Tune In to TED Talks



Fire up your staff with TED global and conference videos and podcasts

If bringing in outside experts to train and motivate staffers is on your agenda, but costs are an obstacle, consider TED Talks. The international conferences—which are broken out into bite-size videos accessible online and as podcasts—spotlight lectures from experts and professionals across TED’s staple fields (namely, technology, entertainment, and design) who share their big ideas and business acumen.

Architect/graphic designer Richard Saul Wurman created TED in 1984 as a one-off event. In June 2006, TED branched out from conferences and debuted six of its talks online.

The first videos, including spots hosted by life coach Tony Robbins and New York Times columnist David Pogue, reached more than 1 million views by September 2006.

The lectures (which often double as motivational talks) stimulate ideas and dialogue on professional and personal levels. Looking to empower and inspire your staff? Say hello to TED.

How to Get TED

TED’s YouTube page offers a constantly refreshed list of its 20 most-watched talks. Watch them on Netflix at your next meeting, or hook up your iOS, Android, or Amazon devices to the official TED apps. You can also listen on the go: Stream the iTunes podcast or tune in to NPR’s TED Radio Hour while en route to your store.

How to Use TED

The opportunities for employee education are endless. Email a link to a TED Talk before a staff meeting; send one as a quickie homework assignment; or share a Talk over snacks in the break room. Or take employees on a field trip to a TEDx program near you. The independently organized, TED-style events combine live ­presenters and streamed videos, bringing the TED experience to a local level. 

The Best of TED

With more than 1,500 TED talks on file, the hard part isn’t finding videos; it’s deciding what to watch. Here are just a few of our picks for small retailers:

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

All leaders can answer the what in what they do—but only the great ones can explain the why, says author Simon Sinek in his talk. He challenges his audience to ask themselves what lies at the core of their mission and at the heart of their service. “We follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to,” Sinek says.

Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Humans are “wired for struggle,” says research professor Brené Brown. And it’s only by accepting weaknesses that people can open up to human connection. The retail takeaway: Learn how to foster an environment that encourages interaction and creates a warm and welcoming community—for both your staff and your customers.

Alexis Ohanian: How to Make a Splash in Social Media

According to Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, the Internet facilitates an equal playing field for everyone to tap into its viral power. To wit: “Mister Splashy Pants.” The goofy moniker was listed on a Greenpeace poll to name a whale that the group was tracking. The poll was picked up by Reddit users and went viral. And as silly as Mister Splashy Pants sounds, it won the poll because of how quickly it gained traction around the Web. Ohanian’s big message: Take yourself a little less seriously and reap the benefits.