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11 Ted Talks To Inspire You To Change The World

11 Ted Talks To Inspire You To Change The World
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Each one of us can do something to change the world. But we all need to find our passion, a motivation inside of us to take us through the journey of making small but continuous changes. After watching these TED talks, you will feel inspired and ready to start thinking about how you can change the world.

1. Muhammad Yunus: A History of Microfinance

Takeaway: All human beings are entrepreneurs and work together to change our lives.

Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi civil society leader who has created a bank that does the opposite of conventional banks: Going to poor women, living in villages, dismissing guarantors, and being the only lawyer-free bank in the world. And it works.

This video is extremely insightful, giving ideas of how things can be done differently with social business. If you don’t have time to watch it all, just jump to 2:37 and watch up to 10:30 for great inspiration.

2. Sam Berns: My Philosophy for a Happy Life

Takeaway: Don’t let anything stop you from chasing your dreams.

Sam Berns is a highly inspirational 17-year-old guy whose disease (Progeria) hasn’t deterred him from chasing his dreams. He has a philosophy based on three simple and straight-forward beliefs. Watching this video will change the way you look at the world and will inspire you to follow his philosophy of life.

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If you don’t have time to watch the the whole thing, don’t miss it from minute 8 until the end.

3.  Artika Renee Tyner: Education for Social Change

Takeaway: What is in your hands to change the world?

Dr. Artika Renee Tyner is a passionate educator and advocate for justice. In her talk, she invites you to reimagine education focusing on leadership development and social justice advocacy. She shares her experience of transforming the classroom into a learning laboratory where students experiment by applying their technical training to address the social justice challenges of our time.

4. Leana Wen: What your doctor won’t disclose

Takeaway: Being totally transparent is scary, but that vulnerability can be an extraordinary benefit to the practice of medicine.

Doctor Leana Wen has found throughout her career uncountable situations where patients have been affected by their doctor’s conflict of interest. She decided to change the paradigms of medicine by making it more personal and transparent. In her talk, she tells her own inspirational story and how it has influenced her professional beliefs, helping her to change the way patients interact with their doctors and removing the fear and mistrust they had before.

5. Manu Prakash: A 50-cent microscope that folds like origami

Takeaway: Revolutionise healthcare in developing countries and turn almost anything into a fun, hands-on science experiment.

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Manu Prakash and his team have created a 50 cent microscope made of paper and extremely easy to fold and use. He wants to spread it out to all developing countries and talks about the connexion between hands-on science education and global health.

6. Jorge Soto: The future of early cancer detection?

Takeaway: The way we see cancer will radically change. We will be able to detect any type of cancer in its early stages.

Jorge Soto and a team of scientists have created a platform to try to tackle one of humanity’s toughest challenges. They believe that early cancer detention should be entirely possible.

“This is a single, non-invasive, accurate, and affordable test that has the potential to dramatically change how cancer’s procedures and their diagnostics have been done”. “You only need one milliliter of blood and a relatively simple array of tools.”

7. Anne Milgram: Why smart statistics are the key to fighting crime

Takeaway: Data-driven decisions can make the public safer by improving the criminal justice system.

Anne Milgram passionately explains how she came up with an idea for a tool that would improve the criminal justice system in the US. She couldn’t find out some simple information: who was being arrested, who was being charged, and who was being put in jail. Her tool not only used data to work these things out, but also helps to forecast who will commit crime again.

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8. John Paul Flintoff: How to change the world

Takeaway: Making small changes in your own life will change the world.

John Paul Flintoff explains how making small but meaningful changes in our own lives will have an impact on other people’s lives and turn into a human butterfly effect. His talk will encourage you to stop thinking about the end result of the things you do and start thinking about the process. This way, you liberate yourself from the pressure and enjoy every step.  And small steps give you courage to move on to the next small step.

He also gives some inspirational examples of people he has interviewed and his own small steps towards changing the world to show how it doesn’t need to be something difficult.

9. JR: Use art to turn the world inside out

Takeaway: Art is not supposed to change the world, but it can change perceptions.

Do not miss this inspirational visual talk by street artist JR who has travelled the world spreading his passion for art and photography. He presents different projects in developing countries where he gets the communities involved and makes people’s stories travel with him.

10. Lee Mun Wah: The secret to changing the world

Takeaway: We are going to have to walk through our fears to see another world.

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Lee Mun Wah transmits calmness and security though his speech while driving you though his understanding of cross-cultural communication and awareness. The Chinese American filmmaker, educator, and therapist explains how the secret to changing the world is that “each and every one of us has to take the time to walk each other home.”

11. Willemijn Verloop: Changing the world through social entrepreneurship

Takeaway: You can contribute to changing the world if you dare to be a bit more unreasonable.

After watching this inspirational talk, you will understand how you can contribute to making a social change. You don’t need to start your own social enterprise, but you can commit to different causes as a customer, as an investor, or by helping to find new solutions. Stop being reasonable and start seeing opportunities instead of intangible problems.

Featured photo credit: World In Your Hands via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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