Truthiness and pictures

“Truthiness is a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person claims to know intuitively “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.” Wikipedia

For those of you who may not know, “truthiness” was coined by American satirist Stephen Colbert in 2005. It is the appeal to emotion rather than reason. What you feel is right rather than what the facts of evidence tell us. Now a student from the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand has been looking into how pictures affect it with a rather cunning experiment.

The conclusion: pictures rock. And if you don’t believe me, here is a picture of Stephen Colbert to convince you.

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“Holy presentation nonsense Batman” – The Dr. Fox Lecture

According to Aristotle, you need 3 things to convince people:Ethos – people need to like and respect you; Pathos – you need to appeal to their emotions; and Logos – you need to appeal to their reason.

As it turns out however, Ethos and Pathos might just be enough.

In this 1976 experiment, Batman actor Michael Fox, in the guise of Dr. Myron L. Fox, presents absolute nonsense to a group of experts… and fools them. Fifty-five psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, graduate students, and other professionals all gave him overwhelmingly positive reviews. How did he do it?

I’m not a great fan of anyone speaking nonsense, however the Dr. Fox Effect illustrates just how important Ethos and Pathos are. If you cannot connect with your audience AND appeal to their emotions, your presentation will probably be boring, ignored or forgotten.

 

Brain Rules for Baby

I’m a big fan of Dr. John Medina, developmental molecular biologist and author of the New York Times bestseller Brain Rules.

With his Brain Rule #10 Medina gave us excellent insights into creating presentations which speak directly to our brains (hint: vision trumps all other senses), but he is also a great speaker and puts into practice what he preaches.

With that in mind, check out his recent video Brain Rules for Baby where he exposes many of the myths behind raising children.  Not only can you get some great advice on parenting and how your baby’s brain works, but also on presenting.  Watch how he uses humor, bad examples, passion, enthusiasm and even a quiz to make sure his message sticks in your brain after-wards.

Many people can present, however few people can really get their ideas remembered long after-wards.  It has been a while since I first watched these yet the content is still with me.