Link Roundup: September

Activity on the naked speaker has been minimal over the last few months. But I have been busy. I have completed two speeches including a humorous contest winner and my tenth speech at toastmasters. I finished my series about how to write jokes. I’ve also been keeping reports of any stand up comedy gigs I do here (not on this blog).

I’ve also collected some quality links from around the web. As usual they are obliquely related to public speaking and include podcasts/videos/articles about: story telling, marketing, performance and becoming successful…

This American Life: The right to remain silent

I am consistently amazed at the quality of story telling on the radio show This American Life. The second story in this hour long show has all the drama and suspense of a Hollywood movie.

Six Principles of Sticky ideas

A large excerpt from the book Made to Stick by Dan Heath and Chip Heath includes the key principles for creating a “sticky” idea

  • Simplicity: “We must be masters of exclusion. We must relentlessly prioritize. […] Proverbs are the ideal. We must create ideas that are both simple and profound. The Golden Rule is the ultimate model of simplicity: a one-sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to follow it.”
  • Unexpectedness: “We need to violate people’s expectations. We need to be counterintuitive. […] For our idea to endure, we must generate interest and curiosity. […] We can engage people’s curiosity over a long period of time by systematically “opening gaps” in their knowledge — and then filling those gaps.”
  • Concreteness: “We must explain our ideas in terms of human actions, in terms of sensory information.”
  • Credibility: “Sticky ideas have to carry their own credentials. We need ways to help people test our ideas for themselves — a ‘try before you buy’ philosophy for the world of ideas.”
  • Emotions: “How do we get people to care about our ideas? We make them feel something. […] We are wired to feel things for people, not for abstractions.”
  • Stories: “How do we get people to act on our ideas? We tell stories. […] Research shows that mentally rehearsing a situation helps us perform better when we encounter that situation in the physical environment. Similarly, hearing stories acts as a kind of mental flight simulator, preparing us to respond more quickly and effectively.”

Via LoneGunman

Penn Jillette on Big Think

Penn Jillette is one half of the magic duo Penn and Teller. He claims to have spent more time on stage than any other performer. He has some interesting things to say about performance preparation and a lot to say about rational thought. Watch the embedded video, or go to the BigThink website to use chapter selection.

(Watch this 54:38 video on BigThink)

Malcom Gladwell on RadioLab

Are geniuses born or created? In his book Ouliers, Malcom Gladwell claims they are created. And in this audio interview, for Radiolab, he explains his theory.

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