My Highly Embarrassing Live-streamed TEDx Meltdown

Yesterday I experienced every Speaker’s nightmare…  I died on stage.

Not just at any event either, in front of an audience of 1700 at the TEDxSalford event at The Lowry Theatre in Salford, as well as goodness knows how many more via the global livestream!

This should not happen to me, I’ve delivered over 300 talks, I should know better.

I could feel 5 minutes in I was not connecting with the audience; there was no energy build in the room; I felt myself switching from passion for the material into fear of looking stupid.  And as a result, ‘energetically collapsed’.

There was much horrible criticism via the TedxSalford Twitter timeline when I looked later (the modern way of crucifying someone) and instead of sticking around for the rest of the morning I decided just to ‘leave the building’ and get back to the safety of my home!  I experienced that ‘small space’ of fear, failure, humiliation.

Yet in every experience there are ALWAYS learnings.  Here was mine…

I have become spoiled in that most of my audiences are rarified (people typically pay to see ME) and so I attract people who totally ‘get’ the power of Higher Consciousness.  When you are playing to a ‘home crowd’ in this way, you can use the power of the audience’s energy and love to feed and empower your presentation.  The audience at TEDx is much more mainstream, many were University students who have gone through the ‘3rd dimensional training’ of filtering everything through logic and reason (and thus many default to cynicism/resentment/mockery at the mention magic, energy and ‘God’).

What is clear is that I (and other lightworkers like me, many of whom are assembling as part of my latest business project ), need to find a way to enable the masses to ‘get’ the power of the Fourth Dimension.  To make it palatable, and to get it past the filters of ‘woo woo’ hippy shit.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

Arthur C. Clarke, “Profiles of The Future”, 1961 (Clarke’s third law) 

For it is this move from cynicism and criticism to tolerance and respect; a move to the higher vibration of pure unconditional love, that is essential for us to achieve transformation upon our Planet.

This was the gift from Spirit hidden in the humiliation of the public meltdown experience of this talk.

I’ve recorded the original speech + PPT in this video – in it’s entirety (I knew when I was on stage that delivering the central chunk about channelling from light beings would have been speaker suicide at TEDx and so spontaneously decided to cut it  !) – if you would like to listen to it and form your own opinion:

Rachel Elnaugh Higher Consciousness Business Creation TEDxSalford Talk Uncut from Rachel Elnaugh on Vimeo.

All feedback is hugely welcome.

With love and in gratitude,

Rachel x

PS My business partner Kevin Stein (mentioned in the talk and in the video above) – who is also a horary astrologer – pointed out that the timing of my speech was peculiar in that Mercury was standing still in the heavens on the day it was moving from Retrograde back into Direct motion.  Perfect symbolism when you think about it, given that Mercury is the planet of communication and the speech was all about accessing Divine Guidance through stillness.  Clearly there was powerful communication happening yesterday, quite apart from what was or was not said on stage. 



13 thoughts on “My Highly Embarrassing Live-streamed TEDx Meltdown

  1. Rachel, I thought your talk was brilliant. Lovely to hear the bits about the ease of Source TV and the Goddess Lakshmi Prosperity Mantra. Loved it.

  2. Ah dear Rachel!!

    What comes to mind is something that happened to the Buddha just after he was Enlightened. Reeling from the power and subtlety of his experience, he proclaimed it would be impossible to convey the radical wisdom he now understood to the masses.

    Whereupon a spirit from a magical realm appeared before the Buddha and pointed to the lotus pool before them. The spirit explained that some lotuses are buried deeply in the mud at the bottom of the pool, some semi-submerged, some just breaking the surface of the water – buds tightly folded – and some were blooming and opening under the sunshine.

    And so it is with humanity, some are buried deeply in the mud, and others are open and blossoming in the sun – all at different stages of unfoldment and enlightenment.

    Changing the metaphor the spirit continued, “Teach those with little dust on their eyes”

    And so the Buddha began teaching those who were the most receptive to his new wisdom, his former spiritual companions. And one of them got it and became Enlightened on the spot and went on to teach others and so on. And now Buddhism is a major world religion.

    There are MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people worldwide “with little dust on their eyes” who are ready to embrace Source TV’s radical message of love and wisdom. Let’s concentrate on them!!!

    Maggie x

  3. And I totally understand why you spontaneously dropped the central section on channeling guidance (although it is actually the central power of the whole piece and brought tears to my eyes hearing it again – just as it did when you read it to me at our inner wisdom retreat). I guess some things in some contexts are meant to remain esoteric!!

  4. Hello Rachel,

    I was wary of giving feedback as I didn’t want to be considered to be insulting or “trolling”, but as you have requested feedback on your TEDx presentation, here are my thoughts on that, and the blog post above. And a suggestion at the end. A polite one, don’t worry!

    (Hopefully this won’t exceed any post limit on your blog and cut off part way through)

    Here we go…

    It’s good to challenge peoples’ beliefs; their thoughts, opinions and interests. It’s a positive thing to make people think in a way they haven’t necessarily thought before. This was more than challenging though. I found it incredibly unsettling, and it made me feel extremely uneasy, in addition to being absolutely and *genuinely* concerned about your psychological wellbeing. I apologise if this sounds blunt, but it’s the best way I can come to describing it.

    Your comment above about TEDx attendees going through “3 Dimensional training” and the “mainstream” audience doesn’t sit right with me. TED/TEDx fans, supporters (call them what you will) are generally open to new ideas. I watch the TED videos, and went to my first TEDx event in Salford yesterday to expand my knowledge and find out new exciting projects and discoveries. This is why the organisation exists. “Mainstream” suggests mundane weekend primetime TV, spewing out unimaginative derivative audiovisual blandness. Yesterday, we saw people talk about immortality, travelling the world without flying, mathematics, sculpture from cars and many other topics. Hardly something people encounter on a daily basis. To dismiss it as “mainstream” is not only inaccurate, but condescending. The “3 Dimensional” line just grates with me because my logical side (why is logic and reason a negative thing, by the way?) considers the X, Y and Z axis along with the 4th dimension of time. But that’s going off on a tangent a bit.

    Yes, I do have a cynical side, but I regularly meditate. Whilst I don’t consider myself to be a religious person, various meditation practises have made me familiar with some of the fundamentals of Buddhism. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, but I can understand the reasoning behind them and am interested in reading peoples’ thoughts about them. Meditation helps to ground the mind, to be reflective and considerate. In your presentation yesterday, I was utterly bewildered. It appeared to clumsily jump from topic to topic, haphazardly attempting to mash together various bits from all religions, justify various opinions and thoughts, and there was just no way I could fathom being able to relate to them on any level.

    I don’t subscribe to the Dawkins-esque approach of belittling those with religious or spiritual beliefs. I have spoken to people from various faiths, I’ve watched various videos, TV shows, read several articles and books on various topics, but 24 hours after your talk, I’m still no closer to understanding what you were trying to say.

    For everyone who claims to have succeeded in using spiritual teachings to succeed in business, many more have failed. We just don’t hear about those ones. I could claim that the money appearing in your account wasn’t due to a higher experience, it could have been due to coincidence, luck and/or the fact your previous experience highlighted you as a successful businesswoman.

    Putting on my “cynical” hat, I could suggest that the retreat you mentioned at the start was created by someone who saw the opportunity to exploit desperate businesspeople with pseudo-spiritual ramblings.

    My preconceptions were challenged yesterday. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to enjoy Quinton Fortune’s talk, as I’m not a football fan. I wasn’t sure that I’d be interested in what Graham Hughes had to say. I wasn’t familiar with Joanne Harris so didn’t have any great interest in her talk. However, I immensely and thoroughly enjoyed all they had to say. In fact, Quinton’s and Graham’s talks were probably the talks I enjoyed the most.

    There was a genuine bewilderment in the audience during your talk yesterday, and if you really *had* performed in front of a “mainstream” audience, I think you would have been eaten alive. You were given the chance to perform in front of an open minded and inquisitive audience instead of people who already agree with you, and it sadly didn’t work.

    So, criticisms aside, here are some suggestions:

    Maybe future presentations to audiences outside of your comfort zone could be handled differently. Acknowledge the possibility that some of the concepts might be considered a bit “out there” by most people. Mention what happened at TEDxSalford. A lot of people are more receptive to those who are willing to admit they don’t know everything. You can be self-deprecating without disrespecting your opinions and beliefs. Make it a challenge to find people to possibly at least see where you’re coming from, and not appear like you’re dictating the truths.

    My final point is this:

    If you go out of your way to prove how different you are, don’t be surprised when people point out how different you are.

  5. I don’t think you died, listening to that. I just think the place was probably full of cynics, as in life everywhere. You made sense to those who wanted to listen, I’m sure. A dear friend of mine, Belinda, died of cancer this week. She was a healer, into neurolinguistics and other such things. I was incredibly sceptical and probably openly mocking of what she did for years, but she never gave up trying to explain things to me. Having joined your spiral, I see more than ever where she was coming from, and she was always very interested in the spiral when I spoke to her about it. These are just my rambling thoughts, but an example of a very sceptical person, me, who has come round to a different ways of thinking! (And to be honest, what’s twitter…? Who really cares!)

  6. Dear Rachel,

    What an amazing woman you are, not least for sharing so transparently and courageously. You are authentic and inspiring.

    I haven’t done a TEDx talk or anything close but I can totally relate to the essence of your experience. My heart wants to say that it is not our job to convert the sleeping masses. They cannot hear it until they are ready.

    As we raise our own vibration and live with an open mind and work with those ready to receive from us and resonate with us, so the overall vibrational climate will gently upgrade and more and more people will be able to hear you with an open heart and mind. Leave the ‘muggles’ for the people who resonate with and are here to work with muggles. I can see/sense you have a broad bandwidth of people you are reaching and affecting already (not just the hippies), so if those people at the talk were well off your scale then that confirms they just were not the people you are here to serve. Let someone else take care of them.

    I am reminded of a quote, which I paraphrase:

    “For those who are not ready no explanation will suffice, for those who ARE ready no explanation is necessary”.

    You are a stunning soul and you are clearly making a difference. As any comedian knows, sometimes they just aren’t your crowd.

    Keep being you.

    Lots of love and big hug to you,
    Kimberley ♥

  7. Rachel, I was at the TEDx this weekend, and despite what you’ve written, I don’t think you were the worst, and I can honestly say that I didn’t think you came across as having a ‘meltdown’.
    My only advice would be to make sure your pictures are fitting to what you are saying, if you are going to speak about the ‘simplest atom’, you should have a picture of Hydrogen and not Lithium.

    You’re almost correct about the audience, although, maybe slightly offensive to university students, I think that anybody, whether having gone through university or not, would find it difficult to grasp what you were trying to put forth, mainly due to this being a non tangible subject matter. I personally am not religious and also don’t really relate to any spiritualistic ideas. In actual fact I’m a very boring science teacher!

    I guess I’m writing this to try and make you feel less negative about your presentation, it wasn’t a bad presentation, you were very good. Everybody likes different things. An example and comparison would be that I have to teach evolution, 70% of the children I teach this to tell me they don’t believe it and think its all God’s doing after the lesson, that doesn’t mean I had a bad lesson, it means I gave them some brain fuel to consider, which is exactly what you did.

    PS. Don’t judge me on how badly I’ve written this – I threw it together just now!

  8. Hi Rachel.

    It’s a shame that you felt so bad after the talk and although I didn’t really connect with what you said, I certainly don’t think you “died” either. You’re always going to see an amplified view of negativity through the ‘mask’ of Twitter, although I would be surprised to hear that anyone gave you this feedback in person!

    Some constructive feedback: I do think you were over using the powerpoint though and at times this became very distracting. In future I recommend just forgetting the notes and the PPPT and just talking. I for one would be interested to see that.


    Tweet: @stuartsjones

  9. I love this courageous honest and insightful article Rachel. I really respect your open approach to this situation. What you talk about in the video makes so much sense the challenge being that many businesses are not open to having this conversation just yet. They are living in a state of protection and old fear based paradigm. You my lovely lady are sprinkling the breadcrumbs for those who are ready to follow that’s what matters most. I look forward to seeing you next week BIG love Debs x

  10. Hi Rachel,

    I was in the audience at TedX Salford, and i am willing to give you some (I believe) fair feedback.

    I am not a student, i am a professional working in a digital agency. I have to state, that i am not a “Horary Astrologer” and do tend to to like empirical evidence, however i am willing to accept pure logic.

    I am willing to listen to any talk on any subject. If the reasoning is sound and the evidence presented is not misunderstood i am willing to accept what is being presented to me.

    I would like to start with your quote above:

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

    Arthur C. Clarke, “Profiles of The Future”, 1961 (Clarke’s third law)

    This is what Arthur C Clarke said and if i understand you correctly you are using this quote to confirm your belief in magic, and to imply that magic does exist and that sufficiently advanced technology (maybe the things we do not understand) is magic.

    For me this is not correct.

    Arthur C. Clarke did not say, sufficiently advanced technology is magic, and this is an important point. For me this is also where we differ in our thinking and therefore belief. You have misunderstood and misinterpreted this quote and therefore your remaining argument is also incorrect and flowed. My interpretation of this quote is that we have always (general population) been behind in our understanding of technology and therefore sometimes perceive it as magic, but it actually is not. For example the first cameras were seen as magical objects because the general population did not understand how it was capturing an image.

    I do not believe that you (Will i hope you do not) think cameras work because of magic, but instead work because of our understanding of nature through technology and science.

    For me the example above is an illustration of how you approached your talk. You referred to quotes and theories during your talk at TedX salford, but misunderstood or misinterpreted them and used that misunderstanding to justify your own theorise. As soon as you do this you lost my attention and belief in what you are saying, and it appeared, you also lost most of the audience.

    Example: Implying that quantum theories example of multiple universes is proof that they not only exist, but also send “energy” to you and your universe, is just not true. If they exist (they might not it is just a theory), there is no evidence that they can or do possess the ability to send any form of energy between them, and the form of energy you refer to was not even defined.

    Religion also tackles these subjects is a similar way, but you did not say that yours was a belief system, and instead implied that it was based in or on scientific evidence.

    That is why i believe an audience that is not willing to just accept fantasy as reality found your talk impossible to believe or connect with.

    Hope I have helped explain the audience reaction.


  11. Thanks to everyone who has sent me comments and feedback both via this blogpost and via email. I really appreciate your time and energy.


    Rachel x

  12. I was there – you werent rubbish at all – you were great, and as much as there were people saying awful things on twitter (they havent learned that if you can’t say something nice you should keep quiet) you need to know that there were a lot of conversations in the breakouts between people who were not happy to see the negativity – and I guess you need to take it where it came from – a small part of the audience felt the need to “own” the twitter wall, but they didn’t for a moment represent the whole audience. I’m in my mid forties, and by no means did I feel old there – the range of attendees was actually quite vast – yes, of course there were a lot of students, some of whom might not have enjoyed the talk (but some did, there was a girl almost in tears in the breakout at how ugly people had been and she was about 19) but there were also a whole bunch of other people too, and I think perhaps the reaction was just extreme because it was something they didnt expect – perhaps more difficult for some people to take on board than some of the other topics – but the great thing about TED or TedX is that one moment it’s a scientist, and the next it’s a sculptor, and if you dont want the mental challenge of that – it’s you who’s losing out, not the speaker. So I guess what I’m trying to say, is the twitter feed – that was nonsense, and didnt represent much at all, except the mental capacity of the people writing the comments -….. You dont have to pick up the garbage they’ve put out there – because that’s what it is – garbage, and I thought you had some great stuff to say – really brilliant.

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