It’s high time that I let out a rant here. Why does Mr. Groovy get to have all the fun? If he can use our website as his ranting platform, so can I. He says Robert Kiyosaki and Tony Robbins bug him? I’ll tell you who bug me—TEDx Talk presenters! There, I said it. Do you know there are THOUSANDS of them around the world with MILLIONS of views? Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is a presenter! Am I the only loser who hasn’t given a TEDx Talk?
Let me first clarify—TEDx Talks are local independently organized events, while TED Talks are the ones given at the annual TED Conference. Big difference. The price of a ticket to a TEDx Talk runs $75 to $100.
But let’s suppose you’re itching to see a real-deal TED Talk at the next annual conference. First, you must apply to attend TED2017 and get accepted before you may purchase a ticket. The next conference runs from April 24th to April 28th 2017 in Vancouver. Do you have $17,000 to fork over? Well don’t worry about it because you can’t even buy a ticket—it’s sold out! Can you please tell me who is paying the price of a car to go to a conference? Aside from the wealthy, elitists and tech giants? Do any regular folk go to this thing?
OK, let’s get back to the TEDx Talks, you know—the ones us “sorry people” may go to. There are thousands of TEDx Talks to choose from with topics that range from intellectually stimulating to downright stupid. Can you guess from which end of the spectrum I’ve found my favorite TEDx Talk? Here it is:
I sincerely attempted to be open-minded when I watched this video. I wanted to enjoy it and learn something. But right from the get-go the speaker said he had absolutely nothing—“nada, zip, zilch, zippo” to talk about and he was absolutely right. At least he had the good sense to make his presentation six minutes, not the standard twelve minutes. The entire thrust was about how to posture and sound brilliant giving a TEDx Talk—even if you have nothing to say.
Okay, I get it. It was a light-hearted parody presented to cap off a busy day of lectures at a TEDx New York gathering. But the video was just not funny. And the worst part was—when the camera panned the audience, people were laughing. They looked like idiots! They reminded me of the folks in the audience at Saturday Night Live who stare at the camera, smiling with their unspoken beggar’s dialogue—“Look at me. See where I am? I’m so cool. Don’t you wish you were here?” Give me a break.
But, I suppose I might be viewing the subject through gloom-colored glasses. Maybe I’m just a plain old pessimist. After all, I’m not very nice. Just look at how far I’ve [not] come from when I began my positivity challenge. So I decided to be more open-minded about TEDx and explored some other titles. And this is what I found:
The ten item wardrobe. (Penny can tell me how to put this together in five minutes, if I were the fashionable type. I don’t need to spend $75 to find out.)
Why city flags may be the worst designed thing you’ve never noticed. (If I’ve never noticed them, why the hell do I care?)
Social engineering – how to scam your way into anything. (Clearly not for someone like me who already flunked at becoming a better person.)
The agony of trying to unsubscribe. (Yes, AGONY. Have you ever agonized over this? I’ve never heard of this, aside from one hysterical subscriber Ramit Sethi talked about in an episode of James Altucher’s podcast.)
This is what happens when you reply to spam email. (Given by the same speaker as the one above. Maybe the organizers had a two-for-one special?)
What do you think when you look at me? (Do you really want to know? I don’t want to know this!)
After I came up with this list, a light-bulb went off in my head. Why can’t I give a TEDx Talk? If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s pretending to be just as brilliant as anyone else. Can’t I parlay talking about mundane topics into a retirement hobby? After all, Seinfeld was a TV show about nothing and it ran for 180 episodes. Am I not capable of talking about nothing for twelve minutes? I think I am.
Here, then, are some of my ideas for a TEDx Talk:
Feed a cat without it puking.
Spend $13,000 on a useless Master’s degree and you, too, can find a spouse.
Mrs. Groovy demonstrates how to dye your own hair for $5.95.
Hiking urban parks and trails without stepping in dog sh*t.
Basic acting and singing skills from a professional who never made it to Broadway.
Teach yourself how not to get car sick.
Learn how to deep fry pickles, green tomatoes, okra, hush puppies and mozzarella sticks.
The trick to programming a light timer in 5 minutes. (Eye glasses, flashlight, and toothpick optional.)
How not to capture a flock of lost ducklings in the dead of night. (Hint: chase them down a street toting a cardboard box yelling “Wait! Wait for me!”)
So what do you think? Would you pay $75 to see any of my TEDx Talks?
Are there any topics you feel qualified to teach in twelve minutes?