Category Archives: Video

Nancy Duarte: The secret structure of great talks (from TEDTalks)

From Ted: “Nancy Duarte is an expert in presentation design and principal of Duarte Design, where she has served as CEO for 21 years. Nancy speaks around the world, seeking to improve the power of public presentations. She is the author of Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations. Her most recent book, Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, was published in 2010.”



HELP! I’m Obsessed With the Four Learning Styles!

Understanding and Evaluating for Kolb’s Learning Styles

The Two Preference dimensions, or axes (Click images to enlarge)

This is a good representation of Kolb’s “Four Learning Styles”, with the axes and the types clearly organized. At the bottom of this post I reposted a brilliant hand-drawn interpretation of the concept.
Notice the popular “4 Spiritual Types” model is simply flipped upside down and backward. Same Axes, same idea. This concept is used in Christian ministry, other missions orientation assessment. Compatible with Briggs-Myers.










Perception Dimension

In the vertical “Perception” dimension, people will have a preference according to two main continuum running along the vertical axis above:

  • Concrete experience: Looking at things as they are, without any change, in raw detail.
  • Abstract conceptualization: Looking at things as concepts and ideas, after a degree of processing that turns the raw detail into an internal model.

People who prefer concrete experience will argue that thinking about something changes it, and that direct empirical data is essential. Those who prefer abstraction will argue that meaning is created only after internal processing and that idealism is a more real approach.

This spectrum is very similar to the Jungian scale of Sensing vs. Intuiting.

Processing dimension

In the horizontal “Processing” dimension, people will take the results of their Perception and process it in preferred ways along the continuum between:

  • Active experimentation: Taking what they have concluded and trying it out to prove that it works.
  • Reflective observation: Taking what they have concluded and watching to see if it works.

Four Learning Styles (a.k.a. Four Spiritual Types)

The experimenter, like the concrete experiencer, takes a hands-on route to see if their ideas will work, whilst the reflective observers prefer to watch and think to work things out.

1) Divergers (Concrete experiencer/Reflective observer) = NLP: “Why?”

  • Divergers take experiences and think deeply about them, thus diverging from a single experience to multiple possibilities in terms of what this might mean. They like to ask ‘why’, and will start from detail to constructively work up to the big picture.
  • They enjoy participating and working with others but they like a calm ship and fret over conflicts. They are generally influenced by other people and like to receive constructive feedback.
  • They like to learn via logical instruction or hands-one exploration with conversations that lead to discovery.

2) Convergers (Abstract conceptualization/Active experimenter) = NLP: “How?”

  • Convergers think about things and then try out their ideas to see if they work in practice. They like to ask ‘how’ about a situation, understanding how things work in practice. They like facts and will seek to make things efficient by making small and careful changes.
  • They prefer to work by themselves, thinking carefully and acting independently. They learn through interaction and computer-based learning is more effective with them than other methods.

3) Accommodators (Concrete experiencer/Active experimenter) = NLP: “What if (I do this)?”

  • Accommodators have the most hands-on approach, with a strong preference for doing rather than thinking. They like to ask ‘what if?’ and ‘why not?’ to support their action-first approach. They do not like routine and will take creative risks to see what happens.
  • They like to explore complexity by direct interaction and learn better by themselves than with other people. As might be expected, they like hands-on and practical learning rather than lectures. 

4) Assimilators (Abstract conceptualizer/Reflective observer) = NLP: “What (is this)?”  

  • Assimilators have the most cognitive approach, preferring to think than to act. The ask ‘What is there I can know?’ and like organized and structured understanding.
  • They prefer lectures for learning, with demonstrations where possible, and will respect the knowledge of experts. They will also learn through conversation that takes a logical and thoughtful approach.
  • They often have a strong control need and prefer the clean and simple predictability of internal models to external messiness.
  • The best way to teach an assimilator is with lectures that start from high-level concepts and work down to the detail. Give them reading material, especially academic stuff and they’ll gobble it down. Do not teach through play with them as they like to stay serious.

So what?

So design learning for the people you are working with. If you cannot customize the design for specific people, use varied styles of delivery to help everyone learn. It can also be useful to describe this model to people, both to help them understand how they learn and also so they can appreciate that some of your delivery will for others more than them (and vice versa).

See also: Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential Learning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

FINALLY, here’s an excellent post from which I grabbed the image below; it has a number of interpretations on this concept:


Here’s an excellent (and short!) video explaining this material:

Material adapted by Christian LeFer for Speaker’s Connection, Bozeman, MT, March 2, 2013

Most text borrowed from

Images, in order of appearance, from:

FAKEGRIMLOCK has key to AWESOME. You need!

I love FAKEGRIMLOCK. This accidental runaway hit character captures the essence of innovation and entrepreneurship. Being “AWESOME” is about making things that change people’s lives and make the world a better place. Not money. Not complicated theory.

No one can “do” FAKEGRIMLOCK like FAKEGRIMLOCK. SO I NOT TRY! Here are some links to his awesomeness:

Downsize Your Life and Stress Level – Sort, Sell, Simplify

by Christian LeFer – I recently did a Business Brainstorming video where I proposed a number of ideas for replacing or enhancing one’s income in our tough economy. Some workable, some less so.

One of the five ideas I cooked up was a business that helps people get rid of their unneeded stuff. That idea spurred this video. The subject is a bit ironic coming from me, an unabashed capitalist who is not opposed to people owning as many things as they want.

The reason I stumbled upon that idea is that my wife Allison and I are actually going through that exercise right now: Systematically getting rid of all non-essential stuff that occupies the crevices of junk drawers, closets and much of the garage I no longer have practical use of.

And make no mistake, it’s daunting. But just like the first time you hit the gym after a sedentary stretch, just imagining yourself thinner, more physically fit, or in possession of less junk makes one feel a little bit better and helps you pull through the work, and maybe even enjoy the sweat.

This idea, which I call “Sort, Sell, and Simplify” is not just an exercise program to help your household become more nimble and svelte, it has all the markings of a movement. Shows like Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, and even Antique Road Show in part appeal to people’s latent interest in the value in the junk buried in their basement, garrisoned in their garage.

For many decades, nearly early every gainfully employed family in America has stuff, and lots of it they don’t need. Now, nearly everyone is more carefully making the cut of what to collect, what to keep, and what to cut.

And here’s my caveat, a quote borrowed from uber-entrepreneur Tim Ferris’ book, The Four-Hour Workweek:

And mind you, this is not just for the cold hard cash, but it’s also gratifying for the soul – our “stuff” comes to own us, instead of the other way around.

Three questions my family is asking as we consider what to will make the cut:

  1. Do we need it?
    1. We often buy things because of the feeling we get from the purchase – because of what the thing says about us – not for rational reasons. From the pious Prius Hybrid driver to the Type-A Hummer road warrior, the psychology outweighs the ecology and the utility, hands-down. If you disagree, you are probably lying to yourself, even if only in part.
    2. A great example is the Carbon-Fiber Road bike sitting in my garage. It’s not the bike, it’s what it says about me. I picture myself tooling down the road, clippied into my pedals, on a smooth, straight road. The problem is, I live in Montana, which limits both the season and the suitable riding area. So I take my mountain bike. The featherlight Tour-de-France model is just not practical.
  2. Can it be replaced?
    1. Example: Luggage, tools. This market guarantees you can replace most commonly available things.
    2. Just as we have more avenues to sell things on the Internet today, we also have more avenues to re-acquire them later, if and when we really need them. This should help relieve the “separation anxiety” associated with giving up our prized (but unneeded) possessions.
  3. Should we sell, or give it away?
    1. It can be a fun family exercise to decide how you can bless other people you know specifically with things you are giving up.
    2. It’s easy and also personally rewarding to give items to Goodwill and other cause outlets. Not only does the outlet thrive due to your donation, but the person who buys that item for $5 is happy they found it.
    3. When it comes to selling, we have more avenues than ever to not only rid ourselves of this kind of stuff, eBay, craigslist, and numerous other outlets exist on a local and national level. And keep in mind, video sells, (not just for cars and motorcycles, but for less “sexy” items like tools) – it’s easier than ever to shoot a smartphone video, and its free.

The second irony? All of the things we buy, we really buy in pursuit of better quality of life. Yet, it is those very things that, as they fall into disuse or disrepair, become a weight on the timbers of our soul just as they strain the rafters in the attic.

So don’t wait for “spring cleaning” that might never happen. Take advantage of the winter months, take advantage of NOW. Go ahead, take the plunge.

Go minimalist.

You won’t regret it.

Bo Eason – A Master Storyteller and Presenter Reveals His Craft

One of the most amazing people I have encountered in my study of interpersonal communications and marketing is Bo Eason, former NFL star-turned-actor/playwright. This man defines heart, and teaches others how to capture, flesh out, and present one’s personal story in a manner that, as Bo says “no one can look away”.

The first time I met Bo and saw his one man play, Runt of the Litter, was the weekend I attended Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy in 2011. Without announcing who this mystery “guest” was ahead of time or preparing the audience at all, Brendon unleashed Bo Eason on the crowd. The results were fascinating. My fellow experts, authors, and entrepreneurs in attendance reported a wide variety of responses ranging from outrage to elation to emotional exhaustion. I assure you, no one was unaffected!

Never before or since have I been so powerfully affectd by a play or presentation as I was by Runt of the Litter - Bo Eason’s dramatized life story grabs the viewer by the throat and makes him/her a participant, dragging the unwitting through the heights and depths of every human emotion right up until the play’s rending conclusion. As only the most masterful authors and playwrights can do, Eason uses the imagination of the audience to heighten the drama of the final outcome.

I am very blessed to have seen and met Bo at the Experts Academy, and later as member of Next Greatest Speaker training in mid-2012. I’m even more excited to be a part of the exclusive Personal Story Power program Bo is conducting in April 2012 in Southern California. Bo Eason will spend three days helping each of us in attendance to refine and present our own personal story in a transformative way so that we can go out and make an impact in the world.

If you haven’t seen the play, I highly recommend you buy it on DVD – and if presenting, speaking, or using the power of story to deliver an impactful message, attend Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power Event training. You won’t regret it!

Breakout Business Brainstorming

Hurricane Sandy, the economy, and the election results have got me thinking about all those without a job or who could be faced with unemployment or a business downturn.

Even if you are not out of work, it’s not a bad idea to get the mental workout so that your psyche will know you have options. Most stress results from not having options.

The question: What if you were faced with loss of income? The main part of this exercise is to close your eyes and imagine if you had to make a living starting from scratch, or at least supplement your existing funds.

It often helps to look at things from the perspective of helping others – what kinds of things can we do to help others survive and thrive in todays times?

Here are my 3 Criteria (yours may differ):

  • Low startup cost, preferably can be done from anywhere, home
  • High demand
  • Fits with peoples’ needs in this economy

Here’s my brainstorm:

  • Medical tourism facilitation
  • Barter facilitation in a hot niche
  • Financial planning for workers in the oil and gas boom. Mention inspiration from an athlete consultant.
  • Consultant to those who want to simplify, sell their stuff, and save $$.
  • Outsourcing manager (fiverr, elance, get a, etc.) in a niche you know.

I’ve already done some of these as part of my consulting practice. I suggest you sit down, use my 3 criteria, and just braistorm. Pause this video and do that now. Just write for 5 minutes.

What did you come up with? I encourage you to share it, as I’ve done here. I used to be afraid to share my ideas freely but I realized how much more we get when we are open and giving.

What I’ve also realized is that ideas are the easy part, and that we’re not really in danger of people stealing our ideas. Life is 80-90% implementation, and 10-20% inspiration when it comes to actually getting business ideas off the ground – and as an idea man, I’m biased!

What’s interesting about this that you could create an online training course to do any of the things I’ve mentioned here.

So again share your ideas, and I encourage everyone to reply on those  comments, a lot of good can come out of it!


Amy Cuddy on TED Talks – How Body Language Determines Your State of Mind

From “Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.”

From Christian: I’ve practiced this, and it works. Back in the mid-’90′s when I discovered Tony Robbins’ Unlimited Power, I learned about how to change my state by changing my posture and physical attitude. Amy’s powerful story of how she overcame challenges, and her mantra “fake it until you become it” – which isn’t really “faking it” at all –  is a great testimony to how much more in control we are of our prospects and quality of life than we might believe.

Robert Cialdini’s “Influence” – A Must-Read for Non-Profit Fundraising & Anyone in Leadership

Using The “Weapons of Influence” – for Good

by Christian LeFer – I had heard about Robert Cialdini’s definitive work, a book called “Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion” referenced repeatedly by my favorite marketing gurus, including Eben Pagan and others, but had not picked it up until recently; I regret not having read the book sooner.

During my career as a copywriter and non-profit fundraising professional for political candidates and causes, I had learned by reverse-engineering and applying the tactics of getting people to “wake up” from what Eben Pagan calls an often “sleepy, boring existence” of much of everyday modern life – and to take some kind of action – by voting, giving, or volunteering. I had learned the practice, but not the theories, of influence. This is like playing guitar by ear without learning to read music: a limiting, (and frankly, lazy), way of being a musician.

Why “Influence” is a must-read for Non-Profit Fundraising and all in Leadership

As a consultant to charitable organizations and businesses who helps organizations in obtaining IRS tax-exempt status, non-profit fundraising, and implementing effective marketing systems, Christian LeFer…

Read entire review on .