DAY 173: I have a confession to make about pickpocketing

For today's instalment of my 365 Days of TED challenge I watched a TED talk by Apollo Robbins on the art of misdirection demonstrated by pickpocketing a member of the audience! I first heard of Apollo Robbins when I was watching the National Geographic show Brain Games which he is a part of as co-producer and appears on as a deception specialist. Can you imagine introducing yourself to people, "Hi I'm a deception specialist" How awkward would that be! I have a confession to make. I am fascinated by pickpocketing. Okay so firstly let me clear one thing up. I am not fascinated by the crime aspect of pick-pocketing, not at all, I think that aspect of it is really low and I have no respect for anyway who thinks that it’s okay to take another person’s belonging just because they decide they want to. What does fascinate me though is that a pickpocketer can remove another person’s watch without them even realising. I mean how is that … [Read more...]

Day 145: Do you have the same values that you had 10 years ago?

Can Iask you a question? It might be a little personal.  Do you have the same values that you had ten years ago?  Have you changed? I'm guessing, for better or worse  the answer is yes. Who you are right now in this very moment is most probably not the same person you were ten years ago and is very likely not who you will be in ten years time. This was the topic of Dan Gilbert’s Ted talk “The psychology of your future self." The rate of change   Kids seem to change by the minute where as parents seem to change by the year. It is well known and understood that the youth will change quite a lot in ten years. A lot can happen between being eighteen and twenty-eight.   I remember when I was ten I wrote a letter to my eighteen year old-self. I read the letter when I was about nineteen and it was quite clear that my thirteen year old self thought being eighteen was more like being twenty-eight! The thing is that people assume that as we … [Read more...]

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 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...]

Day 02: Do you know the six needs of your customers? A post inspired by Tony Robbin’s Ted talk

six human needs

I have read Tony Robbins on and off over the last few years. I first picked up his personal power cassette tapes at a secondhand  book festival four years ago.  Fortunately at the time I was driving an Magna that still had the original car radio complete with a cassette tape player.  I quickly learnt that cassette tapes are so awkward when it comes to trying to find certain points to relisten to… but I digress.  These Anthony Robbins tapes for me was a gamer changer as it sparked an interest within me about  personal development and human behaviour .  Considering most of Tony Robbins talks are hours long I was interested to see what Tony considered was the core message from his talks to include in a heavily condensed 22 minute Ted talk. This Ted talk was basically an extract of Tony's core teaching, a teaser for his programs.  The key take away for me was his very brief discussion of what Tony calls the 6 basic human needs. … [Read more...]