Does that headline have you a little irritated yet? Do you want to know precisely how I think a few 15-minute speeches can somehow improve you as a person, much less as a woman? Bear with me for a minute. Bill Nye once said, “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” So give me the benefit of the doubt that perhaps these women have delivered to you in these five TED talks something you may not know yet. There may be some little nugget that will improve you as a human being, or help you find the strength to keep pushing towards that goal.
Or, maybe you’re perfect already. If that’s the case you must have a lot of time on your hands, and I have a few videos you should watch with your free time. 🙂
1. Sheryl Sandberg on why we have too few women leaders.
I know I’ve linked to this Talk before, but in case you missed it I must emphasize: you have to watch this. Even if you’re not sure if you want a career someday, even if you’re currently a stay at home mom. Watch it. Sheryl’s actionable items for helping more women make it to the top of their industries is something we all need to hear.
2. Meg Jay on why 30 is not the new 20.
Perhaps I am biased as a 28-year-old woman who is married, has two kids, and is pursuing a career she loves, but I think Meg hits the nail on the head here. I see too many of my fellow 20-somethings delaying starting their life because they think they have time. Now, this is different from delaying, say, getting married because you haven’t found the right person yet. By all means, wait until the right guy comes along. But if you’re essentially taking your twenties off, give this talk a listen and see if it doesn’t make you reconsider.
3. Amy Cuddy on how your body language shapes who you are.
For every woman who apologizes for everything, who doesn’t contribute in the board meeting for fear of being rejected, who is constantly undermining herself with “upspeak”. Amy’s talk will help you see that your own body can help you feel powerful, and in turn translate that power into real life confidence.
4. Elizabeth Gilbert on your elusive creative genius.
We women tend to struggle with our creative impulses and see them as a potential weakness, something we have to keep an eye on lest it cause a problem. Elizabeth of Eat Pray Love fame discusses a brilliant way to view your creativity so that you are free to express it without fear of failure.
5. Cameron Russell on why looks aren’t everything.
As a pretty white model, Cameron gives an honest and candid talk discussing how appearances can be deceiving. And how they can be an unfair advantage or disadvantage depending on which side of the genetic lottery you came out on. It might make you just a bit uncomfortable, but that means you’re actually learning something novel. Then you can decide how you want to make the effort to change it.
Any TED talk that you love? Share them in the comments below!