Live dangerously! It’s safer.

I was honored to speak at Ignite Boulder 11. For those unfamiliar with the format, Ignite is a national public speaking event where each speaker gets 5 minutes and 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Topics tend to be quite geeky and the audience can get quite harsh to people who fail to entertain, educate and inspire. Ignite Boulder is the largest Ignite in the world and I set a new personal record of speaking to around 1,400 people.

It was a fun event and I’ve got to give huge props to Andrew Hyde and all the organizers for pulling off such an incredible event. Chautauqua is a beautiful venue and the fact that 1,400 people would show up to a predominately-geek event is quite a testament to the community we have here in Boulder.

My title of my talk was Snakes and Staircases and the idea was to point out the disparity between the things that scare us and the things are actually dangerous. In general we tend to be scared of a lot of the wrong things. My goal was to make us to take a step back and reevaluate our fears to see which ones make sense and which ones don’t.

My slides are also available on Slideshare if you want them.

I borrowed a lot of my statistics from a bunch of various sources. If you’re interested in this topic, you might enjoy checking out some of these books:

One of the most challenging things about a 5 minute talk is figuring how to cut stuff out.  Here are a few other statistics that I find quite fascinating that didn’t make the cut:

  • 15 times more people die from disease than from accidents
  • 1% chance of dying in outer space (assuming you go)
  • 1 in 4 odds of dying from attempting to climb k2
  • 1/112,000,000 chances of being killed in a vending machine accident
  • 1/5,913,000 chances of being killed by lightning
  • 1/477,300 falling out of bed

Live dangerously!

  • Daniel Von Fange

    That was great!

  • Josh, I am absolutely sure that I have finally figured out that YOU are the most interesting man in the world in the Dos Equis commercials. As the commercial says: "He strongly abides by the motto: "Safety third." "

    That was a great talk. You killed it.

    • not sure i want to try and live up to that title, but thanks all the same. i'm about to email you. we need to get lunch soon.

  • I absolutely loved your presentation and remembered the line, "Public speaking never killed anyone," when I had to present at work to 20 professors last week. Thanks.

    • awesome! public speaking is nerve-racking for everyone. way to face your fears and go for it!

  • Loved you talk!

    • thanks andrew. this was my favorite ignite so far. thanks for all the work you put in to make it awesome.

  • Glenda Hyde

    Hey Josh,

    I face multiple Bambi’s daily on my commute, yet I’m still more concerned about those shark teeth. Not keen about snakes either. Love jumping in the deep end when it comes to risk, though. Not logical for a control freak… Your talk was really great. So glad I could be there. Loving living along with the rest of you Ignighters! Thanks for sharing.

    • thanks for the kind words. watch out for those killer deer! 🙂

  • wow! that was enlightening and entertaining!