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8 inspirational TED talks for hospitality students

Posted by Kevin Nelson on Mar 20, 2018 8:41:00 AM

Sometimes for hospitality students it can be hard to see the end outcome of their studies - anything from foreseeing their job prospects after graduating, to completing assignments.

However, sometimes they just need a spark of inspiration and motivation boost to see that being in the hospitality industry can in fact be rewarding.

TED talks can be a good resource for finding useful advice, knowledge and insights about almost anything, from people of all walks of life. Here are seven inspirational TED talks you should encourage your hospitality students to watch.



1. Drew Dudley - Everyday leadership

In this TED talk, leadership speaker, Drew Dudley, argues that every person regardless of their position in society can positively affect the people that are around them. He firmly believes that every small act of kindness you share with others  can literally change their world.

As hospitality is based on acts of kindness, hospitality students can definitely benefit from this talk. It can motivate and inspire them to learn how to perform acts of kindness to everyone they interact with in their professional lives and their personal lives. 



2. Jan Gunnarsson- Hostmanship - The art of making people feel welcome

According to hospitality expert, Jan Gunnarsson, the industry revolves around giving, which he has drawn from in his 25+ years experience in the Swedish hospitality industry.

His talk focuses on customer service which is a crucial skill that all hospitality students will need to learn and apply in their career. For example, when a customer approaches hospitality staff, how should staff then treat the customer in this instance?

Here, he believes approached staff should treat the customer as an extension of the hospitality team itself. When the guest makes a query to you, it means that they consider you the right person to manage their needs in comparison to other staff.

Therefore, all staff should embrace the opportunity to help them in all respects, and keep their best interests in mind.



3. Kio Stark - Why you should talk to strangers

The majority of hospitality workers meet new people almost daily. If you are unable to mingle with strangers or at least strike some small talk with them, it can be hard to connect with your customers and provide better service.

So as a student, it’s good to learn the art of making conversation with strangers. Author, Kio Stark, covers this topic in her talk, commenting that when you talk to a stranger, you are in essence making a beautiful interruption into the normal narrative of your daily life and a stranger’s life.

The talk can only be described as delightful. It is a must-see for all hospitality students because it encourages them to step out of their comfort zones and to connect with others. The benefit is that these spontaneous interactions will help build self-confidence and their communication skills. 



4. Angela Lee-Grit - The power of passion and perseverance

Students join college with high career prospects. However, the tide can change when they enter the working force. It can become hard to handle, or perhaps they lose interest; then prompting them to change careers.

It is estimated that every 2.5 seconds, there is a new job opportunity in the hospitality industry. However, even after changing careers, the newfound career has its fair share of challenges.

This was the story of psychologist and author, Angela Lee Duckworth. She emphasizes that doing well in life might not depend much on the ability to learn quickly and easily.

She endorses the cultivation of grit; which encompasses passion and perseverance, something that hospitality students will need not just for their careers, but for their personal success and growth. 



5. Thomas Keller - The reach of a restaurant 

Celebrity chef, Thomas Keller, gives an impressive talk on restaurants and their wonderful experience. He owns eight restaurants and two bakeries across the United States, thus giving him first-hand experience and expertise on the ins and outs of how restaurants work. 

In this talk, he gives a break down on the restaurant experience and how connectivity and relationships apply in them.

Hospitality students can gain a lot from his sentiments on training, skills building and cultivating the drive to be successful. Most importantly, they can learn that they are the drivers of their success in their hospitality career.




6. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - The danger of a single story

Hospitality students can find inspiration to develop the power of perspective with this talk by Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngzoi Adichie. The key is to be aware of current events and to avoid being ignorant of what’s happening in the world around them.

Students can learn that everyone has different circumstances, opportunities, and amenities at their disposal. Here, students can learn to relate and connect things to each other.


7. Dan Pink - The puzzle of motivation

Motivation is an important factor in any career or life move. Every industry leader is hell-bent on ensuring that people always stay motivated in the course of their duties. In fact, about 86% of organizations have a motivation scheme in place for their employees.

In this talk, speechwriter, Dan Pink, explains the need for motivation. From this talk hospitality students can learn to develop habits that can build and sustain their motivation levels.

Dan Pink gives an intriguing revelation that the secret to achieving high performance is the unseen intrinsic drive that people possess.

Like many other resources, TED talks are definitely a good resource when students are in need of inspiration or some spark. Recommend some of these when they need a nudge in the right direction.



8. Anna Dolce - Service isn't same as hospitality

Good service is no longer good enough in an increasingly competitive business environment. Anna Dolce shares the difference between the two, and why hospitality is a critical component of not only your future business success but also in making the world a better place.

Anna Dolce traded her Miss Georgia (Europe) crown and national fame for a $40 shot at the American Dream. After getting her start in the restaurant industry, Anna observed that often the biggest missing piece in hospitality industry is in fact, the hospitality.

Today, leveraging her background in entertainment, hospitality and entrepreneurship Anna coaches celebrities, elite athletes and entrepreneurs on how to live a life on their own terms. 

Typsy online hospitality training and learning platform at typsy.com

Find more inspiration with our Typsy Mentor Sessions, where we interview hospitality experts and leaders. Watch now! 


Kevin Nelson.png Kevin Nelson is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for eliteessaywriters.com, writing on higher education, entertainment, social media and blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter and Linkedin


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Topics: Hospitality career tips, Hospitality insights, Schools