Day 68: Are your a high-power poser or a low-power poser?

How aware of you of your own body language? Do you think that your body language is sending out the right messages or does it need a tune up? Social psychologist's Amy Cuddy's Ted talk "Your body language shapes who you are" talks about how body language is reflection of how others and yourself perceive you. This talk was watched accumulatively 21 million times, i'm pretty sure thats a record of some sort! How our body language affects the way others see us The reality is our body language will have a massive impact on how well we do in life. Amy’s talk was backed up with studies that showed how body language can impact the results of an election or the probability of a physician getting sued! How crazy is that! The body language of a physician, and whether or not they come across as ‘nice’ (according to the study Amy references), determines whether or not they have a higher chance of being sued.  What about their competence as a … [Read more...]

Day 67: Talk nerdy to me

Talk nerdy to me. That is the simple message from Ted speaker Melissa Marshall that has inspired this instalment of the Art of Communication theme week for my 365 Days of Ted challenge.  Melissa’s message is aimed at scientists. She wants them to know that many people from the non-scientist populations are interested in whats happening in science today, so could you please explain it to us in a way which we will understand. Ditch the jargon, just speak in ordinary language Ever notice how so many words can be used to explain the exact same thing? I mean that’s the whole point of a thesaurus isn’t it? Jargon is a barrier to understanding science says Melissa. An example that she used to show how jargon isn’t needed to explain things is the words “spatial and temporal.”  Why not just use the words “space and time” she suggests. Don’t dumb it down Melissa is not asking scientist to talk to us in a dumbed down and patronising way. … [Read more...]

Day 66: What do your hands say about you?

Do you talk with your hands? Well, according to Allan Pease or “Mr body language” as he is also known, we all talk with our hands. Our hands  give away so much more that what we are saying verbally, the question is, do you know what your hands are actually telling other people about you? Did you know that within the first four minutes of meeting someone you have made up your mind whether or not you will give them a “fair go”? Seems like a fairly short amount of time, but it’s the way humans are wired to act. Allan says that the handshake is usually one of the things that determine how we perceive people. Allan kicks off the talk with demonstrating different types of handshakes, apparently the position of your hand and the tightness of the grip can determine your position of power between yourself and the handshakee. I know that’s not a real word, but it should be. Basically a good handshake comes down to two things, the … [Read more...]

Day 65: The seven deadly sins of speaking

day 65 the most poweful sound in the world

Do you know what the most powerful sound in the world is?  It’s the human voice. It can start a war or say “I Love You” says says Ted speaker Julian Treasure in his talk “How to speak so that people will want to listen.” So how exactly do we use our voice to make people pay attention? Do people listen to you when you talk? Do they hang off your every word and does the conversation end with them wanting more? Okay so maybe that’s an exaggerated outcome for every conversation, I mean some conversations are just mundane out of necessity, but are people truly engaged when you talk? I’m guessing if you are like most people, the answer is going to be, not always. Julian discussed the “Seven deadly sins of speaking” and it’s stuff that i’m sure that we are all guilty of. We are all human, but perhaps being more aware of these “sins” will help us to catch ourselves in the moment when we are tangled in these vocal sins. What are the seven … [Read more...]

Day 64: Are you guilty of otherizing?

For the second instalment in my The Art of Communication series is inspired by a Ted talk by  Elizabeth Lesser "Take the other to lunch" Elizabeth thinks that it is important to have an open mind and hear the other side of the story from people whose opinions we may not be aligned with. Are you guilt of otherizing? Otherizing happens when we make a strong negative distinctions between ourselves and another person or group of people who has different views than our own. Could be someone who has a different faith or someone from a different political persuasion.  Otherizing means making negative assumptions about a person we meet if they fall into one of these "other" categories, despite the fact we might have never had a conversation with them. It's an uncomfortable word that creates an "us and them"  mentality, but unfortunately it's very rampant in our world. A new movement "Take the other to lunch" Elizabeth has started a new … [Read more...]

Day 63: Our antisocial phone tricks

Lesson 63 put down that phone

Kicking off a new theme week The Art of Communication is a post inspired by Ted speaker  Renny Gleason's whose Ted talk is about the obvious and cringeworthy truth, mobile phones or cell phones for my US friends, that are making us a very  anti-social bunch.Are you nodding your head in agreement? Are you perhaps a little bit guilty of this too? Do you remember a time before mobile phones? It wasn't that long ago really. It was a time when queuing up for pay phones was an actual thing and answering machines for your landline home phone came in two forms; electronic and human (family and housemates)  It was a time when the closest thing to mobile phones were car phones and ET’s  index finger. You had a 50-50 chance of actually getting your messages left for you by human answering machines.  That wasn't necessarily a bad thing though, you could  always blame misplaced  phone messages and not being home for not returning calls that you … [Read more...]

Day 52: What if we could add value to a product just by changing the perception around it?

change perceived value of a product by website confetti

A post inspired by Rory Sutherland's Ted talk "Life lessons from an ad man" What if you could add value to a product by simply changing the perception floating around it? Ted speaker and advertising guru Rory Sutherland believes that it is entirely possible and backs up his stance with some pretty compelling case studies all wrapped up in an entertaining presentation. My favourite type of Ted talks are the ones that use humour to get the message across. I just think think that humour is a great way to breakdown barriers whilst boosting engagement.   I've covered quite a few funny Ted talks so far such as “Do schools kill creativity” by Sir Ken Robinson which had me stifling giggles  in the middle of a shopping centre - one of the drawbacks of listening to Ted talks when I am out and about!  Rory Sutherland’s talk “Life lessons from an ad man” was just as funny. Change perception not reality    Rory says  that  changing a products … [Read more...]

Day 46: The power of texting. A post inspired by Ted speaker Nancy Lublin

texting can save lives do something

Continuing on with my Amazing Humans series is a post about CEO of Do Something Nancy Lublin and he'd Ted talk “texting can save lives.” When Do Something changed their communication method to text messaging something extraordinary happened, teens texted back, and what they had to say changed the way the organisation operates.  It's about social change Do Something is a social change website inspiring youth to get involved in causes which they they are passionate about. The site is aimed at kids and teenagers and gives them a platform to be an activist for positive social change in their schools and community. Most of the causes are small easily tangible things that can be done in a short amount of time. That doesn’t mean that they don’t leave a big impact.  For example, one cause currently promoted on their front page is to make a birthday card to be distributed to a child living in a homeless shelter.  It might seem irrelevant … [Read more...]

Day 04: Don’t Eat The Marshmallow by Joachim de Posado

day 4 dont eat the marshmallow

For day 4 I picked Joachin de Posada’s Ted Talk Don’t eat the marshmallow!.  This talk discusses a landmark experiment that involved a group of kids and marshmallows. The kids were giving a very simple task, don’t eat the marshmallow that was sitting right in front of them. If they were able to not eat the marshmallow for   15 minutes they would  be rewarded with  two marshmallows instead of one.  It's a lot harder than it sounds, especially if you are a 4 year old with a sweet tooth! If you need to get the context right try substituting a  marshmallow with a good cup of coffee and a 4 year old with an adult, preferably one with a caffeine addiction. So how many kids do you think ate the marshmallow? Not surprisingly 2 out of 3 kids ate the marshmallow. To be honest I used to work in a lolly shop so I was expecting all the kids to succumb to the temptation. The footage of the marshmallow study is in the video below,  so make sure you … [Read more...]

Day 03: Ted speaker Paul Piff believes money makes you mean.

does money make you mean

For Day #3 of 365 Days of Ted I decided to watch a Ted talk by a psychologist called Paul Piff. The presentation ‘Does money make you mean?’ gets into the issue of how people act when they feel wealthy.   I wanted to watch this particular talk because  I am sucker for anything that has to do with psychology and social behavior. The talk starts off with Paul telling a story about a recent experiment he conducted that rigged a game of Monopoly. That alone is pretty risky - Monopoly can bring out the worst in people without the rigging! There were two monopoly players and one player was  given more money to begin with and some extra perks. The other player was dealt the standard money given and got no perks at all. Watching the clips of the monopoly players the interesting thing to observe is how the rich players got cockier the more wealthier they became. At first when they realised they had more cash they started boasting slightly, … [Read more...]