I am giving my second cubing talk for a Mensa regional gathering here in Orlando later this month. The talk will be a one hour talk, and I am allowed to talk about whatever I would like.
Last year I went with a talk mostly about blindfolded cubing and memorizing using journey methods and images. I did some speedsolve demos as well as a blindfolded 3x3x3 solve. At the end I took questions, and there was a mix of questions about blindfold cubing and cubing in general.
This year I plan to talk about solving the cube, which relates to feedback I got last year after the talk from people asking me how to actually solve it. I am not going to teach any of the usual solutions I show people. Instead I have listed the talk as "How to solve any Rubik's cube-like puzzle (and even how to do it blindfolded)"
I will essentially teach how commutators work, but I do not plan at all to even mention the word commutator until maybe the very end of the presentation, and I plan to only mention it in passing. I am going to follow a method very similar to the one presented on this website, as this is the site where I first learned about commutators. I also use this approach when solving a new puzzle, the curvy copter being my latest example.
I am really excited about this talk. My talk last year was a pretty big hit (and is part of the reason why they asked me to come back again this year). Considering the audience, I figure that most Mensans would like an approach to figure out how to solve the last pieces of the cube on their own rather than just be taught a standard solution by rote memory. I will probably still give a basic layout of how to build a layer by using 3 move insertions and/or hide moves to place pieces.
I wanted to post on the board in case anyone was interested to hear how the talk goes. I'm not sure if I will be able to video the talk this year, though I will ask. I am also thrilled to finally be giving a talk about commutators (though I have learned from experience that mentioning the word "commutator" even once will turn the audience off to the message instantly). I am going to say that the theme of the solving part of the talk is going to be "How to move a small number of pieces on the cube without affecting what you've already solved". That phrase will be my stand in for the word "commutator", and I might try to come up with a flashy name for that, though I imagine I'll just call them 3 cycles, or short cycles or something.
I still plan to do some demo speedsolves and blindsolves, as people like to see that, but the main focus of the talk will definitely be to teach them how to perform simple, intuitive 3 cycles for both corners and edges using commutators.
I'll keep everyone posted on how it goes, and hopefully I'll be able to get a video of it, but no guarantees!