Girl power, word power, and charisma

This is a great presentation at TED by young Sarah Kay. She discovered spoken word poetry as a high school student and wow, did it make her come alive.

She delivers this on one of the most imposing stages imaginable with quite the intimidatingly impressive audience, and she flat out shines:

As the father of two young daughters, I especially admire what a powerful presence she has as a young woman. She is confident and charismatic and gets a standing ovation deservedly. Go girl, indeed. I want my girls to be able to plant their feet as firmly and connect with others as strongly as this young woman does.

She’s also spreading the good news of the power of expression, the magic of words.

“I write poems to figure things out.” -Sarah Kay

We all are artists with points of view and experiences that are unique in the universe. It’s a pity how many go to their graves having never truly expressed themselves or pursued a better understanding of their place in this universe by examining their life through art and self-expression.

Sarah Kay certainly does shine and commands the room like someone who’s been on stage for years. It’s easy to say she is just naturally charismatic, but I believe anyone can develop charisma. Charisma simply is caring deeply about something and having the courage to uncork some passion and share it with others. I love this thought from the speech coach Nick Morgan:


I regularly assign Sarah Kay’s TED Talk to my student staff during training. She is (or was at the time) their age. I want them to see that they don’t need permission or seniority or a degree or years of paying their dues to be awesome. You don’t need permission, either. Express yourself. Be charismatic. Be awesome.

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