12 Must Watch TED Talks For CMO’s


TED talks are the short stories from some of the most influential and an engaging speakers around the world. They’re full of insights on the endless range of topics from human nature to scientific breakthroughs to trends in designs. They’re inspirational and informative which can help you to become a…

TED talks are the short stories from some of the most influential and an engaging speakers around the world. They’re full of insights on the endless range of topics from human nature to scientific breakthroughs to trends in designs. They’re inspirational and informative which can help you to become a better person in your personal and professional life.

TED hosts engaging and charismatic speakers who talk about their personal experiences and new ideas which are relevant to international audience. TED has hosted some of the most known personalities from around the world like Bono, J.J. Abrams, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Larry Page and Stephen Hawking.

If you’re a CMO or MD, or aspire to be one, it’s important to schedule time for activities that can help you to learn new things and increase your profile value. For the aspiring entrepreneurs, TED talks can help them in challenging assumptions and push the envelope so as to expand the thinking capabilities. Such motivation is perfect when you feel low on inspiration and are in need of some of encouragement.

Here are Some of the Best TED Talks

#1. Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work

Shawn Achor is a funny guy who is loud, fast talking and a great storyteller to boot. The overall talk is about reorganising people’s idea of successful lives and happiness. In this video, he suggests people to use positive psychology by not only studying the positive outliers but by using those outliers to raise the entire positivity. He further suggests that by paying more attention to the good things around us we will be happy and therefore people will become more efficient and successful.

#2. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspires Action

Simon Sinek is the author of the book ‘Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action’. He has a powerful model for inspirational leadership which starts with the famous ‘golden circle of motivation’. In the video he discusses the idea of leadership and how some leaders are better at inspiring than others. He points out the various success examples of the leaders in the world of business in this video.

#3. Derek Sivers: How to Start a Movement

Derek Sivers became an entrepreneur by accident in 1998 where he started selling CDs on his website ‘’. In his TED Talk, he explains that if a leader doesn’t believe in his idea then his followers will also not be able to trust it .If you really want to start a movement and bring a change, then you need to have the courage to follow that believe and lead others to it. “It’s the first follower that transforms the lone nut into a leader,” he says. Using the recording of a half-naked dancing man at the music festival, he emphasises that his easy-to-follow steps to begin a movement can be used in any situation.

#4. Amy Lockwood: Selling Condoms in the Congo

Amy Lockwood is a former ‘reformed marketer’ who now works in international development. She talks about how Congo is facing the problem of HIV where marketing about condoms was not effective in that area. There are 930,000 people infected with it, and even though the donor agencies provide condoms at lower rates, only 3% of adults actually use it. Her objective of speech was about the marketing fail of the donor agencies. It’s a useful message for marketers everywhere.

“If what we’re really trying to do is stop the spread of HIV, we need to think about the customer, the people whose behaviour needs to change . . . and whose lives depend on it,” she advised.

#5. Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From

Steven argues with the theme of how entrepreneurs credit their ideas to individual ‘eureka’ moments. According to him, a person cannot be a lone scientist, sitting alone and can brainstorm an idea. Instead, he believes that there should be an environment where a number of people can interact, discuss and improve each other’s idea.

#6. Stefan Sagmeister: The Power of Downtime

According to him, an average person spends 25 years of his life on learning, next 40 years of his life in working and then begins the retired life. He suggests pushing out the retirement age by five years and using them as a sabbatical in between the working years. This sabbatical helps us to get a better understanding in life so that we don’t have to wait till the retirement to do what we love. In every seven years, he closes up his shop goes on a sabbatical to rejuvenate himself so that he could be more fresh and productive after the sabbatical.

#7. Renny Gleeson: 404, the Story of a Page Not Found

No one likes to fall across a 404 error on the web. It makes us feel like you’ve felt through the cracks. In the video, Gleeson talks about how to utilize the opportunity that this page gives. His speech has created a feeling of positivity from a very negative page. His expressive words focus on how we can turn every situation into an opportunity. He says that “little things, done right, matter (and) well designed moments build brands.”

#8. Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

Cain is the author of ‘Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that won’t stop talking.’ In her talk, she argues that how in the culture of socialising and extrovertism, the society undervalues an introvert. According to her, introverts bring extraordinary talents to the world which should be encouraged and celebrated. Her TED Talk is still one of the most viewed TED talks of all the time.

#9. Gary Vaynerchuk: Building Personal Brand within the Social Media Landscape

The method Vaynerchuk uses to convince is inspiring to watch. He says that to be truly successful; you’ll have to love what you’re doing. You’ll never be satisfied if you work in an industry that you don’t care about or do the work that you actually don’t enjoy.

#10. Amy Cuddy: Empowering Through Body Language

Cuddy shares a powerful message of boosting your confidence. She believes that the change in our bodies can change our behaviour which could affect confidence right before an important presentation, interview or meetings.

According to Cuddy’s research, the act of faking body postures actually changes our hormone level. Through her empowering words, she concentrates on ‘power pose’ that makes you appear physically bigger – boosts up the confidence and can affect the testosterones which might impact our chances for success.

#11. Linda Hill: How to Manage for Collective Creativity

This is the perfect TED talk if you’re trying to maximise the creative potential and productivity of your team. She comes up with a simple set of tools and strategies in her TED talk, which any entrepreneur can use to come up with great new ideas from their entire team and motivating the employees to move forward. Hill explains in her best way that how creative thinking and abstract problem-solving are one of the most important features of any company and can be incorporated into their culture.

#12. Navi Radjou: Creative Problem-Solving in the Face of Extreme Limits

Navi Radjou’s examples in his talk are directly applied to the third-world countries that have only limited resources. He encourages the entrepreneurs to work with limited capital, resource and time. It might seem difficult and challenging in the beginning, but would drive a great degree of innovation.

If you haven’t seen these TED Talks, add these to your list right now. The insights and inspiration you get from such talks will help most likely help you yo open to new ideas and experiences.

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