Posted on | March 8, 2014 | No Comments
A question I have been asked, a lot, is how to get the most out of the things I teach and talk about.
Honestly, I say listen and take notes.
Now I have another idea.
Do you ever read Medium?
Saturday morning I opened my email and clicked on a great story that could be a nice easy key to getting the most out of what I do, give away ideas and information.
At a later point I will talk about the idea of giving away what I do. Currently I teach which is not a give-away as you need to be in my class and that is a cost. Nightline might be a give-away of sorts but I need to bring more of the education element to the mix.
Reading Medium I cam across this great story, The 30 Second Habit with a Lifelong Impact.
Simple, easy, effective and something that many of us have been doing without thinking, immediately after any interaction write down what was important or what was of interest or the action item.
Robyn Scott has learned 7 things from making notes on interactions so far.
- It’s not note taking: Don’t think, just because you write down everything in a meeting, that you’re excused from the 30 second summation. Though brief, this exercise is entirely different from taking notes. It’s an act of interpretation, prioritisation and decision-making.
- It’s hard work: Deciding what’s most important is exhausting. It’s amazing how easy it is to tell yourself you’ve captured everything that matters, to find excuses to avoid this brief mental sprint?—?a kind of 100 metres for your brain.
- Detail is a trap: Precisely because we so often, ostensibly, capture everything, we avoid the hard work of deciding what few things count. So much of excellence is, of course, the art of elimination. And the 30 second review stops you using quantity as an excuse.
- You must act quickly: If you wait a few hours, you may recall the facts, but you lose the nuance. And this makes all the difference in deciding what matters. Whether it’s the tone in someone’s voice, or the way one seemingly simple suggestion sparks so many others, or the shadow of an idea in your mind triggered by a passing comment.
- You learn to listen better, and ask better questions: Once you get into the habit of the 30 second review, it starts to change the way you pay attention, whether listening to a talk or participating in a discussion. It’s like learning to detect a simple melody amidst a cacophony of sound. And as you listen with more focus, and ask better questions which prompt actionable answers, so your 30 second review becomes more useful.
- You’re able to help others more: Much of what makes the 30 second cut are observations about what matters to other people. Even if the purpose is to help better manage different interests in future conversations, it also helps you understand others’ needs, and so solve their problems. This does not surprise me: in months of interviewing people who make generous connections, I’ve been struck by how many have their own unconscious version of the 30 second review: focused on the question of how best they can help.
- It gets easier and more valuable: Each time you practice, it gets a little easier, a little more helpful, and little more fun.
S0, why don’t you try it?
Let me know what you learn about yourself and your interactions after 30 days!
Posted on | March 7, 2014 | No Comments
These jobs have many similarities.
- present ideas
- answer questions
- constant evaluation
- require skill
- everyone could do them
But it seems the value of the comment is underrated by both.
When people comment on how well we are doing in the classroom or on air the comments seem to go unnoticed by management and when people make a negative comment about our performance on air or in the classroom we are quick to be called in for a consultation.
Odd how comments are valued.
All the same I love comments, good or bad.
Last week I received a comment that made my day.
A student came to me after class, she actually came back to the class well after the rest of the students had left, and said “sir I have to tell you something”, never a good start.
She then went on to tell me how she is tutoring students in another section based on what I am teaching her in our section!
FANTASTIC the student is recognising value of what I do and is doing exactly what I suggest, share what we do in class far and wide.
Comments are good be sure to give them!
Posted on | February 20, 2014 | No Comments
This is the hour of radio I totally look forward to each week.
Paul Kelly from Triplew.me and I sit down and spin some discs or recordings we have made of indie artists in the Middle East.
The funny thing about this radio show is that it is the ONLY one of its kind in the Middle East and we are doing it on talk radio, go figure.
Josh Monteath was amazing, the show was refreshing.
There is a lot of distraction these days and being able to sit down and create a radio program like this is refreshing!
Listen, share and enjoy.
Please let me know what you think of the show also.
Posted on | February 19, 2014 | No Comments
I love Storehouse a new visual storytelling tool for the iPad.
Sure it is early days and I am looking forward to an easy way to browse stories on other platforms, not just the iPad, but the package is exciting.
Take a look at this example. Sorry no embed feature yet!
What makes this tool exciting is the way it allows you to easily organise video, text and still photography from a variety of your own sources into a stunning story.
Posted on | February 17, 2014 | No Comments
Inc. had a great set of 5 rules on how to make presentations that matter.
This is a must read and what I strive for my COM230 students to live by.
1. Be yourself.
If you pose as somebody you’re not, your audience will know you’re insincere and therefore disbelieve whatever you’re saying.
For example, if you’re naturally a casual person, you’ll seem gawky and untrustworthy if you try to be formal. Similarly, if you’re naturally strait-laced, you’ll come off as foolish if you try to be “cool.”
The same rule applies to expertise. People sense it right away whenever you pretend you’re an expert if you are not. Rather than attempting to borrow credibility from your business card, be the person you really are. Only then will you be believed.
2. Tell stories.
The purpose of a presentation is not to convey information. You can do that with a data sheet. The purpose of a presentation is to show how that information has meaning for whatever is going on in the businesses and lives of the members of your audience.
Human beings decide what’s meaningful on the basis of how something fits (or doesn’t fit) into the stories that their brains are constructing from their experience of life. It’s only by telling a story–their story, in fact–that you can give meaning to your words.
(For more on that topic, check out How to Tell a Great Business Story.)
The very best public speakers make it seem as though the ideas are so new and original that the speaker is slightly surprised at what he or she is saying. Steve Jobs had this improvisational flavor down to an art. (So does Ron Popeil.)
The only way to achieve this “eternal newness” is to rehearse your presentation to the point at which you transcend your script, and the ideas it contains become part of who you are. By contrast, even charismatic speakers are tedious when they wing it.
Audiences consist of individuals. Because of this, talking to “them” is always a mistake, because it diminishes those individuals into part of a crowd. Great presenters always direct their words to individuals, moving from person to person.
This is much easier to do if you know some of the people in the audience as individuals. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to arrive before the presentation to meet and greet audience members, ask questions, and learn who they are.
For every presentation that wrapped up too early, there are a thousand that have gone on way too long. That’s partly because people try to cram too much into their presentations and partly because attention spans are shorter in today’s wired world.
As a general rule, no presentation should be longer than a half-hour and no presentation should ever run over its scheduled time. Above all, never cram a full presentation into a five-minute window. Create and rehearse a four-minute version instead.
We use www.TED.com to get examples of good and bad speeches.
In the end there is no magic to making a great speech it is all about practice.
Posted on | February 16, 2014 | No Comments
Stuart Hall was fundamental in helping me develop a love of culture, public policy and today media literacy.
Sut Jhally wrote some very moving words about Stuart Hall.
Stuart was also one of the nicest and kindest people I have ever met, treating university presidents and freshman students in exactly the same way. I have attempted to model my own intellectual life on the example he provided. The ultimate teacher, he was a public intellectual of the first order and a living embodiment of Antonio Gramsci’s famous phrase, “Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.”
Here is the interview Sut Jhally did with Stuart Hall in 2012.
Stuart Hall was one of the founding theorists of Cultural Studies.
So what were Hall’s thoughts on cultural identity?
It is now a commonplace that the modern age gave rise to a new and decisive form of individualism, at the centre of which stood a new conception of the individual subject and its identity. This does not mean that people were not individuals in pre-modern times, but that individuality was both ‘lived’, ‘experienced’ and ‘conceptualized’ differently. The transformations which ushered in modernity tore the individual free from its stable moorings in traditions and structures. Since these were believed to be divinely ordained, they were held not to be subject to fundamental change. One’s status, rank and position in the ‘great chain of being’–the secular and divine order of things–overshadowed any sense that one was a sovereign individual. The birth of the ‘sovereign individual’ between the Renaissance humanism of the sixteenth century and the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century represented a significant break with the past. Some argue that it was the engine which set the whole social system of ‘modernity’ in motion.
Stuart Hall will be missed.
Posted on | February 7, 2014 | No Comments
You know by now that I have the honour and privilege of hosting a radio show in Dubai, Nightline on Dubaieye.
Well there is one hour a week that is devoted to independent music from the Middle East.
Paul Kelly from Triplew.me gathers some music and joins me in the studio for a treat to the ears.
This week we managed to get the 1st artist in the Tone Town Session, part 3, on the air Joanna Broomfield.
I am surprised continually by the variety and quality of musical talent right on my doorstep.
Inspiration to the max.
I am a step closer to picking up a banjo or an accordion. I have never played either instrument but want something to sing and tell stories along to.
But give my Wind-Down Wednesday show a listen and tell me what you think.
Posted on | February 6, 2014 | No Comments
It is always interesting to see which countries are the worst for sending SPAM.
And look who the top 3 offenders are.
The message here is that those most concerned about spam are also those generating it!
The issues can’t be SPAM but the mentality that would actually make someone think that this kind of disruptive content is ok!
Posted on | February 5, 2014 | No Comments
I have a group of 44 students heading out on internships this semester and there are lots of questions about how to prepare.
I cam across this great piece on Inc.com.
The Only Interview Question That Matters BY LOU ADLER, this is a must read!
And what is the question that matters?
What single project or task would you consider your most significant accomplishment in your career to date?
He goes on to talk about the follow-up questions!
- Can you give me a detailed overview of the accomplishment?
- Tell me about the company, your title, your position, your role, and the team involved.
- What were the actual results achieved?
- When did it take place and how long did the project take?
- Why were you chosen?
- What were the 3-4 biggest challenges you faced and how did you deal with them?
- Where did you go the extra mile or take the initiative?
- Walk me through the plan, how you managed it, and its measured success.
- Describe the environment and resources.
- Explain your manager’s style and whether you liked it.
- What were the technical skills needed to accomplish the objective and how were they used?
- What were some of the biggest mistakes you made?
- What aspects of the project did you truly enjoy?
- What aspects did you not especially care about and how did you handle them?
- Give examples of how you managed and influenced others.
- How did you change and grow as a person?
- What you would do differently if you could do it again?
- What type of formal recognition did your receive?
So, what would you answer?
Posted on | February 2, 2014 | No Comments
The Canadian Digital Media Network is easily one of my favorite resources.
Check the numbers, ask the questions!
There is still a lot of room in the digital service delivery business but what service and where is the question.
And how prepared are you?
Are we preparing the Next Gen?
I think the current crop of educators is missing the wave of knowledge application that will be needed in a year.
I can tell you I am doing my part and it scares my students sometimes. Real deadlines, no previous examples, creating the content and the audience.
We have to do what we have to do!
Is there another option?
keep looking »