Back to Blog

The Best Motivational TED Talks for Sales


Do you search for videos on topics to help you with your business? When it comes to sales, TED Talks are an excellent resource for learning and inspiring. Whether it’s an in-depth dive talk on your favorite topic or a motivating pep-talk from an industry expert; you name it, there’s a TED talk for it.

We’ve previously outlined the foolproof framework to take your gym membership sales to the next level. Now here’s some more expert advice to inspire your sales strategy. Here are the 13 best motivational TED Talks for sales. Skip ahead to: 

1. Julian Treasure: How to Speak so That People Want to Listen?

Have you ever felt like you’re talking, but nobody is listening? In sales, this definitely won’t lead to a close. Julian Treasure is a sound expert who uses his knowledge to advise businesses on how to use sound effectively. He dives into the seven deadly sins of speaking that many are guilty of, and the four foundations for an effective, persuasive speech. 

“We speak not very well to people who simply aren’t listening in an environment that’s all about noise and bad acoustics. What would the world be like if we were speaking powerfully to people who were listening consciously in environments which were actually fit for purpose?”

2. Sheena Iyengar: How to Make Choosing Easier

As a salesperson, a huge part of your job is making your prospects’ choice process easy. We’ve touched upon this before in our guide for increasing your yoga studio income. With the example of pricing; It’s no coincidence that the most successful studios have the most straightforward models. Nobody wants to walk into a studio and see more price plans than types of classes on offer! The same applies to any sales pitch. Iyengar explains how businesses can improve the experience of choice.

“The key to getting the most from choice is to be choosy about choosing.”

3. Celeste Headlee: 10 Ways to Have Better Conversations

When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations. In her TED Talk, radio host Celeste Headlee talks about the importance of good conversational skills and highlights ten essential elements that make for fulfilling conversation – with a focus on listening.

“Go out, talk to people, listen to people. And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

4. Giovanni Corazza: Creative Thinking — How to Get out of the Box and Generate Ideas

Giovanni Corazza is a full-time professor at the Alma Mater Studiorum at the University of Bologna, a member of the Executive Council, and the founder of the Marconi Institute of Creativity. He teaches science and the applications of creative thinking. This talk explores the idea of practicing out of the box thinking and provides tips for applying it to everyday life. The discussion is excellent for bringing a fresh perspective and perfect for a salesperson who’s in a creative rut.

“If we want to go out of the box, we need to add something more. A little spice. Something which goes beyond the convergent information. We need a little divergent information to cross the borders within our minds from what we know to what we haven’t yet thought about”.

5. Eddie Obeng: Smart Failure for a Fast-Changing World

According to business educator Eddie Obeng, the world as we know it is constantly changing, and much more rapidly than people realize. The knock-on effect is a rapid transformation in the world of business, including the way we sell. In this energetic talk, he calls for a stronger culture of ‘smart failure’ and discusses three crucial changes we need to understand for better productivity. 

“If you do something no one’s ever done before and get it completely wrong, how should you be treated? You should be treated better than the people who succeed. It’s called smart failure. Why? Because you can’t put it on your C.V.”

6. Steve Harrison: How to Sell Without Selling Your Soul

In this light-hearted, insightful talk, marketing professional Steve Harrison explains how to persuade more people to say “yes” to what you offer without feeling as if you’re a pushy salesperson. Harrison redefines what it really means to sell and reveals a straightforward four-step method for unleashing your potential to serve others so you can be more confident, comfortable, and convincing. 

“Everyone has doors that if you knock on those doors, they can open. But most of us never knock because we’re scared. Those doors could bring you sales they could bring you funding, advice connections, publicity, but you don’t knock on them, and do you know why? I’m convinced it’s because we have a giant misconception of what it means to sell”. 

7. Ernesto Sirolli: Want to Help Someone? Shut up and Listen! 

This is a fantastic TED Talk that’s particularly relevant to a fitness business or any service-based business for that matter. As a fitness business owner, you know the importance of listening to your clients – if you don’t listen, how do you know what they want? If you don’t know what they want, how can you help them meet their goals? How can you sell them your services, if you’re not delivering exceptional customer service in the first place?

The Top 10 Barriers
Slowing Your Fitness
Business Growth

Discover more

“The most important thing is passion. You can give somebody an idea. If that person doesn’t want to do it, what are you going to do? The passion that the person has for her own growth is the most important thing. The passion that that man has for his own personal growth is the most important thing. And then we help them to go and find the knowledge because nobody in the world can succeed alone. The person with the idea may not have the knowledge, but the knowledge is available”.

8. Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend

If you work in sales, you’re likely no stranger to stress. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal believes stress is not the enemy and encourages people to see it as positive and to reach out to others for stress reduction. In this mind over matter talk, McGonigal explains that you can change your body’s response to stress by changing your mind about it. By acknowledging your usual signs of stress as an energized feeling, you’ll be better prepared for whatever challenge comes your way. 

“When you choose to view stress in this way, you’re not just getting better at stress. You’re actually making a pretty profound statement. You’re saying that you can trust yourself to handle life’s challenges. And you’re remembering that you don’t have to face them alone”.

9. Richard ST. John: 8 Secrets of Success

This speedy talk is just 3 minutes long and is a must-watch for anyone in sales. The timeframe makes it an excellent go-to as part of an induction for new joiners. As outlined in the four pillars of fitness business success, providing a simple experience for your team is essential. Make this TED Talk part of your sales playbook to inspire and motivate your sales team.

Richard St. John is a self-described ‘average guy’ who spent over a decade researching the lessons of success. Through interviewing hundreds of successful people, he boiled success down to these eight secrets, which are especially relevant to any fitness business.

“A lot of kids want to be millionaires. The first thing I say is: ‘OK, well you can’t serve yourself; you’ve got to serve others something of value. Because that’s the way people really get rich’.” 

10. Rachel Botsman: We’ve Stopped Trusting Institutions and Started Trusting Strangers

If a prospect doesn’t trust you, why would they buy from you? While we used to place our trust in institutions like governments and banks, today, we increasingly rely on others. Researcher Rachel Botsman dives into trust in our modern world and how we can make the most of it. This new era of trust could bring a more transparent and inclusive society – and help you close more deals. 

“To take a chance on that someone or something unknown, you need a force to pull you over the gap, and that remarkable force is trust.”

11. Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit. The Power of Passion and Perseverance

For any audience, this talk is a guaranteed dose of inspiration. Angela Lee Duckworth took up a teaching job in New York after leaving a high-flying career in consulting. The talk uses her teaching experience to explain the key to success, as Duckworth quickly realized that IQ was not the only factor in distinguishing successful students from the failing ones. For sales professionals, success is not a question of what you know, but how you say what you know and how you communicate your services with a prospect.

“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals, grit is having stamina, grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint”.

12. Lera Boroditsky: How Language Shapes the Way We Think

In sales, your most powerful tool is persuasion, and this all comes down to the way you speak to a prospect. Lera Brooditsky is a cognitive scientist who, in this talk, highlights how different vocabularies, sounds, and structures shape the way we think and act.  

“Languages are living things. Things that we can hone and change to suit our needs.”

13. Jack Vincent: A Sale Is a Love Affair

From sparking interest, asking questions, listening, and problem-solving, Jack Vincent draws upon the parallels of romance and sales. He believes that the primary element of a sale is trust, as sales is all about relationship-building. A new prospect always presents a unique opportunity for a salesperson to learn and grow; every prospect is different. 

Vincent highlights that you have to treat every business deal like a romance, with courting and to establish a mutual understanding. Using humor and drawing from personal experience, Jack details how every good sale follows the ‘rules of romance.’

“Customers know you want to get them to love you. But what they really want is for you to love them”.

Table of contents

Table of content

We empower you to boost your business

"I think Glofox speaks to lots of different fitness businesses. I looked at a few options, but the Glofox positioning was more flexible. Without it the business wouldn't be scaleable”
Mehdi Elaichouni
Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

Trusted by studios, and global gym chains.

  • flydown-9round
  • flydown-f45
  • flydown-snap-fitness
  • flydown-BMF
  • row-house
  • flydown-spartans