4 Great TED Talks for College Students

TED talks for college students

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TED talks have become widely popular on YouTube over the past several years. The video series stems from TED, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading ideas and sparking conversation. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and originated from a conference held in 1984. Today, TED talks involve a speaker delivering a powerful, interesting and though-provoking presentation on virtually any topic. There are also TEDx events that are independently organized within communities which attests how popular these presentations have become. While there are many TED talks worth watching, the ones listed below are particularly valuable for college students.

What Do Top Students Do Differently?

Douglas Barton, founder and Global Chairman of Elevate Education, delivers his TED talk at an independently organized Tedx event in Tallin, Estonia. In his speech, he delivers the results and findings of his research regarding the learning and study habits of top students and how these findings can be used by all students. Barton begins by asking the audience whether they think IQ or hard work are more important in earning good grades.

He goes on to explain that the purpose of his research study was to determine which of these answers were true and to what extent. According to his study, three key research findings that statistically set top students apart from their peers include: 1. The top students don’t necessarily get the better results because they’ve got higher IQs. 2. There are certain skills that they practice that other students don’t. 3. These small skill sets can be taught and used by students to improve their results.

The First 20 Hours—How to Learn Anything

Josh Kaufman, author of “The First 20 Hours: Mastering the Toughest Part of Learning Anything”, offers his knowledge and expertise on how people acquire new skills. To begin, he combats the myth that it takes 10,000 hours to learn something. Kaufman argues that this 10,000 hour rule doesn’t match up with real experiences. It is actually meant to refer to studies about expert-level performance such as with chess masters, professional athletes and musicians and how long it takes to get to the top of those kind of fields. Rather, he proposes that it takes 20 hours to acquire a new skills and offers 4 simple steps to get there. 1. Deconstruct the 2. Learn enough to self-correct and 3. Remove barriers to practice. Kaufman’s presentation is not only helpful for students, but for anyone looking to educate themselves or learn something new.

The Danger of a Single Story

The Danger of a Single Story is presented by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a native of Nigeria. Adichie delivers an important and compelling message illustrating the ways in which she experienced the consequences of possessing a single story or idea of a person, place or event while growing up. She cites instances of the English books she read as a child and the interactions with her American college roommate as examples of false, singular perceptions that disregard real life narratives and the importance of stories. Adichie’s TED talk provides a valuable lesson for all students as they encounter more diverse populations and points of view throughout their college career.

Why Your Job Applications are Getting Ignored

Jean-Michel Gauthier, CEO and Co-Founder of InternsME.com, answers the age-old question asked by college graduates: Why are companies not responding to my resumes and job applications? He begins with a story outlining his personal experience of sending traditional job applications to employers just to receive no response. After being ignored by so many companies for so long, he began to question the established methodology of applying for jobs.

Gauthier exposes the recruitment process of large companies who receive thousands of applications for a single job. They sift through these applications by conducting a word-search compatibility test between resumes and the job description. If there are not enough words in common, the resume or application gets taken out. He goes on to explain the ways in which he tried to set himself apart from the sea of recent college graduates how today’s college grads can connect to recruiters on a personal level and convey why they are truly the best fit for the position.

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