Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How not to coach - Jimmy Kimmel Mansplains to Hilary Clinton

On March 24th a humorous 3-1/2 minute YouTube video was posted by Jimmy Kimmel Live. Watch him provide contradictory advice to Hilary Clinton. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

A brief book review of Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

I have been reading and greatly enjoying Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic’s excellent recent book Storytelling with Data: a data visualization guide for business professionals.

In my March 17th blog post on how 3-D Pie Charts are the Spawn of Satan I used an example of what NOT to do taken from her book. In this post I’ll show an example of what you should do.  

This 267-page book has ten chapters titled:

1]   The importance of context.
2]   Choosing an effective visual.
3]   Clutter is your enemy. 
4]   Focus your audience’s attention.
5    Think like a designer.

6]   Dissecting model visuals.
7]   Lessons in storytelling.
8]   Putting it all together.
9]   Case studies.
10] Final thoughts.

She points out that some people stop after doing an exploratory analysis, when they really should keep on going, do an explanatory analysis, and tell a story.

For example, look at the table shown above with ticket volume (work orders) by month for an information technology (IT) group. If we stare at it for a minute or two, we eventually will discover that in the second half of the year the volume processed fell to about twenty percent lower than the volume received.

The column chart shown above (done with Microsoft Excel) lets us visualize that data more clearly. (Click on it to see a larger, clearer view). It is how that information might be displayed on a business dashboard. Our reaction might be a yawn, and to ask So What? if we don’t know the context.

But to that IT group having the blue and red columns match up says they’re keeping up with incoming work. Getting all those tickets processed is their key performance indicator.   

A column chart still is clumsy. It is not an effective visual. A line graph would be better. In Chapter 3 (on page 90) she uses that data in a section on Decluttering: step by step. Her original done with Excel defaults had a horizontal axis with month labels, a vertical axis from 0.00 to 300.00 (with gridlines every 50.00), blue triangles and lines for Received, and red squares and lines for Processed. She removed the chart border, gridlines, and data markers. Then she cleaned up the axis labels from months (shown diagonally) to three-letter abbreviations (shown horizontally), and labeled the lines directly instead of using indirect axis labels placed underneath the month abbreviations. This example also is discussed in her 29-minute March 1st YouTube video, Declutter Your Data Visualizations, for three minutes starting at 7-1/2 minutes.

Here is my version of the resulting graph, which now clearly illustrates that gap.  

In Chapter 5, Think like a designer, Cole revisits the ticket example. So far it’s missing a title or headline, and doesn’t yet tell a story. Her Figure 5.9 adds a title, Ticket volume over time. Then in Figure 5.10 on page 144 she adds a Headline (action title) and a supporting story text.

Her headline is: “Please approve the hire of 2 FTEs”
with a subtitle: “to replace those who quit in the past year.”

Her story text is that:

 “2 employees quit in May. We nearly kept up with incoming volume in the following two months, but fell behind with the increase in Aug and haven’t been able to catch-up since.”

My version (without the FTE acronym) is shown above. Also, note that we’d be in huge trouble if we had another month like March.

An earlier version of this example (with slightly different numbers) had appeared on June 29, 2012 in Cole’s blog post on Drawing attention with data labels. I created my version starting from her Excel file linked to at the end of that post. There are another twenty examples in the Gallery at her Storytelling with Data web site.

This example also is discussed 5 minutes into Cole’s 53-minute YouTube video of her Authors at Google presentation.

The 1939 image of Ernest How and Douglas Davenport explaining a chart came from the Library of Congress.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Would you rather hear a speaker with a wealth of knowledge, or one with an excellent depth and breadth of knowledge?

A post by George Torok on March 24th at the LinkedIn Public Speaking group asked Would you use the phrase “wealth of knowledge”? and then explained that:

“The speaker was described as having a "wealth of knowledge". It's an overused cliche that's boring because it tells you nothing. It would be better to state, "The speaker knows how to take you from ‘point A’ to ‘Point B’ Point A could be a particular problem while Point B could be success.”

Consider an example illustrated with 21 pennies. For just breadth, imagine laying them out as shown above: in a single layer with six rows - three each with 4 and 3. That’s like someone who’s just capable of introducing all those topics.

Wouldn’t you rather have someone like seven stacks of pennies, each 3 high, or three stacks, each 7 high. Those are better combinations showing both breadth and depth.

How about someone like one stack 21 pennies high? That’s a “one-trick pony” - a person specializing in only one area.

A fictional TV character combining incredible breadth and depth is Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds. He’s supposed to have a half-dozen degrees -  B.A.s in Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy, and Ph.D.s in Chemistry, Engineering, and Mathematics. See his quote page at IMDB.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Public speaking, fear, fairy tales, and unicorn poop

Occasionally I run a Google search on fear and public speaking. My latest one turned up a March 22nd blog post titled The pooping unicorn and the fear of public speaking by Steven Sobieszczyk who this month started to blog as Steve Sobie at Your Next Big Speech (subtitled Parenting & Public Speaking. Together). It includes a five-minute Youtube cartoon video about his wife telling a bedtime fairy tale to calm his young daughters - that unicorns poop ice cream. How could they do that without freezing their behinds off?

The third sentence of his text says:

“....Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking and it is the #1 fear of most people.”

That’s also a fairy tale. Glossophobia is a pseudo-technical term. And, either way you look at it, public speaking isn’t the number one fear. In the 2015 Chapman Survey it ranked 26th out of 89. Steve is an adjunct professor in the geography department of Portland State University, so you’d expect him to have researched what he said.

I hadn’t known that unicorns pooped ice cream - I thought they just pooped pure sugar or perhaps rainbow fudge. When I Googled unicorns and poop I found an amusing and disturbing YouTube video titled This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop - #SquattyPotty for a  product called the Squatty Potty. It showed an animated unicorn pooping rainbow soft- serve ice cream! A more medically correct name for that product would be the Stool Stool.

An image of a unicorn was adapted from this one at Wikimedia Commons.

UPDATE March 28, 2016

Holy crap! Today's F Minus cartoon shows a toilet with a retractable footrest like a Squatty Potty.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Explaining something by comparison with the familiar

South of Boise and east of Cole Road, on the sagebrush that will become the Syringa Valley subdivision, I saw an enormous piece of construction equipment that I’d never seen before. It was a Trencor 1660 HDE chain trencher. Just imagine a Ditch Witch on steroids. Did that help? Probably not, unless you’ve already seen one cutting trenches for installing sprinkler pipe or TV cable.

But most people are familiar with chain saws, like the one shown above. Imagine a longer, wider chain saw mounted on a vehicle with wheels or tracks underneath, like the Ditch Witch R300 shown below. That’s a chain trencher.

Wikimedia Commons has a category with 32 images of them. The accompanying text says:

“A chain trencher cuts with a digging chain that is driven around a rounded metal frame (formerly sometimes a rotating wheel at the end of a boom). This type of trencher can cut ground that is too hard to cut with a bucket-type excavator. The angle of the boom can be adjusted to control the depth of the cut. To cut a trench, the boom is held at a fixed angle while the machine creeps slowly. Chain trenchers are used for narrow to wide trenches, especially in rural areas. The excavated material can be removed by conveyor belt to either side of the trench.”

Here’s what that Trencor 1660 HDE looks like. I found a 2000 brochure from Trencor here. The engine is a 750 hp turbocharged Caterpillar V-12 with two 520 gallon fuel tanks. Crawler tracks underneath (from a Caterpillar D8 bulldozer) are 19-1/2 feet long, and the rear overhang is another 12-1/2 feet. It’s 13 feet wide, 12 feet high, and weighs over 107 tons.   

And here is a brief YouTube video of one at work:

Images of a chain saw and a Ditch Witch R300 both came from Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

R.I.P. Andy Grove

Yesterday Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel and one of the creators of Silicon Valley, died. If the news cycle were less frenetic today his passing would have gotten more notice. Grove was famous for demanding clear communication. 

You can read his obituaries from USA Today, the New York Times, and Fortune.

He was born in Hungary, emigrated to the U.S. at age 20, and earned a degree in Chemical Engineering from the City College of New York. Then he headed west to the University of California at Berkeley and earned a Ph.D. He worked at Fairchild Semiconductor, and then left in 1968 just when Intel was formed. (While working at Fairchild he taught a course at Berkeley and published a book on Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices [1967]). He also wrote a management book with the obviously Hungarian-inspired title Only the Paranoid Survive, and Swimming Across: A Memoir.

An image of Andy in his office way back in the 1970s came from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Don’t dress like a ninja when you are going to speak!

Men often wear a navy blue or charcoal gray suit when giving a speech. What happens when there is a charcoal gray curtain in the background, and you thoughtlessly choose that gray suit? You look like a ninja. Only your head, hands, and some of your shirt will show up.

You can watch a long YouTube video from last year where motivational speaker (and ex-con) James Arthur Ray does this. (Mr. Ray has earned a page at the Encyclopedia of American Loons). He’s the guy who put the harm in Harmonic Wealth.  

You also can look like a snow ninja if you wear a white shirt or dress while standing in front of a whiteboard.

T. J. Walker has a YouTube video on What NOT to Wear for Your Next Presentation.   Nick Morgan blogged about What should a successful speaker wear in 2016?, and back in 2011 Denise Graveline blogged about When you’re speaking, what colors should you wear? 6 guideposts.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Giving the worst lecture ever

Yesterday at Faculty Focus there was an article by Amy Blanding, Kealin McCabe, and Heather Smith from the University of Northern British Columbia titled The Worst Lecture Ever. It described beginning a course on presentation skills with a series of bad examples:

“We held the Worst Lecture Competition during the first full week of classes. The instructors and a graduate student competed for the Worst Lecture award, while students evaluated and voted for the worst lecture. 

Drawing on literature about effective presentations as well as personal feedback and our own experiences, we identified characteristics of the worst presentations. Then we divided those characteristics among ourselves, determined the personas we would adopt, and prepared to deliver the worst possible lecture. 

Heather presented a lecture about her cats. With slides full of cat photos and the enthusiasm of a devout cat lover, she shared plenty of useless facts and deviated from the topic to include photos of her trip to Australia. Heather was disorganized, unprepared, and tangential. She dressed sloppily, included quotes without citations, and cited problematic sources. On the plus side, she did have a clear learning objective. Unfortunately, she didn’t meet it… perhaps because she ran over the allotted time.”

Providing bad examples can be a humorous way to teach. I’ve previously blogged about Mixing up clear English and turning it into mud and Don’t be a “Flip Chart Charlie.”

The image was adapted from a 1944 drawing of a bomb lecture by Victor Alfred Lundy found at the Library of Congress.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

3-D Pie Charts are the Spawn of Satan

I have been reading and greatly enjoying Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic’s excellent recent book Storytelling with Data: a data visualization guide for business professionals. Her second chapter is about Choosing an Effective Visual. Under the heading  of To Be Avoided she has a subheading that pie charts are evil. She shows why on page 62 with an example similar to the following one I did in Excel. Based on a quick glance at the 3D pie chart, we’d like to answer these and similar questions:

Which supplier has the largest market share?

What percent is it?

Which supplier is second?

It looks like Supplier B (red) has the largest share, between a quarter and a third of the market.

 But, that’s an illusion resulting from a low-angle perspective. When we label the sectors with their percentages, it turns out that Supplier D (purple) really has the largest share with 35% rather than 31%. (Cole’s example had the two largest sectors next to each other, which made it simpler to compare angles. Mine doesn’t).

A plain, two-dimensional pie chart is slightly better. But, we still wind up mentally constructing what is shown more clearly in the following table:

Either a horizontal bar chart or a vertical bar (column) chart will do a better job of letting us visualize what is going on. That is because we can compare the ranked bar lengths against a common origin.
In this blog I typically use horizontal bar charts for presenting results from fear surveys, since they provide more room for captioning each bar with a long survey question.   

In a post on her Storytelling with Data blog titled The great pie debate she showed a slide for a talk on DEATH TO PIE CHARTS! I wholeheartedly agree.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spouting nonsense: Richard Branson claimed that public speaking is the world’s biggest fear, and death is second

Just because you heard it from a famous wealthy businessman doesn’t mean it’s true. On October 7th of 2015 Sir Richard Branson tweeted that:

“Death is the world’s second biggest fear. First? Public speaking [link]”

Is this yet another rehash of an old Jerry Seinfeld joke? Yes, although that’s not what Sir Richard said. The article at he linked to opens with:

“If you had to name the thing that scares you the most, what would it be? All sorts of common fears may come to mind: heights, spiders, deep water, clowns, realising you’ve gone to school without your trousers on. But one fear stands above all others: standing up and speaking in public.

When University of Nebraska-Omaha researchers conducted a study of more than 800 college students a few years ago, public speaking topped the list of biggest fears. To indicate how scary people find the idea of speaking before a group, it beat a particularly notable fear into second place: death.”

Back in 2012 when the magazine article about that study came out, I blogged about what it really said in a post titled More university students in the U.S. fear public speaking than fear death, but death is their top fear.

But, that survey never said it took a random sample of students at that one university, so it can’t be extrapolated even to the U.S., let alone the world.

We really don’t have any surveys of the whole world. Further back in October 2010 Reader’s Digest Canada published results from an online poll that had surveyed women and men in 16 countries. They asked one simple question:

What is your greatest fear?

1. Losing my looks.
2. Going broke.
3. Speaking in public.
4. Being alone.

On April 9, 2012 I blogged about that in a post titled Poll by Reader’s Digest Canada found fear of public speaking wasn’t ranked first in 15 of 16 countries surveyed, which included the United Kingdom, the U.S., and Canada. It only came in first for France. 

Chapter 18 in Carmine Gallo’s’ new book The Storyteller’s Secret is titled with a Richard Branson quote:

“If something can’t be explained on the back of an envelope, it’s rubbish.”

Conversely, if something is rubbish, then it doesn’t matter whether it can fit on the back of an envelope or not.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Listening for gravitational waves

On February 11, 2016 the National Science Foundation put out a press release titled Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction.

Allan Adams gave an eleven-minute TED talk on What the discovery of gravitational waves means. He began by stating that:

“1.3 billion years ago, in a distant, distant galaxy, two black holes locked into a spiral, falling inexorably towards each other and collided, converting three Suns' worth of stuff into pure energy in a tenth of a second. For that brief moment in time, the glow was brighter than all the stars in all the galaxies in all of the known Universe. It was a very big bang. 

But they didn't release their energy in light. I mean, you know, they're black holes. All that energy was pumped into the fabric of space and time itself, making the Universe explode in gravitational waves.” 

On February 26th at his Executive Speech Coach blog George Torok linked to that TED talk in a post titled Open your presentation with a startling fact. What Allan said really was even more startling. Physicists and astronomers are used to describing masses as multiples of the Sun’s mass. I’m not. How does that compare with the Earth’s mass?

One Sun mass = 332,946 Earth masses, so 3 Sun masses is almost exactly A MILLION earth masses, which is way more startling.

There is another three-minute YouTube video in which Brian Greene explains the discovery of gravitational waves.

The Advanced LIGO observatory wasn’t the first try at finding gravitational waves. At Wikipedia there is a web page on Gravitational Wave Observatory that discusses previous experiments.

On March 21, 2014 I blogged about a recent one in a post titled Microwave telescope down at the South Pole finds gravitational waves from the Big Bang. Unfortunately that experiment got questioned and discredited later in 2014. See a New York Times article on September 22, 2014 titled Criticism of Study Detecting Ripples from Big Bang Continues to Expand.

Back in the late 1960’s Joseph Weber also tried to detect the waves, as described in a December 22, 2005 article in Physical Review Focus titled A Fleeting Detection of Gravitational Waves. Physicists are very persistent though, and kept on listening.

The image of an Ear Trumpet was adapted from one found in Benjamin Bell’s 1791 book, A System of Surgery seen at the Images from the History of Medicine web site.

Friday, March 11, 2016

A great comical infographic about pipeline sizes

A recent xkcd cartoon by Randall Monroe (shown above) compares:

“The size of the U.S.’s pipelines if each fluid produced or consumed in the U.S. had to be carried by a single pipe.”

Click on the image for a larger, clearer view. Note that the small horizontal rectangle with toothpaste at the upper left just is a very small inset from the vertical rectangle below it. A blog called Explain XKCD has discussed that image. I had no idea that we apparently make almost equal amounts of toothpaste and salsa.

Another of his comics reshuffled the United States Map so Ohio was in the Pacific Northwest, Idaho was down on the Gulf Coast, and Illinois was where Florida belongs.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A questionable infographic on How to Master Public Speaking

Yesterday I received an email from Lydia Bailey with a link to an infographic titled How to Master Public Speaking posted at Master’s Program’s Guide. I’m not very impressed by it.

First, there is a section titled Glossophobia with a bar chart of twelve fears labeled Percentage of Americans who fear. Glossophobia really is a pseudo-technical term. I have blogged about how Gary Larson’s invented term Luposlipaphobia is as useful a word as glossophobia.

The Sources link at the bottom for the first reference just points to the home page for the Washington Post. That is hopelessly opaque and vague, as are the other eight source links. You should not blindly believe of those statistics without being able to get back to their sources. 

That bar chart with 12 fears actually shows rounded off results from this article that are the sum of percentages for Very Afraid and Afraid from the first Chapman Survey on American Fears from 2014. The day before it appeared I blogged about it in more detail in a post titled Chapman Survey on American Fears includes both zombies and ghosts. The fourth, orange bar chart in my blog post shows those same results without rounding.

The next section of that infographic is titled Why Is The Fear of Public Speaking So Common? But, the more recent second 2015 Chapman Survey showed it isn’t that common. I blogged about how Corruption of Federal Government Officials was first in the top ten list from the 2015 Chapman Survey of American Fears. Public speaking wasn’t even in the top twenty. As shown above, it ranked 26th out of 89 (and dying was 43rd). 58% feared Corruption, 28.4% feared Public speaking, (and 21.9% feared Dying). In another blog post I pointed out that According to the 2015 Chapman Survey of American Fears, adults are less than Afraid of federal government Corruption, and only Slightly Afraid of Public Speaking

That infographic also claims that:

“More than 1 in 5 children report being bullied, a common form of childhood social trauma.”

I did a Google search and found an article from 2009 titled Children’s Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey that said it was a lot more - ~30% rather than ~20%. Under Bullying it said that:

“About 1 in 5 children (19.7 percent) report having been teased or emotionally bullied in the previous year, and nearly 3 in 10 reported having been teased or emotionally bullied in their lifetimes.” 

I have not chased down all the sources for this infographic, but what I’ve seen so far raises big red flags about it.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Getting comfortable with testifying as a witness

Testifying is a unique experience, with different rules than other forms of communication. The best preparation for it is going through a mock trial that simulates the process. I only got comfortable after testifying a dozen times.

What is it like to testify in a deposition or in court? Testifying resembles something scary you’ve seen on television shows like Law and Order - a ‘perp’ being interrogated by detectives doing the good cop/bad cop routine. It is a different situation than either prepared or impromptu public speaking. Instead you tell the story by answering questions posed by attorneys.

During direct examination you are questioned by an attorney who wants you to tell your story. During cross examination you are questioned by other opposing attorneys who instead want to pick holes in your story, and discredit you if possible. After hearing each question you pause, and wait for your attorney to object before you answer.   

Daniel I. Small wrote an article on The ten rules of powerful witness preparation that appeared in the July 2012 issue of Family Advocate magazine. He says that being a witness is NOT a conversation, and notes that:

“In this world the questioner appears to be in control. It’s an illusion, but even the most accomplished witness can fall victim to it. Don’t do it. Remember, the witness has the right and the responsibility to take control.”

His ten rules are:

1]   Take your time.
2]   Remember, you are making a record.
3]   Tell the truth.
4]   Be relentlessly polite.

5]   Don’t answer a question you don’t understand.
6]   If you don’t remember, say so.
7]   Do not guess.
8]   Do not volunteer.
9]   Be careful with documents.
10] Use your counsel. 

There are two types of witnesses. Fact witnesses just testify about what happened. Experts also testify about how it happened. An expert uses his knowledge and experience to help the judge and jury to understand the facts. For example, after a motor vehicle crash there might be broken components like suspension springs or axles. Did one fail progressively and cause the vehicle to crash, or did it break as a result of abnormally large forces from the crash?  

I have been an expert witness in both civil court depositions and trials. Depositions are part of the discovery process that precedes a trial. A deposition might take place in a small meeting room containing just the witness, two attorneys, and a court reporter. I’ve also had a low-budget (and low stress) version done over the telephone where only one attorney was in the room with me. 

Typically the deposition of an expert begins with establishing his qualifications including education, experience, and credentials such as professional engineer registration. (I was registered in Ohio from 1988 to 2015). Then you describe what you did on the case, and the process you used to arrive at your conclusions. You might use some props to explain things. Back in 2009 I blogged about how Props for the courtroom are called demonstrative evidence.

By Murphy’s Law, two decades back, I once even had two depositions on the very same day. In the morning I had a telephone deposition (that originally was scheduled for the previous afternoon). Then I drove 140 miles through a thunderstorm to another afternoon one where attorneys for six parties were present. And then I drove back home.

Most civil cases settle, but some go on to court. Testifying in court is more stressful than deposition. There’s also judge and a jury, in a courtroom with an audience. If the attorney is well prepared, testifying isn’t very stressful. A careful attorney can use more than one expert, and will carefully describe to each the limits of what they will testify on. When the attorney isn’t well prepared a case can become a nightmare. Then multiple experts can contradict and neutralize each other.

In one case the client we worked for switched law firms shortly before trial. The new guys guessed wrong about when they would need the witness preceding me, whose testimony was needed to provide a foundation for what I’d done. That witness had looked at the scene, and taken the samples I’d done lab work on. He had warned them he already was committed to be somewhere else, and couldn’t be two places at once. It didn’t end well.

An image showing Owen D. Young taking an oath came from the Library of Congress.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The so-called Law of Vibration is drivel

A while ago at the LinkedIn group called Public Speaking Network I saw a post which linked to a recent, very slick, ten-minute YouTube video by Bob Proctor on The Law of Vibration. Bob is a gray-haired gentleman who looks like your grandfather or a crazy uncle (there’s a web page about him over at the Encyclopedia of American Loons). But, his notion of how the universe works really just is a fairy tale. Here is a transcript of that video:

“In the movie ‘The Secret’ I quoted Dr. Wernher von Braun, who is considered by many as the father of the space program. He said: ‘the natural laws of this universe are so precise that we don’t have any difficulty building a spaceship, sending people to the moon, and we can time the landing with a precision of a fraction of a second.’ He also said these laws must have been set by someone.

And you know, it’s strange, It’s not that long ago when science and religion were really considered antagonistic. That’s not so today. It’s looked at it now one’s studying the cause and the other’s studying the effect. And von Braun said after studying the spectacular mysteries of the cosmos for many years he had arrived at the firm conviction that there is a God. I see the laws as God’s modus operandi It’s how everything happens.

The Secret was based on the concept of the Law of Attraction. and, because the movie went viral, it was all over the world. Everyone everywhere was talking about the Law of Attraction. People writing books on it that don’t really understand it. People speaking on it that many of them advertise their ignorance when they talk about it. I’m of the conclusion that attraction is not understood in any depth by most people.

Now, I’ve studied this every day for fifty-some years, and I can assure you attraction is a law, but it’s a secondary law. The primary law is the Law of Vibration. The Law of Vibration is one of the basic laws of the universe. It decrees that everything moves, nothing rests. We literally live in an ocean of motion. Do you know that everything is an expression of the same thing? The leaves, the tree, the cement, the body, the clothes. It’s all energy at a different rate of vibration.

You see, your body is a molecular structure at a very high speed of vibration. Your brain is an electronic switching station. Your brain does not think, but you think with your brain. There’s a difference. As you activate brain cells, you set up a vibration in your body. For me to just move my hand like that, I had to activate brain cells, or my hand wouldn’t have done it. If a person’s had a stroke, where the just blood stops going to a section of the brain, those brain cells become dead. The movement in the body, in that part of the body that is controlled by those cells stops.  

Vibration is something that must be understood if you’re going to take control of your health. It must be understood if you’re gonna take control of your relationships. It must be understood if you want to become wealthy. And if you want to really master the art of selling, vibration is an essential. You’ve got to understand that. And yet, almost all the sales training programs that are done worldwide have nothing about the Law of Vibration in them.

Robert Louis Stevenson said everybody’s selling. You’re selling a idea, a product, or a service. And it’s true. The teacher is selling the student. The parent is selling the child. The child is selling the parent. Well, what do we mean selling? Well, the professional sales person understands that selling is doing something for someone, not to someone. And the professional will sit down and they will get to know the prospect. They will find as much about the prospect as they can.

They will have permission to ask the prospect questions. They will gather a lot of information, and they find out where the prospect wants to go, what they want to accomplish. They mentally get on the prospect’s frequency and help the prospect go to where they want to go. My old mentor called that empathy ego balance, where you’re able to get into the other person’s mind and see the world from where they see it. Get on their frequency, get in their vibration.          

The vibration you’re in is gonna dictate what you attract into your life. And if you’re troubled, you’re worried, you’re gonna attract a lot of bad energy. That’s why the great sufferer in the Bible (Job 3:25) said “Lo, the thing I fear is come to visit upon me.” Well, fear is a very negative vibration. It’s a very negative emotion. It’s caused by doubt and worry, and doubt and worry is really caused by ignorance. That’s why Solomon said (Proverbs 4:7) “In all your getting, get understanding.” What do we want to understand?  I think we want to understand the laws that govern our being, the laws that govern our universe. And then we want to understand how to get in harmony with the law. Everything you want will come to you when you get in harmony with it. 

Vibration is essential to understand. But only one person, maybe (in) ten has any grasp of it at all. If you ask a person how they feel, what they’re really telling you is their conscious awareness of the vibration they’re in. If a person says I just don’t feel very well, that person’s probably in a very negative vibration. A person said I feel wonderful, they’re in a very good vibration. If you’re in a really good vibration, and you’re with a person that’s very negative, you will not feel comfortable in their presence. Feeling, conscious awareness, vibration, you don’t feel comfortable in their energy and you want to get away from them. Now, if you were negative and they’re negative, you’re going to come together. Misery loves company. See, these old sayings are all based on laws. It’s hard to believe that two miserable people would be comfortable together, but if you understand they’re both on the same frequency. They’re both listening both to the same music.

You’ll often hear a person that went for a walk in the woods and they said it was so pleasant. Why? The vibration of nature is perfect. That’s why a walk in the woods leaves you feeling so good.

What do you understand about The Law of Vibration? That’s a good question to ask yourself. I’m going to give you a small exercise. The next time you’re around a person that’s complaining about anything, or that obviously doesn’t feel very well, start changing the subject. Start talking to them about them, about something good about them. Compliment them. But make it a sincere merited compliment, not false praise. No flattery. Pick out something good that they do, and slowly turn the subject around to that. Let them know how much you admire how well they do it. And you know something, like that their energy will change. You have caused them to change their vibration. Now the beautiful truth about this, when you do, you’ll learn how to do it to yourself when you’re not feeling very good. That’s the beautiful truth. We are in control of how we feel.        

I was reading something by Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search for Meaning, a Viennese psychiatrist  who spent the war years in a concentration camp. He said in every situation there is a space between the situation and how you respond to it, and in that space you can decide how you’re going to respond. Now, that space may only be a millisecond, but in that space you can decide. Are you going to react, or are you going to respond? Think of it. In every situation between the situation and your response, there is a space, and in that space you can decide how you’re going to respond.

Vibration is something that I love studying. When you’re in a restaurant or in a store or anyplace where the energy is really good, you feel very comfortable. It’s the vibration in the place. You’ve gone into a restaurant and sat down, and before you ordered it and all the sudden you don’t want to eat there. It’s the energy, it’s the vibration of that place. You should get up and leave.

Go where you feel comfortable. Do what makes you feel good. That’s why people that are doing what they love never have to work again. They spend their whole life in a wonderful vibration. The person who truly understands how to pray puts himself in a wonderful vibration. I want to suggest you study it and understand this. You will attract to you whatever you’re in harmonious vibration with. You are in control of the vibration you’re in.”

The first thing you should know is the idea that “everything moves, nothing rests” goes back about 2500 years to the philosopher Heraclitus.

Mr. Proctor says a sales person should:

“Get on their frequency, get in their vibration.”

But, there’s nothing that says a thing or person should have just ONE frequency. First we can look at some things that are big enough to see with our naked eye. Let’s look at how a string, a one-dimensional object, can vibrate.

Watch this YouTube video of a Vibrating string - normal modes. Note that they show different frequencies with n = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Next, watch another YouTube video of a two-dimensional object - Amazing resonance experiment (square plate). Is The Frequency 345, 1033, 1820, 2041, 3240, 3835, 3975, 4049, 4129,   4173, 4221, 4280, 4444, 4671, 4840, 5201, 5284, 5907, or 6051 Hz?

What about something we can’t see, like a water molecule. If we can’t describe how it vibrates, then we have no hope of understanding how the universe behaves. As shown above, it has three different ways to vibrate. You can watch an animation of them on the Wikipedia page about Electromagnetic absorption by water (look under Vibrational spectrum). 

That Wikipedia page also shows the more complicated Absorption Spectrum (attenuation coefficient) versus wavelength (or frequency) for water as a liquid (red), solid ice (blue), or a gas (green). Ask a chemist to explain it to you.   

The real universe is a lot more complicated than Bob Proctor’s fairy tale version. 

Images of sine waves, a ball model for water, and the absorption spectrum for water all came from Wikimedia Commons.

UPDATE - March 10, 2016

At The Atlantic on March 9th Michael Graziano has an article titled Most Popular Theories of Consciousness Are Worse Than Wrong. He mentions the oscillation theory, which may be where Mr. Proctor got his vibrations from.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

17% of medical residents fear public speaking

The Journal of Graduate Medical Education has a section titled To the Editor: Observations. The February 1, 2016 issue had a brief article there by Vickram Tejwani, Duc Ha, and Carlos Isada titled Public speaking anxiety in graduate medical education - A matter of interpersonal and communication skills. You can also download a one-page .pdf file

They reported results from a survey done between November 2012 and December 2013. 18 of 107 residents (or approximately 17%) had symptoms of anxiety when speaking in front of others. That’s a bit lower than the 21.2% for U.S. adults reported in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, as I discussed last August in a post titled There’s really no mystery about how common stage fright is

An image of three doctors came from Wikimedia Commons