Celeste Headlee

Communication and Human Nature Expert, Award-winning journalist and Author.


Topics

Author, Communication


Full Bio


Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist and radio host, professional speaker and author of bestselling book We Need To Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter. Her TEDx Talk, 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation, has been viewed over 21 million times. Close to 50,000 talks have been given at 10,000 events since the TED program launched in 2009. Celeste’s talk is one of the 10 most-watched talks posted on TED’s homepage.

In her 20-year career in public radio, Celeste has been the Executive Producer of On Second Thought at Georgia Public Radio and anchored programs including Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. She also served as co-host of the national morning news show, The Takeaway, from PRI and WNYC, and anchored presidential coverage in 2012 for PBS World Channel. As an NPR host and journalist, Celeste has interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life. Through her work, she has learned the true power of conversation and its ability to both bridge gaps or deepen wounds. In a time when conversations are often minimized to a few words in a text message and lack of meaningful communication and dialogue abounds, Celeste sheds a much-needed light on the lost and essential art of conversation.

Celeste is an expert in human nature, reclaiming common humanity and finding well being. She frequently provides insight and commentary on what is good for all humans and what is bad for us, focusing on the best research in neuro and social science to increase understanding of how we relate with one another and can work together in beneficial ways in our workplaces, neighborhoods, communities and homes. As a mixed-race journalist of black and Jewish descent, Celeste also speaks candidly about how to converse on race and other difficult subjects. People respond to Celeste because she connects the dots, explaining the “why” of our behavior in clear terms and providing actionable strategies for doing things differently.

Celeste is a member of Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global Thought Leader group, a select group of role models writing for Thrive. She serves on the advisory board member for Procon.org as well as the Listen First Project / National Conversation Project. As a Changemaker Award recipient, Celeste can be heard co-hosting season three of Duke University’s Scene on Radio podcast – MEN and this fall will co-host the PBS weekly series Retro Report, a TV show examining how today’s top stories connect with the past. Celeste’s work and insights have been featured on TODAY, NPR, Time, Cosmopolitan, Essence, Elle, BuzzFeed, Wired, Inc., The Knowledge Project, and many more.

Presentation: Ten Ways To Have Better Conversations

Enter every conversation assuming you have something to learn.

Celeste Headlee’s Having Better Conversations presentation focuses on the science-based fundamentals of communication and includes thought-provoking topics like the smarter you are the worse you are at communicating. This highly motivational talk, with 10 practical lessons, is designed to inspire self-confidence and introduces strategies for enhancing personal and professional relationships by simply becoming better at having conversations.

Celeste's workshop offers concrete actions to improve attendees' conversational skills and to broaden their view of what constitutes a good (and civil) conversation. Having a conversation is like playing a game of catch. Communication has increased in our technological age, but meaningful conversation has plummeted. If a conversation is one-sided, the ball drops. When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations - and that most of us don't converse very well. Celeste knows the ingredients of a great conversation; honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. She argues that listening is the true power of what separates those of us who can gain a competitive advantage in whatever it is we are trying to achieve. Knowing what conversational tool should be used (and when) is critical to cultivating relationships.

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