My Podcast Recommendations #trypod

In the spirit of #trypod, the industry promotion to get more people to listen to podcasts, here are my recommendations.  I will group them into two loose categories, 1) news and information, 2) entertainment News & Information Planet Money (NPR) – I’ve been listening since the beginning. About the economy and business. NPR Politics (NPR) Freakonomic Radio (NPR/WNYC) Entertainment Think again from Big Think – thought leaders James Altuscher Show – interesting guests and he is a good interviewer Startup (Gimlet) – deep info-tainment reporting on startups  (not a “news” program, they go deep into a startupeach season while also chronicling their own startup experience) Reply All (Gimlet) funny, a show “about the internet” Hidden Brain (NPR) – you’ve probably heard segments on NPR, interesting stories about human nature and brain science Pivot Podcast – the author of Pivot, Jenny Blake. Some good episodes, but sometimes they are a bit long winded How I built this (NPR) feature length interviews with people who have created things (like companies, just listened to the episode about the founder of southwest) Twice Removed (gimlet) a show by AJ Jacobs that delves into geneology The Eater Upsell – about the food/restaurant industry Invisibilia   The podcasts I listen to fall into two other categories: 1) those i listen to every episode of, and 2) those I listen to sporadically. I listen to nearly every episode of Planet Money, Hidden Brain, Reply All, StartUp.  All the others, I pick and choose, or used to listen to each episode and am now more selective, or have just started listening to and am not sure that I will listen...

Quadrennial Exercise in Criticizing Election Maps

Every four years, it seems, after an election the coverage of which is dominated by red/blue maps and warnings about how divided our country is, a series of news stories or blog posts will start to emerge on social media proclaiming, “no, its not a big red map with some blue islands, its a really purple map with some red and blue islands” or something like that. Actually, something like this post on Gizmodo. But there are still problems with a purple map, and they are detailed in a post from 2014 on medium about the work of an MIT student even earlier. it is based on color theory. TL;DR: human perception of color is affected by adjacent colors. The same purple is perceived differently depending on whether there is red or blue adjacent to it. The solution: use green to neutralize. Red and blue then desaturated toward gray to indicate the margin of victory. There is still a problem with a map colored in this way, not that you will find any on popular news sites. That problem is population density.  The map still is a geographically accurate map of the US, as most electoral maps are presented, so vast unpopulated areas are unfairly weighted in the mind of the observer. The map on Gizmodo tries to deal with that by desaturating red, blue, purple by population density, however, then we run into the color perception problem. Enter the cartogram. A cartogram uses something that is map-like, but then skews the areas so that they reflect some other measure, like population density (2012) and  2016, or in some other cases, electoral vote density, in fact, a number of...

Pitching In The Strike Zone at the Seattle Interactive Conference 2016

In my session, Pitching In The Strike Zone: Unlocking Your Authentic Voice For Success In Business at the Seattle Interactive Conference on October 18th, I mention the following resources, some of them on my website here, and others from elsewhere on the web. It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It: Advice for nonverbal and verbal delivery in presentations. Presentation Skills Resources: a compendium of resources that I share with my clients and students. The Science Of People TED Talk Research TED Talks: The Official Guide To Public Speaking, By Chris Anderson   Here is the full description for my session: Whether you are trying to make an impression with an individual or a crowd, crafting and delivering an authentic message is critical to your success. From elevator pitches to interviews, to the board room — your ability to connect with your listeners and build an empathic relationship will dictate the outcomes. After surveying the latest research on body language, storytelling, and verbal communication, Gregory Heller will share what he has learned through working with over 250 MBA students in the last 13 months and years of coaching executives and communications consulting. Attendees will be invited to workshop their pitch during this session....

On Translating Really Big Numbers and Giving Them a Human Context

I am pretty big into data visualization right now: how can communicators help people understand data with charts or pictures. It’s all the rage. But communicators still need to think about how to contextualize really big numbers with words that evoke images. In disaster reporting you often hear things like, “The wildfires burned an area larger than the state of Rhode Island!” or “The oil spill could fill 1000 olympic swimming pools.” (I’m not suggesting that either of these are very good examples, they are basically stand-ins for saying “really big” because the writer or speaker is completely convinced of the innumeracy of his audience. Today I encountered an article about a topic that interests me, food waste. I didn’t get too far into it before my mind (and fingers) were off on a tangent. Here is the second sentence: To give you an idea of how much 3,000 tons is, that’s the weight of the new warship USS Little Rock, set to be commissioned later this year. Do you know how big a warship is? I don’t. Do you want to click through just to find out? I don’t.  Using an analogy to help the reader understand a quantifiable measure only really helps when the analogous thing is something your audience knows about. Otherwise it just means, “really big”. So here are a few better ways to quantify 3,000 tons: 1 ton is 2,000 pounds, so 3,000 tons is 6 Million pounds. We all know how much we weigh, and have a sense of a pound of food, we often buy food by weight. If it were all...