The Most Powerful Talks To Be In The Driver’s Seat

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

If you want to make a change in your private or business life, I encourage you to take one little step today: Have a look at a couple of the amazing talks I recommend below.

I first discovered the organization called TED, when I was participating in a communication training in London in 2007. The trainer introduced one particular speech to us for the simple presentation techniques the speaker used, but this is not the subject here.
I was amazed by the concept of sharing great speeches by great minds of a very short duration of between 2 to 18 minutes with the world.

Since then, I discovered other platforms which share similar conferences with interesting talks and I saw older, very powerful talks, some of which were even integrated in these platforms.

I watch these talks regularly to get new ideas and to boost my motivation, sometimes more often then others, but in principle, I watch them being on the go or on a lazy Sunday with a notepad in my lap full of notes.

Here it goes:

Simon Sinek: “First why, then trust” (or why we like to be around those who believe what we believe)

This is one of Simon’s many talks he gave on different TED conferences, and although they are all based on the same principle message “Start with Why” and not with “what” and “how”. During this particular talk he compares beliefs we have at home and those we “have” at work, surprisingly enough, sometimes they are contradictory.

Since this principle was introduced to me for the first time, I have read quite a lot about it and I am currently following Simon’s Start with Why online course as I am building up my own company. Starting with a purpose for the company is of much higher value to me, then starting with its product and services.

 

Sir Ken Robinson: “Do Schools Kill Creativity” (or how finding your ‘element’ can change your life)

When I got back home from London, I started to look at the whole speech of this presenter, Sir Ken Robinson. It amazed me how he addressed the lack of creativity in our modern education schemes. He talked about “the element” (which is also recommended here) that we have all within us, whether it is uncovered or not to be who we want to be and through which we excel. Needless to say, I bought the book and since then have been uncovering my “element”.

 

Steve Jobs: 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (or three life stories of a big leader)

Without a doubt one of the most best three stories I have ever listened to by Steve Jobs. If you have seen this speech at Stanford already, I recommend you to watch it again, like I did when writing this article. “You have got to find what you love”. According to his speech, it may take a while to get there, but making the attempt is worthwhile.

 

Larry Smith: “Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career” (or why people most often do not take action)

Even though in terms of numbers, this talk is not so popular as the ones outlined above (which I find surprising), it is for me one of the great explanations of why we look for excuses, get stuck and do not go out there, despite watching all these great speeches. Often linked to the fear of failure, which exists within us.

So, what is your excuse?

 

Jonathan Fields: “Turning Fear Into Fuel” (talk with concrete steps to tackle your fear of failure)

If you believe it is fear holding you back to start taking small steps towards your destination, take a look at Jonathan’s speech. He also published a great book “Uncertainty”, which helped me a great deal when I was stuck.

And before you start watching, guess which place “Death” has on the Top5 of the Fear list? (Hint: It is not #1!)

 

Amy Cuddy: “You Body Language Shapes Who You Are” (or: how “tiny tweaks can lead to big changes”)

You might not have thought about this one, but apparently our own body language can change the way we think and feel about ourselves, so, when you are down, let your body influence your mind. Amy gives some concrete examples on how to do so.

 

Joshua Foer: “Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and Study Yourself Failing”

Before I learned to speak French properly, I failed a lot on the way. I went on lunch dates in my new French hometown at the time, and I said funny things which made people laugh and me turning red. I dared to fail to progress.

Without failing, we do not learn. Have a look at what Joshua has to share at the 99u conference about learning a new skill by failing on the way. Anyone can apply this.

 

Oprah Winfrey’s 2008 Stanford Commencement Address: “You really havn’t changed, you have just become more of yourself.”

Last, but not least, being a female entrepreneur myself, Oprah is just simply a great inspiration of what can be achieved. It speaks for itself.

 

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As this is just the scratch on the surface of very powerful and inspirational talks out there, and this selection is based on my personal opinion, what are your favorites? What talk is a must for you? Please share the link in the comment section below, I would love to get inspired by you!

Cheers,

Jantje

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