Five topics to present about (without prep)

A good way to get to know someone is to ask what topics they could give a 30-minute presentation about without any prep. It’s a nice peek into someone’s professional and personal interests. Maybe there’s a match or it sparks an interest of yours – and then you’re off running away with a meaningful conversation.

I’ve been thinking about this question the last few days. Here are five things I’d present on:

  1. Travel
  2. Cryptocurrency
  3. Favorite food joints
  4. Seattle sports teams
  5. Formula One

I’ve got two things about this list.

My first thought is that I’d like to learn more about coffee and have that replace my favorite food joints (#3). Consider this a 2024 goal. As for why, I enjoyed partaking in cafe culture in different countries during my adventuring and it’s made me want to understand the drink more deeply. I also began drinking coffee more consistently so the synergies pair nicely. Let me read James Hoffman’s The World Atlas of Coffee and How to Make Good Coffee at Home as a starting point and go from there.

The second thought is a sense of regret my topics aren’t more niche, aren’t more interesting. Imagine if one of them was escape rooms, medieval antiques, nuclear energy, or cheese making. Or my personal favorite, a talk about conspiracy theories, how they start, how they spread, popular theories, etc. I think any of those would draw a larger audience. It’s not that my interests are bad. It’s just so… typical of my local crowd. I think it’s a part of running in the same social circles in the same areas doing the same things, and a reminder to venture out of our bubbles.

(And yes, I recognize coffee isn’t exactly a unique subject matter in our current day and age for that matter. But past that, I understand life is big and I hope to choose something a little more uncommon.)

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