Since its beginning in the 1990s, TED Talks have been a great source for countless people around the globe. This is especially true for students. It is not surprising that common keywords students use when searching for a good TED Talk include “TED Talk college,” “TED Talk college education,” “TED Talk college education,” and “TED Talks education for students.” Such inspirational videos for college students can help them succeed both in school and in life, or at least give them the motivation to work on their homework.
In this post, we look at the best TED Talks for college students in 2019. These TED videos for students range from a few minutes to 10 minute TED Talks or longer.
Motivational TED Talks for Students
- Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. In this talk, psychologist and educator Angela Lee Duckworth discuss how grit, or perseverance, is a key ingredient for success. Duckworth’s extensive research shows that people who persist are much more likely to succeed than those who don’t. Simply put, the secret to achieving long-term goals is not giving up. With its emphasis on passion and perseverance, this talk is certainly one of the great motivational speeches for college students.
- Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career. In this talk, economist Larry Smith talks about how hard work and passion are vital to having a great career. Smith argues that most people are afraid to pursue their desired career path. They are often hampered by the thought that they are not good enough. They also make excuses that ultimately result in missed opportunities. Smith urges people to rid themselves of fear and stop making excuses. Though this talk was given in 2012, its timeless lesson makes it one of the best TED Talks on motivation for students.
- How to Motivate Yourself to Change Your Behavior. In this talk, neuroscientist Tali Sharot describes how highlighting positive consequences is better than giving warnings on negative consequences. In other words, people are more motivated to change their behavior if they are informed of the benefits the change brings. This message can be of good use to students. In particular, students can motivate themselves to perform better by keeping their eyes on the promise of academic success.
Inspirational TED Talks for Students
- Try Something New for 30 Days. This short talk by Matt Cutts encourages people to try something new for at least 30 days, whether it’s doing something creative or kicking a habit. Turns out, 30 days are just the perfect amount of time for getting used to change. For students, this is a great way of improving the way they study and their general lifestyle. Cutts’ TED Talk is, without doubt, one of the most inspiring short TED Talks for students.
- The First 20 Hours–How to Learn Anything. Although longer than most TED Talks for students, Josh Kaufman’s talk has an important message: the first 20 hours are the most crucial time when learning something new. Kaufman states that you do not need to be an expert when you learn something; the important thing is to be good enough and enjoy what you do. This is a talk that will resonate with students. In a place where learning new things is a constant experience, this talk inspires students to make the most of their first 20 hours when learning something.
- How Boredom Can Lead to Your Most Brilliant Ideas. Whether we like it or not, our society has become virtual slaves to technology. But in her talk, journalist Manoush Zomorodi challenges people to take some time off of smartphones and social media. According to her, doing so can cause the brain to spontaneously come alive with creative ideas, thus encouraging people to become more productive. This fascinating message about how we spend our time makes this video a truly great TED Talk for college students.
Leadership TED Talks for Students
- Everyday Leadership. In this short but memorable talk, Drew Dudley debunks the notion that true leadership is beyond the reach of the ordinary person. Dudley states that leadership can come in the form of everyday things, such as by simply inspiring someone or being kind to another. Dudley redefines leadership, and in the process inspires everyone to be a leader in their own way. Any student who watches his talk will understand that you don’t have to be famous, influential, or wealthy to be a leader. You just need to change someone’s life. This simple but powerful idea puts this talk in the list of the top TED Talks for students.
- Great Leadership Starts with Self-Leadership. In his talk, leadership advisor Lars Sudmann describes how leadership begins with leading oneself. Sudmann states that to become a good leader, a person should be able to know oneself, spend time on reflection, and regulate behavior. Students who aspire to be a leader will find that this talk boils down to a basic principle: be the kind of leader that you want to inspire you.
- How Great Leaders Inspire Action. In this talk, Simon Sinek states that great leaders inspire action when they believe in an ideal. For Sinek, there is a crucial difference between a leader and someone who leads. Great leadership is motivated not by self-interest but by principles. As future leaders, students have much to learn from Sinek’s talk. This is why this episode is one of the best TED Talks for college students who dream of making a real difference in the world.
TED Talks College Stress
- The Surprising Science of Happiness. Being a college student is a full-time commitment, and trying to excel at everything can be stressful. But Dan Gilbert offers a solution. In his talk, Gilbert presents evidence proving that the human brain has the ability to find happiness in any situation. This is a strong reminder to every student that there’s something to smile over even in the toughest times.
- How to Make Stress Your Friend. Stress has always been tagged as a significant threat to a person's physical and mental health. But in her talk, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal describes how changing the way we think about stress can have a positive impact on our health. McGonigal identifies stress as the body’s way of rising to a challenge. She also describes how stress brings people together. By viewing stress as something that can have benefits, people can turn stress into something that empowers them. Watching this McGonigal’s talk can make a huge difference for so many students suffering from college stress.
TED Talks College Admissions
- The Truth About College Admission. Most people are under the impression that getting into the best colleges is all about excelling in everything. But this is not always the case. In this talk by Alex Chang, the expert in college application provides insight into how students can increase their chances of getting into their dream college. While grades are important, having unique traits can set you apart. In a sea of identical perfect scores, having initiative, passion, and direction is what makes students stand out. The important information this video offer makes it one of the best TED Talks for students who want to ace their college admissions.
- Community College to Harvard: Rethinking College Admissions. Community colleges have always been considered synonymous with an inferior education. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In his talk, Josh Lafazan shows how enrolling in a community college can be a viable alternative path to gaining admission to a top college. Entertaining and informative, this amusing video should be regarded as among the top TED Talks for students in high school.
Funny TED Talks for Students
- Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator. Procrastination is every student’s enemy. But in this talk by Tim Urban, the blogger-writer offers a humorous discussion on procrastination and how it prevents people from reaching their goals. While Urban’s talk is light, funny, and engaging, at its core is an extremely important message that will inspire students to work harder to achieve their dreams.
- The Happy Secret to Better Work. Most people believe that happiness is the result of success. The more successful a person is, the happier he or she becomes. But in this humorous talk, psychologist Shawn Achor offers a radically different view. According to Achor, success is, in fact, the result of happiness, and there is a great deal of evidence to prove this. Funny and insightful, this talk will reveal to students how a positive outlook in life can do wonders not only for their academic performance but also for their career and their life in general.
The world continues to change, and students today are facing new trends, challenges, and ways of doing things. The good thing is, technology also gives students access to knowledge and information that can guide them. TED Talks, in particular, are a source of guidance for students. The talks discussed are just a few of the best TED Talks for college students in 2019, but they provide valuable insight that students can use to succeed.