London Ignite 4 - Pretending to be an expert with Ryan O'Connell

The video went up of my talk at O’Reilly’s London Ignite 4. I announced earlier that I would be presenting on Pretending to be an Expert. And while it went very well, I get the sense that some people were hoping for a how to. Which will surely come soon. I’ll do a tutorial on how to sound like a total wine snob. But for now, here is the video dramatization of my personal journey through wine expertise and wine ignorance.

For those who don’t know, this is a terrifying format in which you only have five minutes and your slides automatically advance every 15 seconds (so you gotta be fast, planned and effective).

Pretending to be an expert – by Ryan O’Connell from chichard41 on Vimeo.

I should mention here that there are lots of experts who actually are talented and knowledgable and so on. But most of them are confident enough in their own expertise not to be troubled by a silly ignite talk by little old Ryan anyway.

After talking to my parents, I realized I should also explain what the hell a lolcat is. Lulcatz are an Internet meme (trend) that involve photoshopping awful spelling and grammar onto adorable pictures of kittens. If that doesn’t make sense to you immediately, then don’t bother trying to understand. You never will. It’s just silly and the most base sense of Internet humor. In a way, the symbolic opposite of expertise.

I encourage you to check out other videos from London Ignite 4 on the dedicated vimeo channel.

PS – I’m sort of bummed that you can’t hear people laughing. Trust me, they were enjoying themselves. It’s the kind of crowd that really digs lolcats!

Looks like I’ll be doing my first Ignite talk this February in London.  Ignite talks are five minute powerpoint presentations where the slides auto-advance every 15 seconds.  It’s a terrifying speech format and I’m really looking forward to it.

Additionally, one of my all time favorite Ignite presenters, Tom Scott, is going to be there doing his own presentation.  He has one of the most watched Ignite presentation of all time on YouTube in which he tells the compelling story of a flash mob that could be.  The way the video is cut, it’s not totally clear that this is fiction.. it is.  But it could be reality.  That makes the presentation that much more powerful.

Anyway, I’ll be talking about expertise and how sometimes you have to admit to knowing nothing before people recognize you as an expert.  I hope people like it!!

How to find us

Domaine O’Vineyards, located in the North Arrondissement of Carcassonne, is just minutes from the Carcassonne train station, the Medieval City, and the Carcassonne Airport.
GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387

Wine, Dine, Relax at our Boutique Vineyard
Unique thing to do in Carcassonne
Wine Cellar. Winery Visits. Wine Tasting.
Wine & Food Pairing

North Arrondissement of Carcassonne
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910

  1. Best by GPS.
    Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou using the D118. At the end of the last straight part of D118, you will come to a roundabout with the Dyneff gas station.
  2. Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
  3. Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
  4. At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
  5. After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.