7 Inspiring Ted Talks for High-School Students

Read about the life of that great leader! Do you know how that musician overcame his personal struggles and rose to fame? Does your interest lie in reading biographies and autobiographies? All these are common topics of discussion when high schoolers sit and try to find a guiding light. Interviews, movies, and books offer a great source of inspiration. Cut to the present times of video streaming, the learners can try newer, more impactful, and direct resources to feel inspired by simply putting the mobile phone on. One of the most talked-about resources available on mobile devices is Ted Talk.

Ted Talk is an engaging platform where the achievers of various levels, right from the life around us, share a slice of their lives with the listeners and viewers. Coming straight from the horse’s mouth, life’s account definitely sounds more relatable, and trustworthy, and leaves a deeper impact. 

But which Ted Talks can I relate more with being a high schooler? If you are facing this kind of dilemma, we solve it for you by enlisting here the 7 most impressive Ted Talks that may prove to be your instant dose of motivation.

List Of Ted Talks For Motivating Aspirants

1.) “How Do You Define Yourself?” – By Lizzie Velasquez

Lizzie Velasquez has established herself as a motivational speaker, and a YouTube influencer. All this did not come easy to her. Her life is certainly a collection of “ideas worth sharing”, the tag line of the Ted Talk platform. As if the hormonal changes were not enough to tackle, she faced a bigger challenge of living with a rare disorder.  

Lizzie tells how she suffers from a disorder that caused loss of sight in her right eye. Also, it prevented her from gaining weight all her life. She was the subject of bullying and all sorts of negative comments. In this talk, she shares how she turned all negative forces into her personal development tools. Laden with lots of funny anecdotes, and a lucid storytelling style, this talk tackles the issue of self-image in an entertaining manner.

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2. “Inside The Mind Of A Master Procrastinator” – By Tim Urban

Tim Urban is a popular writer and blogger. He has achieved over 1 million unique page views on his website. In this Ted Talk, the writer tackles the issue of procrastination head-on. In the growing age, the students tend to procrastinate especially those errands that they don’t like running. This amusing talk shows all of us the mirror and it does not stop here! It also explains what works behind it and how to deal with this tendency.

As a high school student, you do come across lots of situations where you display an unnerving fondness for not doing things as and when expected. This Ted Talk provides all popular examples and some more and allows the listeners to identify with their mindset. Funny yet thought-provoking, this discussion is much more than a mere talk and is sure to find a place in your repeat playlist.

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3. “How To Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed” – By Daniel Levitin

This Ted Talk by Daniel Levitin is a great clip for people going through stress. Daniel explains how easy it is to get stressed but also how effective planning can turn things around. Stress is a major problem that shows a negative impact on all things of trivial to major importance. Daniel Levitin uses his experience and knowledge as a neuroscientist to explain how to control situations by preparing for them in advance.

The talk does contain a lot of neurophysiological terms that may interest the high schoolers having a panache for understanding how the brain works under stress. This Ted Talk is a bonafide eye-opener and may guide students on how to develop and use organizational skills to prevent stress from taking over their logical thinking ability.

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4. Kids Take Charge – By Kiran Bir Sethi

Kiran Bir Sethi is a social reformer, education activist, and the founder of the Riverside School in Ahmedabad. She has a positive mind and vision, helping young students to improve their academic grades. Her Ted Talk teaches the high school kids how to take charge of the self, their dreams and rise above the odds.

In this Ted Talk, Kiran shares a classroom experience she went through at the Riverside School. She asked students of her class to roll incense sticks for around the right hours to feel the life of child labor. This experience changed them extremely. On witnessing this change, students went out to convince people on abolishing child labor. Building virtues like empathy, righteousness, and responsibility seem to be one of the aims of this talk and it definitely delivers the message!

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5. What Your Grades Really Mean – by Eva Ren

“What your Grades really mean” is a truly thought-provoking talk by Eva Ren, a 12th Grade student with lots of achievements to her credit. This fiery talk questions the system of choosing grades as an indicator of any student’s overall abilities. Eva puts forth a lot of problems such as the marginalization of low-grade scorers and hints at the loss that society makes by giving into the charm of high-scoring students.

High school is the stage where students are overtly conscious of their academic performance. A lot of social skills get hampered when the grades become the start and the end of the discussion. This Ted Talk comes as a breezy respite to the stressed-out students and offers them something to hold on to when they feel boggled by the pressure of achieving high grades. The focus should be on excellence and refining the skills; only grades may not help. This talk is a clear shoutout to the authorities to change the way of thinking and to make academics more accommodating for all.

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6.) “Try Something New for 30 Days” – By Matt Cutts

As the title suggests, Matt Cutts discusses the benefits of trying 30-day challenges in this Ted Talk. Routine is quite important for children, this research points out the same. Matt Cutts, a software engineer from America, emphasizes doing something for straight 30 days to make it a habit. He says, “Think about the thing that you want to opt into your life and follow the same consistently for 30 days.” However, this phenomenon works only for small, sustainable habits that do not demand too much deprivation, he explains clearly in this talk.

According to Cutts, a period of 30 days is sufficient to add or subtract any habit from your life. Working on habits is one of the attractive ideas that high schoolers resolve upon often. This talk with its witty approach to building habit gives a moment or two to laugh. Almost everyone has a bad habit to give up; take the clue from the talk and try giving up Cutt’s way.

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7.) “The Power Of Vulnerability” – By Brené Brown

Being a research professor at the University of Houston (Texas, USA), Brené Brown spent a good amount of time studying vulnerability, authenticity, courage, and shame. High schoolers are in that phase of life when they feel judged most time. They are receptive to comments and almost every comment matters to them. Also, there are instances where they are exposed to environments never known before. All such changes bring in the factor of vulnerability and stress. In this Ted Talk, Brown tries to normalize those emotions by explaining vulnerability as an inherent virtue.

Brené Brown, using her research, highlights the reasons for the vulnerable nature of humans. And she does not stop there! The talk also walks the listeners to the ways these can be used to achieve various goals in both personal and professional life. High schoolers preparing for life beyond campus or those who need to deal with constant changes such as change of city, school, friends, etc. can relate closely to this talk.

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Ted Talks – the ultimate learning resource for high schoolers

As a high-school student, you feel the urge to know everything under the sun. And, you are also drawn to novel ways of soaking up knowledge. TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) is where there is no topic that remains untouched. The speakers come from various walks of life, have gone through something unconventional, and do have ‘ideas worth sharing.’ Ted Talks make it to the list of our suggestable resources to learn because:

  • Talks here introduce us to newer perspectives: When you feel something is missing from the bigger picture, the talks introduce you to that wanted piece.
  • Motivation comes in all sizes and from various resources: The speakers have something unique about them. They have contributed to the world around in their own special ways. They are not perfect physically or intellectually always, but have made the life bigger by using the resources available to them maximally.
  • Ted Talks promote discussions: It is not only about listening to an achiever and following the footsteps blindly. The speakers simply give a loose end to pick and ignite the start of meaningful discussions.


Ted Talks can introduce high schoolers to the positives of life and help them see the bigger picture from an angle that they never tried before. Motivation need not come only from legends; high schoolers can follow or listen to the normal day achievers too, to learn how to take charge. Our list of Ted Talks comprises clips that touch on important aspects of the developmental phase and ensuing challenges. These talks help high schoolers develop their own thinking amidst all the noise around them.

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