This is a wonderful 10 minute speech by Brian Brault, Chairman of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, during a United Nations Global meeting on how Entrepreneurship can make a difference to the UN Developmental Goals.
Creating a Shared Future for Entrepreneurs and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
I have met Brian several times over the last 13 years that I have been a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation. He is an inspiration and I am glad that he had this opportunity to share such an important message to the world’s ambassadors and governments.
Three wonderful short videos from The School of Life youtube channel, total duration 27 minutes:
How to Make a Country Rich
If you were setting out to make a country rich, what kind of mindsets and ideas would be most likely to achieve your goals? We invent a country, Richland, and try to imagine the psychology of its inhabitants.
Would you want to live in Richland?
How to Make an Attractive City
We’ve grown good at making many things in the modern world – but strangely the art of making attractive cities has been lost. Here are some key principles for how to make attractive cities once again. Please subscribe to our channel.
Does your city have the political will to create beautiful spaces?
How to become a better person
It sounds normal to say one’s out to become a fitter person; but it sounds weird to say one would like to be a nicer or better person. It shouldn’t – so here is a guide to 10 virtues of a nice person.
Are these your 10 most important virtues? Which are the easiest for you? Which are the hardest for you?
The world has 7.323 billion people living on it (as of 20 June 2015, source Worldometer).
The World as a Village of 100
If the world was a village of 100 people, 48 live on less than $2 a day. 21 are overweight and 16 are hungry. 12 speak Chinese, 5 spanish and 5 english. 49 live in the countryside and 51 in the village. 26 are under 14, and 8 are over 65.
Check out the infographic below for a wonderful representation of the world as a village of 100 people.
I came across a wonderful series of explanation videos on youtube this morning (sometimes random internet clicking has its benefits!). Kurz Gesagt, a Munich based design studio founded by Philipp Dettmer & Stephan Rether in 2013 creates 5 minute animated explanations on some of the most complex topics there are. Here are 4 of my favourites – on Iraq & ISIS, on Banking, on Fracking and on Time itself!
Toastmasters is a wonderful organisation for anybody who wishes to improve their ability to speak with impact.
However, there is something that has often challenged me with the “best” toastmaster speeches. They are very clearly the work of someone who has worked very, very, very hard on the words, gestures and voice that they use to deliver the speech. The “best” toastmaster speeches verge on the theatric and sometimes leave behind a sense of a natural conversation. Toastmasters evaluations can focus on bringing attention to symbols of hard work on the art of public speaking – big gestures, long pauses, wide ranges of volume, tone and pace in voice.
Why hide the art? Why would you want to go to the effort to hide the work you have done on being a great speaker?
Sims refers to a number of great political orators of the Athenian state. They knew that if the people saw them as relaxed and natural, they would be more open to listen to their ideas. If the people saw how much they worked on their ability to speak, the people would be worried about being manipulated by them.
It is a paradox – being visibly “too good” makes you less likely to connect and persuade.
Hiding the art does not mean that you intentionally are a poor speaker. It means what Bruce Lee refers to as Natural Un-Naturalness (see final paragraphs of post).
“The natural instinct and control need to be combined in harmony – one to the extreme you become very unscientific, the other you become a mechanical man… no longer a human being – the ideal is unnatural naturalness, or natural unnaturalness… yin yang” Bruce Lee
The swan swims gracefully over the water of the pond – only the fish see how hard her little feet are paddling beneath the surface. This is the art of great speaking. The art is to go through theatrical and get back to looking authentic, human and natural.
Moving people to action requires that you go beyond the level of preparation that allows you to deliver an excellent performance and arrive at an ability to hold a peer-to-peer conversation with the audience.
The path to Natural must pass through Contrived
The path to natural unnaturalness must pass through “contrived unnaturalness” – you have to do the work to move through discomfort and expansion of your natural range as a speaker – and Toastmasters is the absolute best path. However, taking your message beyond toastmasters requires integrating the gestures, voice, words back into yourself so that the audience feels like you have not worked so hard. This way they trust the person and listen to the message, rather than are impressed by the person, but distrustful of the message.
Great artists mastered the basics over many, many years before they found the path back to what we might call “authentic” or natural.
Devdutt Pattanaik tells TEDx that if you know the patterns that you are looking for, India’s apparent chaos is actually order.
The mythology of the West: kill the chaos-creating dragon, create order
The mythology of India: liberate yourself from boundaries
A beautiful western garden is ordered. Weeds are weeds, trees are trees and flowers are in their rightful place. But who says a weed is a weed? It is the pattern of the gardener. It is not the pattern of nature. It is imposition of a western gardener’s view on the nature. The imposition of boundaries.
A western meal has starter, main course, dessert. They are clearly separated. The chef and the restaurant impose their boundaries on the food.
In India, the aim is to liberate from forced boundaries. An Indian road does not have fixed lanes – but there is an order arising in the apparent chaos. An Indian meal does not have clear distinction between starter, main, dessert – but there is an order in the apparent chaos.
Here is Devdutt Pattanaik speaking at TEDx (video here on the blog):
When I teach with Maty Tchey, she teaches those who wish to communicate powerfully to “think complex, speak simple”. She challenges speakers to find metaphors that allow the audience to see new material as an extension of what they already know.
What existing and understood patterns can you show the audience to connect them to new material?
Last week I taught a course on persuasive communication. One individual was a charismatic speaker who repeatedly gave speeches that I would classify as “Rant”. This is a passionate and initially engaging way of speaking, but it has no place in a Leader’s communication.
To rant is to speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way.
Leaders Do Not Rant
A rant is never a leadership speech.
A rant doesn’t help the situation.
A rant is lazy.
A rant is not enough. You have to decide:
“what action can I take to improve the situation?”
“what action can we take together to improve the situation?”
If you are ranting about something that you can change, this is lazy: do the next step and take action, then ask us for action.
St Francis of Assisi had this prayer:
“Lord give me the strength to change the things I can change, Give me the patience to accept the things I cannot change, and the Wisdom to tell the difference.”
If you are ranting ab0ut something that we cannot change, you are wasting your energy.
The wisdom to tell the difference comes from thinking about whether there is an action that you or I can take that might improve the situation. If I cannot find an action, then I am probably dealing with a type 2 Assisi situation: lets accept this one and find a place we can make a difference. If I can find an action, then the speech is about inspiring us to take this action.
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