Tag Archives: Performers

25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks by John C. Maxwell, Leslie Parrott

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25 Ways to Win with People: How to Make Others Feel Like a Million Bucks by John C. Maxwell, Leslie Parrott

Summary from – http://www.gowland.ca/25-ways-to-win-with-people

1: Start With Yourself

  • You can’t give what you don’t have.
  • Accept yourself as you are (RWG:God’s child), not trying to become what you are not.
    • Identify your insecurities and their source then hold them up to the truth.
    • RWG: What have these insecurities held me back from? Are there any opportunities I can still seize?
  • “Increase your value to others by solving as many of your problems as you can.”
    • Identify areas you need to improve in order to be more valuable to others and develop a plan to accomplish them.

2: The 30 Second Rule

Chapter Notes

  • Within the first 30 seconds of a conversation, say something encouraging to a person.
  • To be successful at this, you have to plan to do it.
  • People need attention, affirmation, and appreciation to be motivated to do what is good and right
  • Upon doing this regularly, people will light up when you simply walk into the room.
  • RWG: Praising the good things in a person increasingly draws them out of that person.

Implementing this habit:

  • Open up my calendar. Who are the people I will be meeting this week?
    • What can I say to them that will encourage them? What have they done for me? What have they done that is worthy of praise? Are they discouraged in any way?
  • Rehearse what I will say to them.

3: Let People Know You Need Them

Chapter Notes

  • People need to be needed. They need to know they helped at a meaningful level.
    • RWG: You may have to connect the dots for them.
  • “Who specifically can help me do a better job than I can do alone?”
  • “Who is just waiting to be asked to join in what I am doing?”

Implementing this habit:

  • Scan your calendar for events where you can let people know that you need them
  • Identify areas where you need help (either due to time or due to ability)
  • List the people who are involved in the same activities, and for each person, identify any strengths that are being underutilized

4: Create a Memory and Revisit It Often

Chapter Notes

  • Revisit existing memories with people
  • Plan experiences to commemorate milestones and create mementos.

Implementing this habit:

  • Who do I want to encourage and/or connect better with (people who work with me, people who work for me, my spouse)? Are there any upcoming events that I can use to create a memory?
  • What are some mile stones coming up that I can create an experience or a memento for?
  • What are some everyday things that I can turn into a memorable occasion?
  • What are some existing memories that I can revisit with someone?

5: Compliment People In Front Of Other People

  • When you compliment someone’s attitudes you can reinforce that attitude and make it more consistent.
  • Find/create opportunities to do so.
  • “Who can I spotlight in front of others?”

6: Give Others a Reputation to Uphold

Chapter Notes

  • Have a high opinion of people (Eg. Linda Eggers “represents me well”, John Hull is “Mr. Relationship”).
  • Back your high opinion up with action; give them responsibility and its associated privileges.
  • “Elite performers usually need 10 years of dedicated and consistent practice before they obtain any recognizable level off excellence,” but this can be cut dramatically if the performer sees that they are forming a recognizable reputation.
  • Start by asking “What is special/unique about this person?”
  • RWG: Most people have given themselves at least one negative name, or have accepted one from others. This will hinder them. Re-enforcing a positive reputation will give them something to live up to.

Implementing this habit:

  • For each organization where you are a leader, list all the people you lead. For each person list all theirs strengths and identify a strength that is unique among within that organization. Find a short phrase that captures that strength and start using it around them and about them.

7: Say the Right Words at the Right Time

  • Forget about what you want to say and ask yourself what you would like to hear if you were in the other’s shoes.

8: Encourage the Dreams of Others

  1. Ask others to share their dreams with you
  2. Affirm the person as well as the dream
  3. Ask about the challenges they must overcome to reach their dreams (RWG: This helps them solidify the steps they need to take to get there. Most people aren’t good at this.)
  4. Offer your assistance
  5. Regularly revisit their dream with them
  6. Return to Step 1

9: Pass the Credit on to Others

  • John Wooden, UCLA coach, taught his players when they scored a point to smile, wink, or nod at the player who gave them the pass.
  • Verbal praise in front of others is powerful, but written praise lasts.
  • Passing on credit changes the recipient’s brain chemistry and creates “and emotional stamp that forever associates you in their minds with their success.”
  • Ask yourself, “who has made me more successful than I would have been on my own?” Then pass on the credit.

10: Offer Your Very Best

  • Give beyond what is required of you.

11: Share a Secret With Someone

  • It makes the other feel special and valued and connected to you.
  • Let them know you are sharing it only because you trust them.

12: Mine the Gold of Good Intentions

  • Being suspicious of others causes me to behave differently toward them, and it makes interacting with them worse.
  • People generally give you what you expect from them.

13: Keep Your Eyes Off the Mirror

  • Serving others from a place of emotional health is a source of contentment.
  • RWG: “What are the needs of those closest to me that I could fill?” (Wife, family, friends, ministry, church, further out.)

14: Do For Others What They Can’t Do For Themselves

  • “The more I give away, the more I seem to get to give away.”
  1. Introduce others to people they can’t know on their own.
  2. Take others to places they can’t go on their own.
  3. Offer others opportunities they can’t reach on their own.
  4. Share ideas with others they don’t possess on their own.
  • Self determination theory: helping others reach their goals cements the relationship
  • What do I have to share? Who could benefit from it?

15: Listen With Your Heart

Chapter Notes:

  • Roadblocks to effective listening:
    • Distractions
    • Defensiveness / close-mindedness
    • Projection / assumptions
    • RWG: Unforgiveness
  • When someone feels I am understanding them, they will be more interested in understanding me, so don’t focus on getting your own point across.

Implementing this habit:

  • Is there anyone who I don’t get along with or would like a deeper relationship with?
  • Take a week for each of these questions and ask them every day:
    • Did I pay attention today?
    • Did I show I was listening today?
    • Did I seek to understand today?
    • Did I respond honestly and appropriately today?
    • Did I ask questions today?

16: Find the Keys to Their Hearts

  • What do they dream about, cry about, find joy in, value, believe to be their strengths?
  • Establish common ground.
  • “Turn the key only when you can add value to that person.”

17: Be the First to Help

  • A good question to ask is “How can I best serve this person?”

18: Add Value to People

  • Learn to value people
  • Learn what those closest to you value from you the most and deliver

19: Remember a Person’s Story

Chapter Notes:

  • The time taken in asking for and listening to someone’s story:
    1. will be entirely focussed on them: their dreams, disappointments, interests, etc..
    2. will be enjoyed by that person
    3. will give you insight into that person
    4. will build a stronger relationship
  • If asking these types of questions is awkward for you, start practicing on people you’re not likely to see again, like cab drivers, waitresses, people in line.
  • Don’t interrupt: replace “That reminds me of…” with “Go on” or “I see”
  • Repeat back what you heard, “Let me see if I understand…”
  • Bring up some aspect of the person’s story the next time you see him.

Implementing this habit:

  • Every day for a month, answer this question in your journal: “Did I interject my own annecdotes or opinion into someone else’s story today?”
  • Every day for a month, answer this question in your journal: “Who will I talk to today who I can ask for a story? Did I ask anyone for their story yesterday?”

20: Tell a Good Story

Chapter Notes

  • Tell us a story rather than just relaying the facts.
  • The goal is connecting and sharing yourself, not just making yourself look good.

Implementing this habit:

  • Ask “How did I convey facts today that I could have shared as a story?”
  • Ask “Did I tell stories today to make me look good rather than to better others?”

21: Give With No Strings Attached

  • I would not be where I am if others had not given freely to me; others need me to do the same for them.

22: Remember Your Mailman’s Name

  • S – Say the name 3 times in a convesation
  • A – Ask a question about the name (eg. spelling) or person
  • V – Visualize the person’s prominent physical or personality feature
  • E – End the conversation with the name
  • A person’s mood and self evaluation improve when another remembers him personally.

23: Point Out People’s Strengths

  • Every person has some ability they are good at (they are at least 1 in 10,000).
  • People are more highly motivated when working in an area of strength
  • RWG: People form an identity either out of their strengths or their weaknesses. Pointing out their strengths promotes the former, which in turn will make them more effective.

24: Write Notes of Encouragement

  • Take the time to handwrite personal notes on a regular basis.
  • A handwritten note is evidence of your investment in that person.
  • Written notes can have a long lasting effect; longer than an email.

25: Help People Win

  • When you help somebody win, you will be that person’s friend for life.
  • Focus on the process, not just on the win. Don’t just hand him the win, help him win so next time maybe he can win on his own.

Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition by Melvin Helitzer

Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition by Melvin Helitzer: The best-selling book on how to think funny, write funny, act funny, and get paid for it.

Click to get the book or ebook

The book is divided into three sections. The first part covers the foundations of humor writing, including the theories and principles of humor and why we laugh. The second section describes various humor-writing techniques, such as plays on words, reverses, pairings, triples, and exaggeration. The final section explains how to write humor for popular markets such as greeting cards, speeches, articles, newsletters, and stand-up comedy. This revised edition also includes chapters on humor writing in advertising and the use of humor in education. The book is heavily peppered with examples from all the greats and much more. It gets into so much detail and becomes so scientific I couldn’t take too many notes.

When the mouth is open for laughter, you may be able to shove in a little food for thought. – Virginia Tooper
I really liked this quote as I see most of my favourite stand-up comics as gurus. They just spread the light with laughter.

The MAP constellation bust always relate to each other. 1. Material. The material must be appropriate to the interests of the audience, and it must relate well to the persona of the performer. 2. Audience. The audience must complement both the material and the presentation style of the performer. 3. Performer. The performer must present the right material to the right audience in the right way.

The reason we laugh comes down to 2 things – Surprise and superiority. The 6 sub reasons are all connected to those two. Instinct, incongruity, ambivalence, release, puzzle solving and regression.

The recipe for humour nearly always has to have the following 6 ingredients – target, hostility, realism, exaggeration, emotion, surprise. Better remembered with the acronym THREES.

I don’t know who did the stats but the book says 25% of the jokes are about sex making it the most joked about topic.

Pregnant pauses are popular. One way of doing it is asking the audience a question, then the build and depending on your audience you do your thing.

POW – Play on words is used 50% of the time. Popular POW techniques are – double entendres, malaprop, oxymoron, pun, reforming, simple truth, take-off. They go deep into each. Like a take-off uses simple truths like the innocence of a child taking each word literally. E.g. I like a girl with a good head on her shoulders, no neck!

When writing be concise. Making it too long is called frosting the flake or stacking the wack. Brent Forrester called it humour and duration principle. Basically the shorter the sweeter.

Brainstorming – Includes association (think mind mapping). You can start of with a cliche, or a cliche on a cliche or something called a Tom Swifty. When writing jokes remember that only 1 out of 10 usually make it. This is why late night shows use about 6 writers just for a 5 minute bit.

Good joke = concise + not revealing keywords + saving the funniest word/phrase till the end.

Construction – You need to make 3 drafts. First one make a list/mind map things associated with the topic and categorise and subcategories. Second – list cliches for each. Third – POW factor, list double entendres, synonyms, antonyms and homonyms. Fourth – Create jokes. And then time it all. For a 5 minute bit you’d need 20 one liners or 7 anecdotes or some kind of mix. The book goes through an in-dept walk-through. Then gives you 4 others ways which are 1 – Work backwards, 2 – Opposites, 3 – Talk instead of writing, 4 – Imagine instead of writing.

Reverses use surprise with a prominent misleading clue. Usually used only once per anecdote. E.g. – I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it – Jonathan Winters. Some beginners telegraph… big no no. While hiding is the opposite of telegraphing which is basically a surprise punchline when the audience think it’s over. E.g. – Every day people are straying away from the church, and going back to God – Lenny Bruce.

Then you got paired elements. There are three varieties of paired elements.
1. paired phrases or sentences
2. paired words
3. paired numbers
E.g. Better a witty fool than a foolish wit – William Shakespeare
Paired words have synonyms, homonyms, antonyms or groupings. Lots of examples and theory.

Out of all formats comics love triples. William Lang even developed the comedic theory of 3 bits. SAP, Setup (preparation), Anticipation (triple), Punchline (story payoff). The P can be integrated into the 3rd part of A.

Some rules – Don’t use more than 3 jokes on the same subject in a monologue. 3 minutes is ideal for a skit. Don’t exceed 3 themes in an article. Keeping it short is good but you can bump up the imagery with specific graphic descriptions in the punchline.

When using truth, the funny because it’s true concept only works if the audience identifies with the reality of it. To pack a punch you can exaggerate but don’t over exaggerate. The stretch-band theory goes something like… the more to exaggerate (stretch) the higher the pitch of the sound when you pluck the band. Just like the higher the laughs but stretch it too much and it snaps. Best way to find a good balance in exaggeration/overestimating/underestimating is to put the possibilities under 3 headings good, better and best.

TEE (truth, emotion, explicitness) determine if a premise is properly set up. Understatements are excellent for self deprecating humor.

Words with a K sound are the funniest words. These words should be used in the middle of the joke. Funny words have one of these three qualities 1 – funny sound, 2 – double entendre, 3 – association with funny person.

When it comes to numbers, you have to make them stand out.

Obscenity has lost it’s shock value but is still an important ingredient and sometimes the obscenity is the only way to execute the joke. Comedic axiom – Insult only ignoramuses or ugly people. 3 instances not to use hard words, 1 – when the definition rather than shock of word sparks off humor, 2 – when a softer word is more widely accepted and money is an issue, 3 – when soft words will encourage the audience to fill in the blanks. Basically shock humor has limited marketability.

Understatements are an admirable alternative and higher technique of humor writing because it requires understanding, which is a sign of confidence and maturity. The rich and successful understate.

Speech humor – You can use it in 1 – the title, 2 – introducing the speaker (you can write this for the MC introducing you), 3 – intro remarks, 4 – speech body, 5 – closing remarks.

Speech rules – Speak no more than 20 mins, 2.5 words per second so 3000 words, speech sentence are shorter than reading ones like average 14 words per sentence.

Funny speech rules – make sure it’s funny (duh). It should be comfortable for the speaker and audience. Don’t read the joke, memorise it and look at the audience. Personalise and localise it by changing names, places, etc. Never apologise or explain your joke. Don’t use hard spoken words or words that don’t sound good. Give credit when quoting others. Shows courtesy, being well read and keenness on brilliance. It’s OK to repeat a surefire story even if you’ve used it before with a few of the audience. (Really really gets into lots of speech stuff).

The Schtick – Every stand-up has one. You can fit no more than one character because the audience are comfortable with stereotypes. In most cases the character should fit the performers personality, appearance, speech and talent.
(Secret – Before Jay Leno delivers his five-minute monologue each evening on The Tonight Show, he tests his material the night before at a local Orange County comedy club, with an audience similar to his show’s audience profile. His twelve writers provide him with twenty minutes of new jokes, and then the audience helps Leno throw out 75 percent of the test materi- al and get down to the final five minutes he delivers the next evening to a national TV audience. That’s a lot of rejection every day. Professionals are used to those odds. So should you be.)

The twenty masks of comedy are:
1. The Jester, 2. The Aggressor, 3. The Sad Sack, 4. The Drug Rebel, 5. The Intellectual, 6. The Political Satirist , 7. The Storyteller, 8. The Rube, 9. The Old Timer, 10. The Ethnic Type, 11. The Immigrant
12. Partners, 13. The Sketch Performer, 14. The Ventriloquist
15. The Impersonator, 16. The Clown, 17. The Artist, Musician, and Cartoonist 18. The Vaudevillian, 19. The Improviser, 20. The Bumbler

Beginners should try different characters before settling on one. After you find the one that fits the real work begins.

Common techniques:
Topper is a follow up joke that builds on previous laugh, should be funnier and shorter.
Running gag/combo is a repeated line.
Call back is a reference to something said earlier.
Saves are usually canned lines used to save you when a joke bombs.
Switching or as Woody Allen calls it ‘the non sequitur is when you start with a familiar story and switch the ending.
Working the audience is asking the audience general and predictable questions. (This one is for pros)

Over to written humour. There are 5 forms. 1 Anecdote, 2 One-line joke, 3 Overstatement, 4 Understatement, 5 Ironic truth.

When writing use more cliche inspired aphorisms, puns, double entendres. A filler has to be something the reader will want to quote or read out loud to a colleague. Written stuff should have a certain timelessness and relevance. E.g. fortune in a cookie ‘Help! I’m a hostage in a fortune cookie factory’. Another e.g. Success is relative. More success, more relatives.

3 major cartoon formats include – 1 single-panel, 2 comic strips, 3 political cartoons. Goes very deep into each.

In fact it goes deep into all sorts of humour for writing. Writing for TV, sit-coms, advertising, businesses, radio, educational humour, etc. Things like when the teacher is on a podium, they should use humour similar to speeches but open with a joke so students get the message that it will be fun. Sandwich humor – So teach a concept, use humor, summarise the principle. Keep anocdotes brief or it’ll get hard to calm the students down.

And finally tips on getting better like practice on others apart from family and friends, collaborate, hire someone, etc. Big up DD for the recommendation.

Foreword ix
Introduction 1

Chapter 1: The Importance of Humor Writing
Chapter 2: Why We Laugh
Chapter 3: The Recipe for Humor

Chapter 4: POW: Play on Words
Chapter 5: More POW: The Simple Truth and the Take-Off
Chapter 6: POW Brainstorming Techniques
Chapter 7: The Next Giant Step: Reverses
Chapter 8: The Harmony of Paired Elements: Phrases, Words, Statistics, and Aphorisms
Chapter 9: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered: Triples
Chapter 10: Realism, Exaggeration, and Understatement
Chapter 11: Funny Words and Foul Language

Chapter 12: Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three: Writing Humor for Speeches
Chapter 13: Stand-Up or Sit Down: Humor for Live Entertainers
Chapter 14: Print Humor: Columns, Articles, and Fillers
Chapter 15: Saw the Picture, Loved the Gag: Humor for Cartoons and Greeting Cards
Chapter 16: The Scarce Comedy: Writing for TV Sitcoms
Chapter 17: We Mean Business
Chapter 18: Teach, Learn, and Laugh
Chapter 19: That’s a Wrap

Glossary 333
Index 337


The Great Porn Experiment and Porn Addiction

The Great Porn Experiment and Porn Addiction
Note: Below I’ve also included 7 Reasons You Don’t Want To Learn About Sex From Porn (Thanks Joe Allen)

Porn Addiction
A science teacher explains the evolutionary forces behind porn’s appeal, how the brain changes in response to super-normal stimulation, and what makes today’s porn different from static porn of the past. Paras note: Basically a longer detailed version of the vid above.

Updated: Your Brain on Porn: How Internet porn affects the brain

Porn Sex vs Real Sex: The Differences Explained With Food … thanks Rahul and Claudia

Why I stopped watching Porn

Porn is called many things.  Some call it art, others call it evil.  Some call it liberating, others call it shameful.  There’s one thing that every one can (or should) agree on.  Porn is recorded.  And like other kinds of recorded film, porn bares about as much similarity to our real sex lives as a Hollywood movie does to our daily life.  Which is to say, not much.

Yet many of us confuse what we see in adult films with what we expect to happen in our own sex lives, or what we imagine happening in the lives of others. This makes some sense. For starters, many people’s earliest exposure to sexual material is through pornography. Add to this the fact that as adults most of us don’t get the chance to talk honestly and openly about sex with a diverse group of people, and you can see how easily porn becomes a kind of sex education.

Of course there’s an important difference between sex education and good sex education and with very few exceptions porn rarely fits the criteria of the latter. People may watch adult films, get ideas from them, and mimic those ideas in real life, but that isn’t the same thing as good sex education and it’s debatable how much one sees in pornography represents common sexual practices.

Here are just a few of the significant ways that mainstream pornography does not represent most people’s sexual experiences. These differences are not meant to suggest that mainstream pornography is good or bad, right or wrong. Most sex therapists and educators agree that watching adult films can be a very healthy part of adult sexual expression.  You wouldn’t find many professionals who would tell you to stop seeing Hollywood movies, but most would likely suggest you not try to model your life on them.

Porn Isn’t Made for the Actors
While sex should be all about what gives the people who are engaging in it pleasure, porn is the opposite. When people have sex on camera for money they’re doing a job, and what they do isn’t designed to turn them on, it’s designed to turn on the viewer, to somehow be cost effective, and to make the director and editors jobs easier. Porn is almost never a document of two (or more) people having pleasurable sex, it’s one person’s idea of what will titillate millions of other people.

Most Porn is Made in a Vacuum
Real life sexual experiences happen in a social context. Whether it’s your first or thirty-first time, every time you have sex you bring your past experiences and your values to bed with you. Porn has none of this. The vast majority of mainstream pornography is made by a small, insulated, and surprisingly sexually unsophisticated group of people in southern California. Sexual behavior can be an incredibly complicated form of human communication and interaction. Pornography isn’t.

Porn Bodies, Hollywood Bodies
You should never compare your body to what you see in porn. For starters, porn actors are chosen in part for their physical attributes. The average penis size among male porn stars is not representative of anything in the general population. As well, because many female actors still make the majority of their money by stripping, plastic surgery remains ubiquitous in the adult entertainment industry.

The Pornographer’s Smoke and Mirrors
In addition to the plastic surgery and bodies that can only be maintained by working out seven days a week, adult filmmakers use other tricks to make porn stars bodies appear much larger, smoother, and “prettier” than what you see in real life. Lighting, camera angles, make up, and even pubic hair design changes the appearance (and apparent size) of porn star body parts.

Sex Positions for the Camera
The sexual positions you see in porn are chosen for a few reasons including visual variety and what will allow the camera greatest access to all the hidden parts. Sex positions in porn don’t represent what’s most popular in the bedrooms of America, or even what is innovative in terms of offering more sexual stimulation. In fact some sexual positions you see in porn are clearly uncomfortable for one or both of the performers.

Porn is Meant to Shock and Excite
The kinds of sexual behaviors you see in porn are not based on any idea of what people actually do in their bedrooms, they are based on what will excite and often shock the porn viewer. They are also based on the pornographer’s need to “prove” to the viewer that actual sex is taking place. Thus external ejaculation is a required element of visual pornography, even though this is not necessarily a common part of the sexual repertoire.

Porn Editors Have Their Work Cut out for Them
Most porn scenes are not shot continuously from the first ring of the doorbell (enter the pizza delivery boy) to the last silly line “Next time I’ll remember to order extra sausage!”). There are constant breaks and interruptions during the shooting of a single scene, and they may even shoot some elements out of order. The end result is that what you see, the order you see it in, and how long it all takes, is often determined by the editing and not the actual sex that took place.

Extra reading:

Pornography Can Ruin Your Sex Life – Thanks Lenny

This Is What Happens To Your Brain When You’re Watching Porn – Thanks Mufu