9 of the Best TED Talks for Event Organizers

It’s 2019. Chances are, you’ve seen or heard a TED Talk by now. If not, prepare to be enlightened and entertained. TED — which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design — features “ideas worth spreading.” TED Talks showcase influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity. There are 3,000+ TED Talks!

But don’t let that number overwhelm you because we’ve rounded up the 9 best TED Talks for event organizers, planners, and directors. Take a break from planning your next event to watch these talks that will inspire, teach and guide you to becoming the events pro you’ve always wanted to be.

Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action


“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” -Simon Sinek

An an oldie, but goodie. Simon addresses timeless concepts that will help people for years to come, so long as we keep being humans. Simon’s golden circle explains why the world’s greatest leaders and innovators are so successful. Adapting this method to your event planning will connect you with new people and give yourself clarity on why you should spend more time planning your events instead of scrolling through photos of Doug the Pug on Instagram.

Tony Fadell: The First Secret to Design is… Noticing


“It’s easy to solve a problem that everyone sees, it’s hard to solve a problem that almost no one sees.” -Tony Fadell

Learning how to recognize everyday nuances and making them better can be difficult to learn. Tony makes it a little easier to help us notice how habituation stops people from noticing problems around us. Often times, it’s little details that can make a huge difference, especially when it comes to pulling off an amazing event.

Jinsop Lee: Design for all five senses


“I’ve found the five senses theory to be a very useful tool in evaluating different experiences in my life, and then taking those best experiences and hopefully incorporating them into my designs.” -Jinsop Lee

Jinsop will help you understand the importance of including elements to stimulate the five senses of your event attendees. Learning how to design and integrate components of your event that stimulate the five senses will provide a more memorable experience that will have your attendees thinking about your event every time they smell warm spicy apple cider on a fall day.

Ingrid Fetell Lee: Where Joy Hides and How to Find It


“I realized that though the feeling of joy is mysterious and elusive, we can access it through tangible, physical attributes, or what designers call aesthetics, a word that comes from the same root as the Greek word “aísthomai,” which means, “I feel,” “I sense,” “I perceive.” -Ingrid Fetell Lee

Ingrid teaches us where to find substantial, tangible joy within physical objects. Learning how to identify physical objects that spark joy will help any event planner transform their drab space into one that evokes positive feelings.

Adam Grant: The Surprising Habits of Original ThinkersAdam-Grant

“Originals are nonconformists, people who not only have new ideas but take action to champion them. They are people who stand out and speak up. Originals drive creativity and change in the world. They’re the people you want to bet on. And they look nothing like I expected.” -Adam Grant

Adam believes that original thinkers — “Originals” — have 3 habits that aren’t necessarily bad:

  1. Originals are Late to the Party
  2. Originals Feel Doubt and Fear
  3. Originals Have Lots of Bad Ideas

Science says it takes 21 days to form a habit. So we’re marking our calendars to see how long it takes for us to pick up these 3 habits to become original thinkers. Acknowledging and embracing these 3 habits will allow you (and us) to generate more ideas and facilitate more creativity throughout any event planning process. Think about the founders of Burning Man. We’ll bet that each of them are “Originals.”

David Kelley: How to Build Your Creative Confidence


“So I’ve been looking at this fear of judgment that we have, that you don’t do things, you’re afraid you’re going to be judged; if you don’t say the right creative thing, you’re going to be judged.” -David Kelley

We’ve addressed your fears for Murphy’s Law. Now it’s time to address your fear of being judged on your ideas. David explains that by using guided mastery to build confidence in what you want to do, you can begin climbing outside the box that has been holding you back since childhood. You are naturally creative, despite what any negative nell naysayer might tell you. Got an out-of-the-box idea for an event? Chances are, there are plenty of people who’d love to attend.

Julian Treasure: How to speak so that people want to listen


“The human voice: It’s the instrument we all play. It’s the most powerful sound in the world, probably. It’s the only one that can start a war or say “I love you.” And yet many people have the experience that when they speak, people don’t listen to them.” -Julian Treasure

We’ve all been guilty of committing one or even many of the seven deadly sins of speaking: gossip, judging, negativity, complaining, excuses, exaggeration, dogmatism. It’s important to remember Julian Treasure’s “HAIL” method anytime you are speaking with your team, your clients or your event attendees. Watch his TED Talk to find out about “HAIL.”

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend


“When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. And when you choose to connect with others under stress, you can create resilience.” -Kelly McGonigal

Learning and adapting a different perspective of stress and the impact it can have on your health will allow you to handle life’s challenges more efficiently, especially in the event planning industry more. And what Kelly points out, it’s probably not what you think.

David Grady: Bad Meetings


“Every day, we allow our coworkers, who are otherwise very, very nice people, to steal from us. And I’m talking about something far more valuable than office furniture. I’m talking about time. Your time.” -David Grady 

David gives a good laugh while teaching the importance of preventing bad meetings that promote “MAS”, which means Mindless Accept Syndrome. Encouraging your team to achieve “No MAS” can help you plan efficient meetings that encourage feedback and facilitate continuous engagement with your team throughout the entire event planning process.

Feeling inspired by one (or all) of these TED Talks? Start planning your next event today on Events.com.