Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Mad Science: Learning What's In It For You!

This week in Friday Mad Science, we:

  • Discuss the art of "What's In It For Me?" and how you can a voice, both here and elsewhere.
  • Talk about the shit with North Korea and why it might have repercussions for you!
  • Learn about "The Star Wars" and how it's different from plain old "Star Wars".

More after the jump!

I went to corporate training today.  A lot of it was mind-numbing, of course--I mean, this is official corporate training we're talking about--but our last speaker was Ellen Cahill, a bonafide expert of communication, and some of what she said was very interesting.

For example, Ms. Cahill reminded me of something that I already knew but had never applied to anything other than comic scripting:

Most people don't listen, they wait to talk.

In fact, according Ms. Cahill, because most folks aren't listening, because they are instead focused on what they're going to say next while we're talking to them, they only catch about half of what we're trying to say.  And then, because what we just said often doesn't really matter to them, they then retain only a little less than half of that, leaving them with a total retention of approximately 20% of whatever message it was that we ourselves were trying to get across.

For this reason, she suggested having an agenda whenever we go to speak to people.  Essentially, that we need to learn to talk in talking points, focused on the idea that the people that we're going to talk to are going to retain at most three sentences worth of information from whatever we say, and that those three sentences are going to be the sentences that they think affect them either personally or professionally.

So, bottom line, when we talk to folks, we need to talk Bottom Line Up Front, and that Bottom Line had better include What's In It For Them in easily digestible bites.

With that in mind, I'm trying a little experiment with Friday Mad Science to see if we can get a little better engagement amongst the now seemingly legion casual readers that this blog has attracted lately.  By the way, I love all of you very much, and I appreciate your interest in my writing.

But it doesn't mean as much if you don't have a voice.  To me or to you.  So, whether you're here for triathlon or comics or just because you know me and you're wondering what the Hell I've been up to for the last few years, fact is, I really want to hear what you have to say.  Tell me I'm right, tell me I'm an asshole...  Whatever.  You don't have an opinion if you don't share it, and I know that that's not what you want.

So let me hear from you.

This shit with North Korea is getting real.  We might actually have a NUCLEAR WAR!  And they're gonna hit Austin, Texas first!!!!

The man's best friend is Dennis Rodman.
And he has nukes.
No, I don't seriously believe that, either.  But given the stakes it is pretty scary.  How do you deal with a madman?  Do you pay him off?  Give him what he wants?  Reward his crazy fucking behavior?

God, I hope not.

I confess that I'm a little more invested than usual in this one because I actually served in Korea, was impressed overall with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and Marines, and found a lot to like while I was there.  Which isn't to say that I liked being stationed in Munson at Camp GarryOwen, but that had less to do with being in Korea than it had to do with my desire to not ever live in a rice farming village in the middle of nowhere, either here or overseas.

Anyway, the sorry fact is that if you're Kim Jong Un, you're looking at Manuel Noriega, the former junta of Grenada, Saddam Hussein, and the Taliban, and what you're thinking is, "Damn.  Those sad motherfuckers really needed nukes."

That's a pretty unfortunate lesson for the US to be teaching its would-be enemies.

Finally, if you didn't know already, George Lucas wrote a screenplay one time.  In the first draft, it was called "The Star Wars", and it featured the adventures of Jedi Annikin Starkiller and General Luke Skywalker.  And now Dark Horse, who is about to lose the licence to make actual Star Wars comics, is making an eight-issue comic out of Lucas's original script, which apparently bears only cursory resemblance to the story that finally made its way into movie history.

What's that going to look like?

I have no idea.  But I really like the new Legacy series they started putting out.

That's all I got.  Have a good weekend!


  1. So what you are saying is that we need to play a little more ''telephone' at the table.

    1. I like playing"telephone". Not as much as playing doctor, but still...