• Apr 05
    2016
    The Wikipedia entry for laugh track has this priceless anecdote: While witnessing an early post-production editing session, comedian Milton Berle once pointed out a particular joke and said, “as long as we’re here doing this, that joke didn’t get the response we wanted.” After [sound engineer] Douglass inserted a hearty laugh after the failed joke, Berle reportedly commented, “See? I told you it was funny.” The laugh track has come ...
  • Mar 21
    2016
    You probably know the big secret of being a great conversationalist - show interest in your conversational partner. That's just common sense. But here are five specific techniques for doing that. They can make your conversation more engaging for your partner and more interesting for you. 1. Ask open questions. Ask your partner questions, but take care not to elicit short answers. With a closed question, you usually know how ...
  • Mar 09
    2016
    Spring is right around the corner and Spring is a big time for trade shows. How do you present effectively to noisy crowds of people as they hurry from one exhibit to the next? If you're presenting one-on-one: Try taking the person deeper into the booth, out of the way of traffic Since time is limited, determine the person's main interests. Target your presentation, instead of giving a "canned" features ...
  • Mar 02
    2016
    People who demonstrate equipment or products are faced with audiences that are often distracted. How do you keep their attention? Acknowledge what's around them to satisfy their curiosity ("There's a lot to look at and we'll get to it...) Tie your demo to their needs ("You said you wanted to see... and this will...") Draw their attention to the matter at hand, and quote them if you can ("This will ...
  • Feb 24
    2016
    Have you ever wondered why somepeople never seem to "get" your jokes? It could be they are actually not physically able to process sarcasm. A recent studyat the University of Haifa in Israel used high-tech scanning equipment to track what happens in the brain when people were presented with sarcastic statements, such as "Hey Joe, don't work too hard", said to Joe when he was obviously relaxing. Some people recognized ...
  • Feb 15
    2016
    If you saw the Republican debate that aired the Saturday before New Hampshire's primary, you know the meaning of "discomfort." Watching Governor Chris Christie eviscerate Senator Marco Rubio was anxiety-making, no matter who you support. According to the New York Times: Mr. Christie had instructed the audience to listen for what he dismissively called the “memorized 25-second speech,” adding, with a twist of the knife, that it was “exactly what ...
  • Jan 20
    2016
    With presidential candidates talking about carpet bombing ISIL, promising to close U.S. borders to Muslims, and even making ethnic jokes, you might think there’s no way to persuade voters with a positive message. But Barack Obama arguably used his final State of the Union speech last week to try to persuade voters. He asked them to take a positive view of our country and to look toward the future with ...
  • Jan 13
    2016
    "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." Jack London, US adventurer, author, & sailor (1876 - 1916) Let's face it, when planning a presentation, the hardest part is waiting for inspiration. Unfortunately, we can't all wait for the brilliant idea or we'd be staring at a blank sheet of paper all day. Here are some tips to draw inspiration out of its hiding ...