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    Entries in speaking (3)

    Wednesday
    Jul042018

    Fourth of July Rewind: The Best Introduction Ever

    NOTE: Reprising a post from July 6, 2016 - enjoy before you fire up the grill!

    This is the best speaker/performer/sportsman introduction that you will hear all year - maybe ever.

    It comes to us courtesy of the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest held on July 4th and delivered by Master of Ceremonies George Shea, as he introduced competitive eating legend, and former champion Joey Chestnut.

    Forgive the very shaky quality of the video embedded below (email and RSS subscribers click through), as it was recorded by me with my phone from a DVR replay of the event.

    Trust me, you want to give this a minute and a few seconds to watch/listen.

     

    Here's the full text of the intro, in case the dodgy audio was tough to decipher:

    Two years ago on this stage he asked his girlfriend to marry him. And then last year one week before the contest the wedding was called off. And then on the 4th of July he lost the title of World Champion. And he was beaten and he was broken and he was alone. And nothing that he owned had any value, and his thoughts had no shape and no meaning. And the words fell from his mouth without sound. And he was lost and empty-handed, standing like a boy without friends on the school yard. But then he remembered that he is Joey Chestnut. And there is a time for pain and there is a time for punishment. A time for doubt and a time for dominance. A time for forbearance and a time for fury. And there is never, ever a time for submission. Ladies and gentlemen, the former champion of the world here to take back what was once his  - Joey Chestnut!

    Did that bring chills down your spine, or what?

    Awesome.

    Why write about this, or bring attention to it at all?

    Because it is a perfect example of someone, (Shea), going the extra, extra mile. It is a master class in combining facts, context, emotion, and excitement to make his audience interested in and excited about what is about to happen.

    Because it is an amazing 1:15 showing a person (Shea) at the absolute top of his game. And not for nothing, shortly after this introduction, Chestnut went on to reclaim his Nathan's Hot Dog Champions title, (and Mustard Belt).

    The next time it is your job to introduce someone for a speech or a presentation you'd do well to watch Shea's introduction of Chestnut a few times to find some inspiration. 

    And the next time I get introduced for a presentation, I am going to demand that George Shea gets the job.

    Happy 4th of July!

    Monday
    Oct312016

    Learn a new word: The Illusion of Truth

    Repeating something over and over and over again doesn't make it the truth.

    That seems like a pretty easy statement to understand, and with which to agree. I mean we all get that right? It doesn't matter what the statement is, or who is saying it again and again, the act of repeating it so many times doesn't impact the fundamental nature of truth.  I think we all learned that back in grade school.

    But here's the tricky part, even though we know, or think we know that repeating something doesn't make it the truth, or at least closer to the truth, we often are easily deceived.

    And that brings us to today's 'Learn a new word' submission, especially interesting and relevant with Election Day in the USA bearing down upon us in then next week or so.

    Today's word is 'The Illusion of Truth'. Definition from our pals at Wikipedia:

    The illusory truth effect (also known as the truth effect or the illusion-of-truth effect) is the tendency to believe information to be correct after repeated exposure. This phenomenon was first discovered in 1977 at Villanova University and Temple University.

    This illusion of truth effect, which has been known for a while, was recently repeated in a study titled 'Knowledge does not protect against illusory truth' published in 2015 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

    In that study,  40 participants were asked to rate how true a statement was on a six-point scale, and in the second, a different set of 40 participants were asked to simply state whether a statement was true or false. In both cases, repetition made the statement more likely to be categorized as true. This was the case even for statements that contradict well-known facts, such as, “Barcelona is the capital of Spain,” (when in fact, Madrid is Spain's capital).

    Why were the participants in the study, and the rest of us too, more prone to believe a statement was true if we had heard it repeated over and over? According to the researchers, it is because trying to figure out whether new information is true is kind of hard, and requires more brain processing power than just simply accepting it.

    From the above mentioned study's summary:

    Research on the illusory truth effect demonstrates that repeated statements are easier to process, and subsequently perceived to be more truthful, than new statements. Contrary to prior suppositions, illusory truth effects occurred even when participants knew better. Participants demonstrated knowledge neglect, or the failure to rely on stored knowledge, in the face of fluent processing experiences.

    And this from the conclusion:

    Inferring truth from fluency often proves to be an accurate and cognitively inexpensive strategy, making it reasonable that people sometimes apply this heuristic without searching for knowledge. 

    Thinking about things is hard.  It takes energy. Even doing simple fact-checking might be a bridge too far in many situations. But 'going along' with something largely because we have heard it many times before is always easier, and often makes sense and is a sound and harmless strategy.

    Except when it's not.

    So that's the trick then. To know when to trust the process if you will and when to do your own research and make your own conclusions. Gosh, that sounds like work.

    But be aware that we all are more susceptible to the illusion of truth effect than we may think.

    Happy Halloween!

    Wednesday
    Jul062016

    VIDEO: The best introduction you will hear all year, maybe ever

    This is the best speaker/performer/sportsman introduction that you will hear all year - maybe ever.

    It comes to us courtesy of the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest held on July 4th and delivered by Master of Ceremonies George Shea, as he introduced competitive eating legend, and former champion Joey Chestnut.

    Forgive the very shaky quality of the video embedded below (email and RSS subscribers click through), as it was recorded by me with my phone from a DVR replay of the event.

    Trust me, you want to give this a minute and a few seconds to watch/listen.

     

    Here's the full text of the intro, in case the dodgy audio was tough to decipher:

    Two years ago on this stage he asked his girlfriend to marry him. And then last year one week before the contest the wedding was called off. And then on the 4th of July he lost the title of World Champion. And he was beaten and he was broken and he was alone. And nothing that he owned had any value, and his thoughts had no shape and no meaning. And the words fell from his mouth without sound. And he was lost and empty-handed, standing like a boy without friends on the school yard. But then he remembered that he is Joey Chestnut. And there is a time for pain and there is a time for punishment. A time for doubt and a time for dominance. A time for forbearance and a time for fury. And there is never, ever a time for submission. Ladies and gentlemen, the former champion of the world here to take back what was once his  - Joey Chestnut!

    Did that bring chills down your spine, or what?

    Awesome.

    Why write about this, or bring attention to it at all?

    Because it is a perfect example of someone, (Shea), going the extra, extra mile. It is a master class in combining facts, context, emotion, and excitement to make his audience interested in and excited about what is about to happen.

    Because it is an amazing 1:15 showing a person (Shea) at the absolute top of his game. And not for nothing, shortly after this introduction, Chestnut went on to reclaim his Nathan's Hot Dog Champions title, (and Mustard Belt).

    The next time it is your job to introduce someone for a speech or a presentation you'd do well to watch Shea's introduction of Chestnut a few times to find some inspiration. 

    And the next time I get introduced for a presentation, I am going to demand that George Shea gets the job.