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Saturday Listening Lesson: Nilofer Merchant 2

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) To point out: To show a specific thing

I should point out that you need to file this with the other CVs.

(2) Timing: The speed we use when we say something. Also how long we wait between sounds.

Careful timing can make your listeners notice some words more.

(3) Stress: Emphasizing a word by making it louder and longer.

You should stress the important words and say the unimportant words quickly.

Today’s

Questions

1. In the first example, why does she have three big pauses?

a. To add melody to her speech

b. She’s nervous

c. To make you listen carefully

2. What’s the difference between “I had some rice.” and “I did have some rice”?

a. In the first, we don’t know anything for sure

b. The first strengthens the idea because there’s no did

c. The second strengthens the idea because of did

3. Why does she say some words slowly and some words quickly?

a. To stress some words (the important words)

b. She’s nervous

c. To add melody to her speech

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

When listening to a video, you might notice a new word. You might write down the word and then try using it later. After you use it a few times, you remember it and then you know that word. That’s a great way to learn vocabulary. But, if you want to listen better, you need to do a little more. You need to notice how people speak and try to learn those things, just like you learn vocabulary.

I’ve covered this great video by Nilofer Merchant before. But today, I’d like to point out five sentences she says. You should note how she says them and try to repeat speak in the same way.

0:13-0:20

“What you’re doing, right now, at this very moment, is killing you.”

Note her timing. There’s a big pause with each comma. She does this to make people listen carefully.

0:38-0:42

“Sitting is so incredibly prevalent, we don’t even question how much we’re doing it.”

Note how quickly she says “we don’t even”. She says “wedoneven”. You should say it the same. (You can’t really hear the “t” sound at all.) As long as you stress question, people will understand you.

1:22-1:25

“What did get me moving, was a social interaction.”

Note how much she emphasizes the word “did”. She could have just said “What got me…”, but using a strong did gives the sentence strength.

Also note how she emphasizes the word “social” because it’s the most important word in the sentence.

1:32-1:34

“Could you come then?”

Note how she says “kudjuh” instead of “could you”. Then both “come” and “then” are stressed equally.

2:18-2:25

“First there’s this amazing thing about actually getting out of the box, that leads to out-of-the-box-thinking.”

Note how she says some words quickly (“there’s this”) and other words slowly (“out of the box”) to focus our attention on the important words. Words that don’t give any meaning are said quickly.

So, how well did you understand? As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

C, C, A

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson: Steve Jobs Rules for Success

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Persevere: To not quit

You need to persevere if you want to be successful. Keep trying!

(2) Talent Scout: Someone who searches for good people to hire

Our talent scouts have found some great engineers for our company.

(3) “You know”: An empty phrase we say when speaking. It has no meaning.

I, you know, have to go to the doctor on Tuesday.

Today’s

Questions

1. What is Steve Jobs first piece of advice about being successful?

a. You have to love what you do

b. You have to hire good people

c. You have to be insane

2. What is his second piece of advice?

a. You have to love what you do

b. You have to hire good people

c. You have to be insane

3. Why does he say things like “um” and “and, and”?

a. He’s confused

b. He’s insane

c. He’s thinking about what he wants to say next

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

In today’s listening lesson, we’ll look at what Steve Jobs thinks is needed to be successful. You’ll get some great advice from a great man and learn how to listen better.

First, here’s what he says:

People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. And the reason is, uh, is because it’s so hard that if you don’t any rational person would give up. It’s really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So, if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, and you don’t really love it, uh, you’re going give up. And that’s what happens to most people actually. If you really look at, at, at, the ones that ended up you know being successful unquote in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t. Often times it, it’s the ones that are successful loved what they did so they could persevere, you know, when it got really tough. And, and the ones that didn’t love it, quit, because they’re sane. Right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don’t love it? So it’s a lot of hard work. And, and it’s a lot of worrying, constantly. And, uh, um, if you don’t love it, you’re going to fail. So you gotta love it and you gotta have passion. And I think that’s the high order bit.

The second thing is, um, you gotta be, you gotta be a really good talent scout. Because no matter how smart you are, uh, you need a team of great people. And you’ve gotta figure out how to, how to size people up fairly quickly, make decisions without knowing people too well and hire them and, um, you know, see how you do and refine your intuition and be able to, to help, you know, build an organization that can eventually just, you know, build itself. Because you need great people around you.

First, let’s look at his two ideas.

The first key to success, he says, is to be passionate. You have to love what you do. He says that to be successful you have to work really hard. Sane people, he says, would quit. It means that only crazy people keep going. And they keep going because they love what they do.

The second key to success is to hire good people. You can’t do everything yourself, so you need good people to help you. In the end, the organization will build itself. It means you start something that grows without you controlling every single thing.

Next, let’s look at some listening advice.

Notice that he says “you know” a lot. “You know” is a phrase we use in English. It doesn’t really mean anything, but we say it while we think about our words.

Second, notice how many times he says “um” or repeats words like “and”. He’ll say “and, and”. This is another way we keep talking while we think of the words we want to say. When you’re listening, you need to not pay attention when people speak this way. Just listen for the important words.

So, how well did you understand? As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

A, B, C

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson–Designing For Five Senses and Speaking Practice

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Intonation: The way your voice goes up and down while you speak.

In English, rising intonation can create a question..

(2) Word Stress: How loud and long you say something.

You need to give word stress to the important words.

(3) Timing: The speed you say different things and the pauses in your speech.

Timing is very important when singing or telling a joke.

Today’s

Questions

1. What is this video about?

a. Prosody

b. Word stress, timing, and intonation

c. Using five senses in design

2. Why is it hard to understand these phrases?

a. People say them quickly

b. People don’t use the same intonation

c. They have hard vocabulary

3. Why are non-native speakers hard to understand?

a. They have bad grammar

b. They use different intonation, word stress, and timing

c. They use strange words

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

Today’s Saturday listening lesson is on an easy idea. Jinsop Lee says that most design focuses on sight and touch. But these are only two of the five sense. He suggests that designers should start thinking about sound, taste, and smell. Good idea, right?

He makes a chart to show this and I think you’ll easily understand the video.

It’s also a good idea for anyone who makes or markets a product.

For you improving your listening, let’s focus on a few phrases that are simple, but difficult to understand.

:30 Let me tell you about: This is used before presenting an idea

2:30 To do this: This is used before explain how to do something

4:15 I used to: This is used to talk about some past action

4:50 It’s because of the: This is used to explain why something is true

These phrases are easy to understand when you read them, but hard to understand when you hear them. They’re hard because native speakers say them so quickly. We push the words together. Watch these videos to understand. You’ll hear me say the expressions above and then hear Jinsop say them in the video.

While you listen, notice my intonation pattern is similar, but the timing and word stress are different.

For your practice, you need to do two things.

(1) When you’re listening to someone speak, notice the way they say the words.

(2) Practice speaking like Jinsop. If you can speak like him, then you can understand him.

Non-native speakers are really hard to understand when their intonation, timing, or word stress is different, so work hard to make sure yours sounds like a native speaker.

So, how well did you understand? As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

C, A, B

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson–Supply Chain Perspective

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Optimization: Finding the best solution

Our optimizer helps us determine how much we should order.

(2) Statistical Forecasting Algorithm: A computer program that uses statistics to predict the future.

The statistical forecasting algorithm is helpful, but we also need to include our instinct about things it doesn’t include in the calculations.

(3) Forecast: A prediction about the future.

The economic forecast has been getting much better recently. I think the economy will be better next year.

Today’s

Questions

1. How does he feel about statistical forecasting?

a. It’s very useful.

b. It’s not very useful.

c. It needs to use more data to be useful.

2. How do optimizers work?

a. They use past data to predict the future.

b. They use market conditions to predict the future.

c. They follow the emotions of the managers.

3. Why does he compare forecasting with driving?

a. You have to have fast instincts for both.

b. To show the danger of only looking at the past.

c. To suggest they should be based on future data.

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

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By Jeremy Schaar

Here’s a short video that tries to answer the questions:

What are the limitations of optimization? And what’s the alternatives?

You should watch the video several times first. Then read the lesson where I’ll explain the key points. To improve your listening, listen again after you read the explanations.

He begins by saying:

Other people have gone down the optimization path.

To go down a path means to try a way of doing something.

He then explains the problem with using a computer model. You have to simplify a model because it can’t use all the information. Also, by the time you get the answer, it’s too late because the situation has changed.

Therefore, he feels that we don’t need more statistical forecasting algorithms.

He says:

What you need is systems that can handle this huge amount of data.

Notice that he says “whatcha” instead of “what you”. In English, this is a common way to say “what you”.

His point is that optimizers are OK, but they need to be able to handle more data to be successful. To handle something means to use it. In this case it means to use it well.

Optimizers are looking at history or forecast, but he feels this is a problem and makes an interesting comparison. He says:

Do you drive your car down the freeway with your windshield covered over and you’re looking in your rearview mirror.

He means that a forecasting model based on the past is the same as driving forward while looking behind you. It’s very dangerous. So the computer programs need to be able to warn you about mistakes in real time.

So, how well did you understand? As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

C, A, B

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

Saturday Listening Lesson–Game Dynamics

Today’s

Vocabulary

(1) Appointment: A scheduled time to meet

I have appointments all afternoon. Could we meet in the morning?

(2) Progression: Advancing, going forward

I had hoped that his progression would be faster, but he’s learning too slowly to succeed.

(3) Communal: Related to a group.

Our communal effort has allowed us to do good things.

Today’s

Questions

1. Which of these is a business example of an appointment dynamic?

a. You can have a free cup of coffee after you get 10 stamps on your card.

b. On Black Friday, you get a discount if you go to the store very early in the morning.

c. You can sit in a special waiting area at the airport if you’re a frequent flyer.

2. Which of these is a business example of a progression dynamic?

a. You can have a free cup of coffee after you get 10 stamps on your card.

b. On Black Friday, you get a discount if you go to the store very early in the morning.

c. You can sit in a special waiting area at the airport if you’re a frequent flyer.

3. Which of these is a business example of a influence/status dynamic?

a. You can have a free cup of coffee after you get 10 stamps on your card.

b. On Black Friday, you get a discount if you go to the store very early in the morning.

c. You can sit in a special waiting area at the airport if you’re a frequent flyer.

7________________________

Saturday Listening Lesson

________________________

By Jeremy Schaar

This week on the blog, I’ve been featuring game dynamics. Today I’ll introduce a great video that explains what game dynamics are in detail. You’ll learn some important new vocabulary and learn how to motivate people in interesting ways.

Here’s a link to the video.

The speaker’s name is Seth Priebatsch and for the first four minutes and 23 seconds of the video he argues that the past decade was about social. This means society figured out how they would interact with each other online. He mentions Facebook as the primary thing, but he might have mentioned Twitter, LinkedIn, and websites that are important in specific countries. The general point is that this work is done.

He then says that the next decade will be about building the game infrastructure. This means that society will decide how to influence each other with game dynamics.

Finally, he gets to the exciting part of the presentation: four game dynamics that can be used to influence people. For each dynamic, he first explains what it is. After that, he gives a real life example, a traditional game example, and an example where it’s used for good.

I’ll present his ideas here in simple English. After you understand the basics, watch the video and try to understand all the great details he gives.

1. Appointment Dynamic: To succeed you have to go somewhere at a specific time and do a specific action.

Real World: Happy Hour. You pay less for your drink at the bar if you go at a specific time.

Game Example: Farmville. You have to play at certain times to succeed.

Good Example: Create a game of taking medicine at a specific time.

2. Influence and Status Dynamic: Changing someone’s behavior with social pressure

Real World: Credit card colors matter. We want a card with a better color.

Game Example: Modern Warfare is a game where you try to get a better icon.

Good Example: School is just a game with grades. But we could make the status better than “A”.

3. Progression Dynamic: Doing many small things to get to a goal

Real World: LinkedIn profile creation has a blue bar that you try to move to the right.

Game Example: World of Warcraft is a game where you try to level up your characters.

Good Example: A business could give customers rewards if they do enough of something.

4. Communal Discovery: Succeed by working together

Real World: Digg is a website where people choose the best stories together.

Game Example: McDonald’s Monopoly is a game where people try to find game pieces together.

Good Example: The Darpa Balloon challenge showed how people working together can solve really difficult problems.

So, how well did you understand? As always, if you have any questions or want more practice, comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

CHECK YOUR ANSWERS!

Answers To Today’s Questions

B, A, C

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You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

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