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Living / Ali Horsfall

5 TED Talks You Need To Watch This Weekend

For an inspiring life-lesson, injection of wisdom, or a feel-good story to pass the time on your commute, you can’t beat a TED Talk. TED is the non-profit organisation that’s committed to spreading ideas and sparking conversation with its short, powerful talks from visionaries, dynamic speakers and inspired thinkers across a range of topics. And it’s pretty addictive.

But if you’re just delving into the TED treasure trove, you’ll realise there are hundreds of awesome videos to absorb, so what are the must-sees? We’ve picked out five classic talks by incredible women that you can watch this weekend.

The one about leadership

Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders

This is up there as one of TED Talk’s most popular videos and has been watched by millions. In her 14 minute thought-provoking talk, the Facebook COO and author unpicks the gender inequality at the top levels of business and makes a powerful call to action with her three pieces of advice for success.

The take-away: “Women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world.”

The one about beauty

Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.

Victoria Secret’s model Cameron Russell may be tall and beautiful but she claims she merely won “a genetic lottery” that has allowed her to work as a model. In her fearless talk she begs for us to look beyond the superficial and takes a hard look at the industry that is creating false beauty ideals for women.

The take-away: “Image is powerful, but image is superficial.”

The one about feminism

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Why we should all be feminists

If you only ever watch one thing on the topic of feminism – it should be this. In this now famous talk, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie starts a worldwide conversation about feminism, arguing that being a feminist means understanding and acknowledging the fact that sexism exists and asks that we all dream and plan for a different, fairer world of the future.

The take-away: “A feminist is a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today, and we must fix it. We must do better.’”

The one about sex

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about orgasms

Here’s a hilarious talk that’s proof of TED’s promise to showcase the brightest, most brilliant, curious minds. Mary Roach’s offbeat facts about orgasms – found in obscure scientific research – will educate and entertain, and see you repeating them in the pub for sure.

The take-away: “I interviewed a woman who can think herself to orgasm.”

The one about success

Mel Robbins: How to stop screwing yourself over

Mel Robbins is a kick-ass criminal lawyer and relationship and life coach, known for her tell-it-like-it-is attitude to life. In this no-nonsense talk she shows you her 5 Second Rule, and how you can use it to stop making excuses, procrastinating and basically screwing yourself over. Get your head round her approach to energy and action and it may change your life.

The take-away: “It’s your job to make yourself do the crap you don’t want to do, so you can be everything that you’re supposed to be.”


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