The top 8 TED Talks you absolutely must watch

Having an ‘always learning’ philosophy will take you far.

Whether you’re principal, a sales agent, a property manager or a member of the support team, seeking out the views of those around you, and experts in other industries, will stand you in good stead for the future.

TED – which stands for technology, education and design – has updated it’s list of most popular TED Talks of all time and they cover everything from education to mindset, body language and personal and business growth.

They provide lessons in leadership, inspiring a team, building relationships, negotiating and preparing for the future.

We’ve broken down the top eight, most-watched TED Talks, with the must-know points and how you can apply them to real estate. You’re welcome!

1. Do schools kill creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson, author/educator

74.8 million views

Sir Ken Robinson died in 2020, but not before recording numerous TED Talks, including this one in 2006.

He discusses the importance of creativity in education and how the education system does not prioritise it enough. 

He argues that children have natural creative abilities that are often suppressed as they grow up and are educated in a system that values academic ability above all else. 

He also suggests that creativity should be given the same status as literacy in education and that we need to radically rethink our view of intelligence to better prepare children for an unpredictable future.

How it applies to real estate: There’s not only one way to do or learn to do something. Does the training you provide or undertake allow for creativity? Consider that some of your team may be ‘book smart’ while others learn better in a real-life situation.

On that note, collaboration is a key to real estate success, and you should seek to fill your team with those that possess skills that you do not to truly leverage the results of teamwork.

2. Your body language may shape who you are

Amy Cuddy, social psychologist

68 million views

In a nutshell: Amy Cuddy argues that nonverbal communication influences how you judge others and how you see yourself.

By adopting high-power poses for a few minutes, you can increase your feelings of power and change your behaviour, leading to more positive outcomes in your life. 

Ms Cuddy also emphasises that small changes can lead to big changes in life, and encourages you to fake it till you make it, particularly when you feel impostor syndrome or a lack of confidence creeping in.

“Our bodies change our minds, and our minds can change our behaviour, and our behaviour can change our outcomes,” she says.

How it applies to real estate: Positive body language can make or break a listing presentation and whether you secure a client or not. Adopting high-power poses could give you the boost you need to secure the listing. Being able to read vendors’ and buyers’ body language will also help you when to lean in to a conversation or deal and when to give space. Ultimately it will help you get deals done.

3. Inside the mind of a master procrastinator

Tim Urban, writer/blogger

66.7 million views

In a nutshell: A writer-blogger, Tim shares his experience as a master procrastinator in college.

He explains short-term procrastination can lead to stress, anxiety, and a sense of guilt, as people delay important tasks and responsibilities. 

This can result in subpar work and missed opportunities, leading to a cycle of putting things off and feeling overwhelmed when deadlines approach.

In the long-term, procrastination can prevent people from achieving their goals and dreams, leading to a sense of dissatisfaction with life and a feeling of regret over missed opportunities. 

“It’s not that they couldn’t achieve their dreams; it’s that they weren’t even able to start chasing them,” Tim says.

Tim emphasises the importance of being aware of what you’re procrastinating on and taking action to avoid long-term unhappiness and regrets. 

How it applies to real estate: Procrastination has the ability to negatively affect any profession. Effective time management is crucial in real estate – you need to juggle multiple clients and tasks. It’s also critical to be able to set goals, create a plan to achieve them and stay focused.

4. How great leaders inspire action 

Simon Sinek, leadership expert

61.7 million views

In a nutshell: Simon Sinek introduces the “golden circle” concept, which explains why some organisations and leaders are able to inspire while others aren’t. 

He argues that successful leaders think, act, and communicate differently than others, and that they all start with the “why” rather than the “what” or “how”. 

He uses examples such as Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers to illustrate his point, and explains that people are not inspired by what an organisation does, but by why it does it. 

Simon says that by communicating from the inside out and leading with a clear sense of purpose and belief, leaders can inspire loyalty and create long-lasting success.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” he says.

How it applies to real estate: Identifying ‘why’ you’re an agent can help you stand out and connect with clients that share your values. You can communicate your ‘why’ through your marketing, social media and in-person interactions. It can help you build trust and strengthen relationships. Leading with a purpose can also inspire your team.

5. The power of vulnerability

Brene Brown, vulnerability researcher/storyteller

61.3 million

In a nutshell: Brené Brown’s research on connection and shame has changed the way she lives, loves, works and parents. 

She highlights the importance of vulnerability in cultivating a sense of worthiness, love, and belonging, and explains how numbing vulnerability leads to the numbing of other emotions like joy and gratitude.

Brene reveals how people can learn to embrace vulnerability and live life more wholeheartedly. 

How it applies to real estate: Vulnerability, empathy and connection are important aspects of relationship building and can aid you in establishing connections with clients. The ability to connect with others quickly and understand their perspectives without judgement can also help you when negotiating.

6. How to speak so that people want to listen

Julian Treasure, sound consultant

54.4 million

In a nutshell: Julian Treasure says the human voice is the most powerful sound in the world, with both the ability to start wars and to say, “I love you”. 

He identifies seven habits to avoid when speaking, such as gossip and dogmatism, and suggests four powerful cornerstones for effective speech: honesty, authenticity, integrity, and love (HAIL). 

Julian also shares different tools to improve the way you speak, such as register and volume, and encourages you to create a world where you speak and listen consciously and design environments for sound, leading to understanding as the norm.

How it applies to real estate: You can apply the principles of HAIL when you speak with clients to build trust and credibility. When you’re in ‘selling mode’ you can use tools such as voice register and pace to emphasise a property’s features and benefits. 

7. My philosophy for a happy life

Sam Berns, activist

46.4 million views

In a nutshell: Sam Berns was born with a rare disease called Progeria, also known as Hutchinson-Gilford Syndrome, which causes children to age rapidly. He died at the age of 17 in 2014, but filmed his TED Talk in 2013.

Sam shares his philosophy for a happy life, which includes accepting limitations but focusing on what can be done, surrounding yourself with positive people, and keeping a forward-thinking mindset.

Sam believes that being brave is key to moving forward and that everyone can have a happy life regardless of their obstacles.

How it applies to real estate: Instead of getting bogged down by what you can’t do, focus on what you can do and change. This applies during times of a market shift or if you’ve lost a listing you thought you would secure. Find other ways to achieve your goals and collaborate with others.

Surround yourself with high-quality people, be they team members, clients or other agents and seek out mentors to inspire and challenge you. Adopt a forward-thinking mindset and seek to continuously learn and grow.

8. The next outbreak? We’re not ready.

Bill Gates, technologist/philanthropist

44.6 million views

In a nutshell: Filmed pre-Covid, in 2014, in this TED Talk Bill Gates argues that the world is not prepared for the next epidemic, which could be far more devastating than Ebola.

He highlights the lack of investment in a system to stop an epidemic and the missing pieces in the response to Ebola, such as a group of epidemiologists and medical teams. 

How it applies to real estate: The links here are, admittedly, much more tenuous, but one lesson that could apply to real estate is the need to be prepared for the unexpected – think changing interest rates, zoning laws or economic conditions. It’s important you’re ‘ready’ for change so you can lead your clients through it.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.


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