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Friday, September 12, 2014

Increasing Social Isolation - Opening Keynote

Dateline 2007, with dramatic overtones seven years later:

"Americans are far more socially isolated today than they were two decades ago," says Shankar Vedantam, a Washington Post staff writer. "And a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide, according to a comprehensive new evaluation of the decline of social ties in the United States.

A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985. Overall, the number of people Americans have in their closest circle of confidants has dropped from around three to about two.

The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties -- once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic benefits -- are shrinking or nonexistent. In bad times, far more people appear to suffer alone.

Has Facebook, Twitter, or social sites picked up some of the slack?  A little but not much. The implication for meeting professionals: the need for face-to-face meetings will never die. People will be amenable if only to stem some of the tied of the growing feeling of isolation in their personal lives.

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Thursday, September 04, 2014

Who Fears Speaking? - Opening Keynote

It has been said that speaking before a group is the number one fear of adults – a proposition which has been widely misinterpreted. The number one social fear of adult is speaking before groups.

Given the choice of speaking before a group or trying to scale a 500-foot vertical sheet of solid rock, being operated on for a brain tumor, or being held-up at gunpoint, most adults find speaking before a group to be far less frightening.


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Allen Klein and his Great Books - Opening Keynote

Undoubtedly you’ll find something here to lighten your load as Fall beckons:
* WorkLaughs
* TeacherLaughs
* ParentLaughs

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Words Usage over Time - Opening Keynote

How has the use of a word or phrase grown or declined over time? Through its service Books Ngram Viewer, Google has scanned in a million+ books published in the last two centuries. When you ask it for something like "conference," it shows the percentage of books published each year that use the word. In deciding how to phrase a meeting announcement, you can search phrases, as well as compare different words and phrases.

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Monday, August 04, 2014

Give them Doubles! - Opening Keynote

When distributing handout material for attendees, offer a second copy to everyone and, in a short note, invite them to share the information with someone who could benefit from it. Tell attendees that if the other party contacts me to run a program for them as a result of receiving my handouts, I will provide the original attendee with a gift of a coaching session or products. This generates new business contacts.

FYI, my other blogs:

* for the time-pressured: www.BreathingSpaceBlog.com

* for the oft-interrupted: www.interruptionmanagement.com

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Eliminate "Um" "Ya know" "Like" - Opening Keynote

Patrica Kitchen, writing in Newsday reported years back that some celebrities over-use filler language such as "likes," "umms," "ya knows," "I means." Britney Spears, was caught uttering 73 "likes" and "ya knows" in a five-minute video interview.

Eminem and Michelle Wie, "used 15 'ya knows' and 'I means' in a one-minute interview. "
"A certain number of fillers are normal, but when speakers flip into overuse, they can come across as unfocused and unprepared," says Judy Cavallo, a speech-language pathologist and director of New York Speech Solutions, which evaluates and treats speech disorders. Her first step is to heighten awareness among clients, who are "usually shocked" when she plays back tape recordings of them speaking.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

How We Remember - Opening Keynote

A falsehood that's been circulating for years holds that 55% of what we learn is through what we see and hear; 38% of learning is through what we see, and only 7% is through what we hear.  

These figures come from a study commissioned by a company that sells visual aids worldwide.  For thousands of years, people passed information to each other by sitting around the campfire and grunting, and later sitting on porches and telling stories. Stories can be more powerful than any visual aid.

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