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Marketing Agency Exposed Podcast

Apr 6, 2022


Have you ever wondered what goes into preparing for and giving a TED Talk? Being able to give talks on big stages can be a game changer for your agency. On this week’s episode, we dive into Bob’s TED Talk, “From Ambiguous Loss to Tragic Optimism, Journeying Through Our Collective Loss Together”. He breaks down the process of applying, writing, memorizing, and giving a TED Talk on this week’s episode. 



On today’s special episode, Bob gives us an inside perspective on giving a TED Talk. He walks us through all of the steps he went through to apply, and talks about his experiences that inspired his talk. Bob also discusses some of the challenges he faced such as memorization and technological issues while giving his talk. He dives deep into the content of his talk, “From Ambiguous Loss to Tragic Optimism, Journeying Through Our Collective Loss Together” and discusses his positive experience with his TED Talk coach. Keep an ear out for Bob’s inspiring and exciting TED Talk!


Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode: 

  • You are not alone. One of the sole purposes and themes of Bob’s TED Talk was that you are not alone. Everyone in the world is going through different degrees of collective loss due to the events over the past few years. Loss isn’t something to be ashamed of, it’s something to learn to accept and to grow from.  “The purpose of my talk was to let people know that they're not alone.”
  • Communicate, don’t isolate. While you may think that your struggles are insignificant or are embarrassed about them, communication is key to maintaining a healthy mindset for your personal health, as well as your business’s. Having a community, or even one person, who understands what you’re dealing with can help you feel connected and hopeful.   “Isolation is the worst thing that you can do.”
  • Tragic Optimism will always come. Everyone has heard of the 5 stages of grief: denial/isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Going through any and all loss is a challenging process. As this process progresses, tragic optimism will finally be experienced. Look for meaning in your struggles, and that’s where tragic optimism can be found. “It's the search for meaning amidst the inevitable tragedies of human existence.”

For more tips, discussion, and behind the scenes:


About The Guys: 

Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from from 2000 -2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob: 

Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:

Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken: 

Show Notes:

[1:32] Brad opens this week’s episode with a discussion about Bob’s TEDx talk.

[2:23] Bob talks about the title of his TEDx Talk and his experience while giving it. “My title was ‘from ambiguous loss to tragic optimism journeying through our collective loss together’.”

[6:42] Ken asks, “Can we talk about the mechanics of the TEDx Talk? So you got a coach, what was that like?”

[7:57] Bob talks about his great experience with his coach and what attributes he believes make a good coach. “It's less about, like telling you how to do things and more of a support. Someone to be there to, to bounce things off of, and then to guide you along the way.”

[12:24] Bob dives into his TEDx Talk and explains what ambiguous loss is. “There's this phrase called ambiguous loss. There's a psychologist named Pauline Bosch, who coined it back in the 70s. It's the concept of, the feelings of stress and anxiety around either having a physical absence with a psychological presence, or having a physical presence with a psychological absence.”

[18:30] Bob talks about another concept in his TEDx Talk, tragic optimism. “It's the search for meaning amidst the inevitable tragedies of human existence.”

[19:43] Bob discusses tragic optimism in depth and the relationship between ambiguous loss and tragic optimism. He also talks about how the true meaning of life comes from struggles and losses and how there’s no shame in experiencing ambiguous loss. “There's this organic connection between ambiguous loss to tragic optimism. You can't have one without the other. True meaning in life comes from these deep struggles in these hard times.”

[25:22] Ken talks about how character is built from struggles.

[26:06] Bob discusses the challenging experiences that inspired this TEDx Talk.

[28:17] Bob says, “the purpose of my talk was to let people know that they're not alone.”

[30:26] Brad asks Bob when his recorded talk will be available to the public.

[32:44] Bob talks about the ‘mental castle’ concept for learning and memorization and how he applied it to memorize his talk.

[35:20] Bob closes this episode by saying that the guys will let the listeners know when his talk is released. “Hopefully, people got something out of it. And when it releases, we'll let you know. Just keep an eye out for it.”