How to sound smart in your TEDx Talk | Will Stephen | TEDxNewYork

How to sound smart in your TEDx Talk | Will Stephen | TEDxNewYork

Translator: Gustavo Rocha
Reviewer: Ariana Bleau Lugo Hear that? That’s nothing. Which is what I, as a speaker
at today’s conference, have for you all. I have nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zippo. Nothing smart. Nothing inspirational. Nothing even remotely researched at all. I have absolutely
nothing to say whatsoever. And yet, through my manner of speaking,
I will make it seem like I do. Like what I am saying is brilliant. And maybe, just maybe, you will feel
like you’ve learned something. Now, I’m going to get started
with the opening. I’m going to make
a lot of hand gestures. I’m going to do this with my right hand,
I’m going to do this with my left. I’m going to adjust my glasses. And then I’m going to ask you all
a question. By a show of hands, how many of you all
have been asked a question before? (Laughter) Okay, great, I’m seeing some hands. And again, I have nothing here. Now, I’m gonna react to that and act like I’m telling you
a personal anecdote. Something to break the tension. Something to endear myself a little bit. Something kind of embarrassing. And you guys
are going to make an “aw” sound. It’s true. It really happened. (Laughter) And now I’m going to bring it
to a broader point. I’m going to really beckon. I’m going to make it intellectual. I’m going to bring it to this man
right here. Now, what this man did
was important, I’m sure. (Laughter) But I, for one,
have no idea who he is. I simply googled image
the word “Scientist.” (Laughter) And now you see, I’d like it to seem
like I’m making points, building an argument, inspiring you to change your life,
when in reality, this is just me… buying… time… Now, if you don’t believe me,
let’s take a look at the numbers. This is a real thing
that’s happening right now. The number of talks
that I’m giving is one. Interesting facts imparted
thus far in said talk, well, that’s going to be a zero. My height in inches is 70.5.
Note the .5 there. 2×6 equals 12. And then interestingly enough
6×2 also equals 12. That’s math. 352 is a three-digit number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and then almost immediately
following that we get 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Now, to add more filler here, I’m going to give you
a couple more number to consider, uh … 18. 237. 5,601. 2.6 million. Four. Four. 24. Staggering! (Laughter) These are real numbers, all of them. And to follow that up,
let’s take a look at some graphs. Now, if you take a look at this pie chart,
what you’re going to see is that the majority
far exceeds the minority. Everybody see that? Cool, isn’t it? And let’s take a look at this bar graph, ’cause it shows similarly irrelevant data. Now, I’m doing this because
I’d like to make it seem like I’ve done my homework. If you were, say, watching this
on YouTube with the sound off, you might think, “Ah, okay.
This guy knows what he’s talking about.” But I don’t. I’m floundering, panicking.
I’ve got nothing. I’m a total and utter phony. But you know what? I was offered a TED Talk. And dammit, I’m gonna see it through. (Laughter) Now, if you take a look behind me, these are just words paired with
vaguely thought-provoking stock photos. I’m going to point at them like I’m making use
both of my time as well as your time. But in reality, I don’t know
what half of them mean. And now, as these continue,
I’m just going to start saying gibberish. Wagga wah, gabba gabba. Turkey, mouth and a mouth. Chip, trip, my dog Skip. Rip it and dip it, Richard. I’m an itty-bitty baby bopper. And I’m hungry in my tum tum. Brad Pitt, Uma Thurman. Names, things. Words, words and more things. And see? It feels like it might
make sense, doesn’t it? Like maybe, just maybe, I’m building to some sort of
satisfying conclusion, I mean, I’m gesticulating as though I am. I’m pacing, I’m growing in intensity, I’m taking off my glasses,
which by the way, are just frames. (Laughter) I wore them to look smart, even though my vision is perfect. And now I’m going to slow things down
a little bit. I’m going to change the tone. I’m going to make it seem
like I’m building to a moment. And what if I was? (Laughter) Amazing, isn’t it? What can we do? Life’s a roller coaster. You know, if there’s one thing
you’d take away from my talk, I’d like you to think about
what you heard at the beginning, and I’d like you to think
about what you hear now. Because it was nothing and it’s still nothing, think about that. Or don’t, that’s fine. And now I’m going to stop talking. Thank you. (Applause)


  1. Even though he said absolutly nothing… I was still interested
    I wanted to see what other random stuff he could come up with to fill time
    Was not dissapointed

  2. I'm just commenting here to make it seem like I've got something to say, even though I don't.

    I'm writing multible sentences and paragraphs for you to think what I'm saying makes some kind of sense or has any meaning at all.
    That way, I end up capturing your attention with absolutely nothing and nothing at all.

    Notice how I'm streching my sentences to really unnessecary lengths just to make it seem like what I'm saying has that depth that can only exist in either extremely short statements or overly long, difficultly structured word complexes.

    I'm going to ask you a question now to keep your interest.
    I just decided against it and came to the conclusion that I could write another long sentence instead to lengthen my comment.

    I hope you have learned something through reading this.
    Thank you.

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  4. This is writing that essay off the top of your head and sounding so informative and attention grabbing that you passed

  5. ladies and gentlemen i give you an informative speech about how to give an informative speech when you are underinformed about the speech you are giving

  6. I struggle to give a speech 4 minutes long even when I have content to talk about. This man just stretched the word "Nothing" across 6 minutes.
    Do you give lessons?

  7. I would like to make a point here. This comment is for nothing at all. Utter nonsense is this comment.
    You don't have to read it.
    Thank you for the likes.
    I have 0 likes.
    Thank you for your support, and I just want to say that you all most likely gave me absolutely nothing.
    Now take a fine look at this other comment above mine.
    See anything particular about it?
    That's because there isnt.
    But when you look at the one above that one, what do you get?
    I dont know what you get because its probably not the same as mine.
    This is a new comment for me, but probably not for you.
    Seem strange?
    That's because it's not strange.
    I dont sound weird you do.
    Where did that statement come from you ask?
    Nowhere I just said it.
    Now if you think about it slower, you get the exact same conclusion
    Read this comment again.
    Notice anything differnt?
    Why should I stop asking questions.
    I know I'm repeating them, its cause there is nothing to talk about.
    You understand that right?
    Why did you keep reading this comment if you knew from the halfway mark there wasn't going to be any potential?
    You were curious I know.
    Because what if there was something at the end that could change your life?
    Well theres probably not.

  8. I actually learned a lot listening to this guy talk about nothing. Mainly I learned how empty most of these Ted talks are and how easily influenced most of us are which is actually sad. We are being manipulated since the beginning of civilisation as it seems, and we don't even know it.

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