As the new semester begins we will be introducing our 2017-2018 team through their favorite TED Talks. Next up is Madison, a Senior at Allendale Columbia School. If you have a great memory you will notice that David and Madison chose the same video.
I chose my TED talk Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator by Tim Urban for several reasons. I wanted to showcase a Ted Talk that encompassed the following themes: reliability, humor, and most importantly a solution. Personally, when I was searching for a TED talk I looked for these factors because I wanted to learn something, but I also wanted to be entertained. I could absolutely relate to Tim Urban’s presentation, because I myself have struggled with procrastination and time management along with all the people laughing knowingly in the audience. That reliability factor includes the audience in a discussion rather than separating what the speaker knows from what the viewer knows. This type of public speaking is more inclusive than that of a lecture experience. To entertain the audience Urban used self depreciation, playful humor, and a very amusing slideshow to explain the process of procrastinating. I find that these rhetorical strategies help to alleviate boredom when watching a public speaker. He does, however, connect playfulness with a more serious tone towards the end, explaining that poor time management is an epidemic that affects everyone. Then finally he presents a solution, something the audience can take home with them when they leave the TEDx event; that’s important. When people walk away from a TEDx event they should leave with something they didn’t have initially. Maybe it’s a new way of thinking, an idea, or a prospective. There were aspects of Urban’s speech that he could have improved upon, such as being more concise or more organized, but I chose this TED talk, more than anything else, because of the ending. Urban’s most compelling argument at the end of his talk was that time is valuable yet it is often wasted. He showed a lifespan of 90 years using small boxes to represent one week in that timeline. Many of those boxes, he explained, have already been used. Then he proposed a question to the audience: what are we going to do with the rest? That final point emphasized the idea that time to act is now.