speaking truths for not only yourself, but those who are silenced.

Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Exploring lessons she’s learned throughout her life and research, scholar Brené Brown discusses her quest to find herself and understand others. Her funny and insightful talk dives deeper into how humans connect.

Tim Urban: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator

We’ve all been there. An assignment has been on the calendar for a month, but for some reason, you’re just now getting around to it? Tim Urban takes a funny, but logical look at the phenomenon of procrastination.

Mike Kinney: A Pro Wrestler’s Guide to Confidence

With a hilarious and inspiring narrative about his life and career, Mike Kinney shares his experience in learning to own his confidence. Embracing what makes you uniquely you can help you reach your full potential.

Damon Davis: Courage is Contagious

Activist Damon Davis speaks on the courage of the people in Ferguson in 2014. Standing up for yourself and those around you might not be so easy, but when surrounding yourself with love and courage, you would be surprised how empowered you can feel.

Laura Vanderkam: How to Gain Control of Your Free Time

Taking the initiative to prioritize your precious free time in your busy life is Laura Vanderkam’s pivotal lesson. Our short time at JMU is something we should all cherish.

Drew Dudley: Everyday Leadership

Drew Dudley explores leadership through lollipops. He tells a story of a time in which he changed a life with small gesture of brave influence. We should celebrate our daily strides of leadership that impact the lives of those around us.

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

Chimamanda Adichie is a Nigerian novelist who knows the damage that the misrepresentation of culture can cause in writing. She explores the dynamic opportunities of storytelling that can enrich the authenticity of stories throughout the world.

Matt Cutts: Try Something New for 30 Days

The perfect time to dive into new things is right now. Matt Cutts, however, explains that trying something new doesn’t need to be a “cold turkey” type of change, but instead making one small change, for even just 30 days, can make a difference in your life.

Mark Warner: It’s not about the power!

This one has a special place in me and many of my fellow Dukes’ hearts! Dr. Mark Warner spoke some amazing words on taking control of the powerful moments of your own life at JMU’s very own TEDxJMU event in 2016.

This list is full of incredibly diverse TED Talks, but every one of them has had a different effect on the way that I think. So, don’t sit down and try to get them all in a couple hours, but instead, take the time out of your daily routine to relax with one talk, and take your time to enjoy them! Once you’re done with my list, visit the TED website and explore the hundreds of talks about the things you don’t know, the things you are curious about and the things you love.

If you are interested in the next TEDxJMU event held right here on campus, keep an eye out for more information. Come to enjoy the student and faculty speakers that have inspiring words for you to hear. The event is planned to take place in mid-April. Stay up to date on information surrounding the event on the TEDxJMU Twitter page.

Start exploring TED Talks today, Dukes!

Feature image courtesy of Julia Shawver. 

3 thoughts on “Must-See TED Talks

  1. I really enjoyed this article! I love TED talks but didn’t know what it meant. So I learned something new! Thanks so much & keep up the great work!


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