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How To Retain More Information

#
97
Chris Do
Published
June 11, 2019

Chris Do talks with the Pro Group about the goal when absorbing information can impact how much retention happens

Read Transcript
Welcome to call 97 open agenda. It's beautiful day. We'll talk to you guys about this idea about communication. I'm going to stop sharing this deck so that we don't just look at this thing or Zoom controls. Soon OK. All right. At some point in this discussion today. This morning, talk with you guys, I'll be on Photoshop drawing and writing things. We'll talk about communication. I heard something the other day. I don't know if one of you guys told me somebody shared a link. Video I consume. So much information now. I'm having a hard time deciding my references, so I'll just try to share as often as I can, as thoroughly as I can. But I can't remember where I saw or heard this. They said that communication is not the message that you transmit. Communication is not the words that you say. Communication is the reaction of the intended target of the message. So when they react one way or the other, that's communication, because it doesn't really matter what you say, how you say it. But their reaction, so if you don't like the communication, change, the message. Because if you don't like their reaction, change the message until you get the reaction that you want. So when I say something and somebody is offended, then I've said something offended offending. And I want to change that until the reaction I get is like, wow, that was enlightening, that was inspiring. You truly motivated me. And so when you're talking to a client, a colleague, a boss, a subordinate. Think about that. Think about how you're communicating, what kind of reaction are you getting? OK so think about that one last time. Communication isn't what you say, it's not the message that you're transmitting. It's the reaction that you're getting from the person that you're sending that message to. So if you don't like the reaction, change the message, change the delivery, change the tone, change the vocabulary, change whatever you need to change because that's what I'm most interested in is getting the desired reaction. OK, the next idea I want to talk to you about is something called slow digestion, hanging around with Henry, and we're talking. And he's like from New Jersey, he's East coast, he talks really fast. Everything's super fast. We have lunch together. I look over. His plate is gone. It's gone. He inhales his food. And during our two day coaching session, he's got this agenda list, and he wants me to go through it fast, fast, fast, fast. And I said to him, I can do all this stuff. I'm concerned about your ability to retain. And he had to step back and say, Oh my gosh, I'm so slavishly following my own agenda that I'm not even thinking about what it is that I'm learning. So I said to you, to him, when you came here today, you want to get through this and you have a very clear idea in your head as to how much you have to get done. But you've not thought about what is it that you're going to be able to get like, you're just concerned about the destination and the journey is lost in all of this? And I'm concerned on your behalf that when you walk away from these two sessions together, that. You're not going to remember a single thing, you're not going to know how to apply a single thing. So we need to change this, we need change the way you think, the way you communicate, the way that you think done looks like how you define done, how you eat everything. And he was telling me that he's read books. He's listened to audiobooks over and over again, and I ask him, what do you remember? He goes, I don't know, but I keep listening to him. So you see, it's like when you're taking somebody through a process like core or logo design process. Are you so concerned about getting to the final destination that you forget that there's another human being involved and they have feelings and they have concerns and they have legitimate? Things that they're trying to solve in their business, and it's not just about you trying to get done. Some of the resentment that we feel. When we're doing a process and the process is taking longer than we think, it's mostly coming from a we're not feeling like we're making enough progress and B we're not getting paid enough because at a certain point, you can pay me so much money that I say take as long as you want. No problem. We'll go as low or as fast as you want. We're not in a rush. So let's just think about slow digestion. And when somebody in discovery says something that is off your agenda. But it's a really interesting idea or a problem. Or a personal issue? Don't be so quick to jam them through the process and finish the thing. Take a minute leaning on that and go deep. And who cares about the agenda? It'll be OK if you spend another 30 minutes, if you spend another 10 minutes. It'll be OK. Recently put out a tweet. And the tweet said something like, do you prefer to read 10 books and retain one idea, would you prefer to read one book and retain 10 ideas? And the last little story I'll tell you is this you guys know this because you hear the way that I speak and the ideas that I share with you, that I've been heavily influenced by the book win without pitching manifesto by Blair ends. And as soon as I finished reading that book, my mind was like different. There was a definite shift, a seismic shift within my brain. So I go to the people who sell us, my account director and my executive producer, and I said, please read this book is amazing. And let's talk afterwards. So I can help clarify anything that you guys might have questions with. So week and a half goes by and you guys know, if you read the book before it takes probably 30 minutes to read. It's a really quick read. We go into the conference room, we chat. They both read the book, you read the book, yes, read the book, liked it. That's fantastic. Tell me one idea. That impacted you. I look at my executive producer who had a little bit more time to think about it and read. He looked at me dumbfounded. And I'm like, anything goes. I don't know. Give me. I didn't know, you're going to ask us that question. I'm not quite. That's fine. I'm not like putting you on a spot. This isn't a test. There's no grades here. I turned to my account director and said, what's one thing that you got? And she's like, I mean, I'm not. I'm good at consuming information, but I can't just I just can't quote the book like that. I don't work like that. I said, that's fine. You don't need to quote the book. What's the essence of like one idea that you read? And she's like, I don't know, I can't say so, I said, you guys want time to think about it a little bit. They both looked at each other and looked at me, and it's like that was pointless. And I couldn't help but to think like, why did they read this book? What do they get if you can't tell me one idea from the book? And I think because they read the book with the intention of completing the book so that they can cross something off a list. But had they read the book like, I want to learn something new today, I'm going to apply a concept from this. I might want to teach something from this you read with different intention. That got me to think, and I've floated this idea in front of you guys before, which is this is that when you watch a video, when you watch a film, when you listen to a Ted Talk or a podcast, when you read a book, what's your goal? What's your goal in reading that book, is it to say, I have read this book, is it to say that I finished reading a book a week, which is what I wanted to do? Is your goal to apply something you've learned to help your life, your business, your mindset for the better? Is that what you're doing? Are you reading the book because you want to teach somebody something from the book? Oh, so that's where the difference might be. So Henry was listening to audible books, where he's reading books to try to memorize parts of the book because he wanted to have a script ready to go. That's what he was reading it for, perhaps. And when I read and consume information, it's really about because I need to teach it. So the minute, the second after I read it. Unable to apply it and teach it to somebody. That's how I read, so it takes me a long time to read. Of course, naturally, because I need to really understand the concept. Because you don't know something unless you can explain it simply to someone else, right? OK, so we read with intent to learn and to teach. How might we act on this? Well, for some of you, it'll be really easy because you can convert it into a graphic, a drawing and illustration. You can type it up as a tweet. You can make an Instagram post. For some, like Michael Desmond, who can make a video, you might start to think like, hey, so here's something I read in this book and it said this. And this is really important. Let me quote it for you. And here's my take on it, and here's how I'm applying it in my life. Some of you might go in front of a classroom like Diane and teach something from the book. Somebody might stand on stage and give a Keynote presentation. That makes sense. So the problem with Henry is he doesn't have a regular outlet. To teach other people. So he doesn't need to teach. So my tip to him was, you have a podcast. You have live streaming capabilities. Why not just hold mini classrooms, mini workshops so you don't have to charge any money for just how people jump on a video conference and have them ask you questions? Now, when you read, you'll be prepared. Because, you know, you need to help somebody else and you need to share that information. So next time you guys go read something, think about how can I apply this? How can I share this because ideas are worth sharing, right? If they're good ideas? Share it with somebody. Now I'm going to segue into something and then I want to open up for some questions. And then we will go down the list of hot questions to answer. I can't remember who posted this, but they posted right on the thread. They said, Chris, what are you doing with seo? Like, how are your post the two most recent ones getting so much attention? How is that possible? What are you doing meta tagging? What are you doing right? Who ask that question? Are you online? Yeah, that was me aqueous humor. Yeah perfect. OK what do you want to know and tell me a little bit about why you want to know it? And then I'll tell you everything you want to know. Yeah so I'm trying to start white white blocks also to get some inbound marketing into the funnel. Yes so I'm looking at your post now and I'm trying to dissect everything that's in there, and I just want to know the nitty gritty, like how is your process for creating that post? Like, how are you doing your research? How do you determine what keyword? What is the structure like? I'm trying to figure out how I should build my beautiful, beautiful, so I'm going to pull up these two things. Give me one second. Let's see how organized I am here. Very good question, so it's a natural segway, right? So the first thing I'm going to tell you is that I consume lots of information from very wide sources, and I don't know if you know this and you guys probably do a similar thing when you're on a website, you might bookmark it right or you might add it to your reading list. Right, we do that right, everybody does that. I do it and my bookmarks get filled up, my reading list gets filled up, I'm like, Oh my god, where did I put this thing? I can't seem to find it. And when you're in desperation mode, which I often am, I'm preparing for a talk like, where's that graphic? Where's that quote? Can't find it. So now I do something a little bit different. When you go on to a website, you can hit, at least on the Mac and using safari, you can hit Command p, which is the print it. And then instead of printing because I don't like to waste paper, there's an option to save this PDF. I was telling Henry this, he said you could do that, I'm like, yeah, you could do that man, save us pdaf, then it saves it wherever you want. And then I title it something, something really clear with lots of words. And I use hyphens. So that it's very searchable. And then I dump it into a folder, very specific hole that it's called research and reference. It's been sitting there, so as many of you guys have, it's a giant repository of ideas and things that I like that you like. So the other day, I'm just driving myself nuts because I'm so disorganized, my god, my folders as a mess start organizing these things. And so there it is this thing because I was researching for one of my talks, but the difference between amateurs and professionals. And there is that post. I open it up and it's really ugly because it's a really ugly blog post, as most blog posts are. And there's lots of things on there. I don't even agree with all of them. But I know it's an interesting talking point. It's going to polarize people because people who feel that they're amateurs and want to be professionals, they're feeling like you're leaving me out and I feel bad. And then the professionals who exhibit traits of an amateur. Who feel like I'm a professional, how dare you call me an amateur? This is not even my idea. I know it's going to be like a lightning rod for a conversation. So I do what I do, as I always do, I just throw it into Illustrator and start laying it out and using Helvetica. And I just put it out there, and I put it out pretty late at night because it's usually when I have some free time to do social post like this. And then I pin it and I just go to sleep. And then I wake up, it's like planting a seed and in the morning you're like, what? What kind of fruit did this seed bear this plant? And you look at it, it's like it's going bananas and people are angry at me and people are loving it. And I'm like, Wow. It did exactly what it's supposed to do, which is to get people to talk. I'm not even taking a huge position on whether it's right or wrong, I guess the assumption is if I share it, I must believe it to be true. And that's a false assumption. Because I like to just agitate. I want people to think I want people to reflect back on their life and their own belief system, and literally that's all I did. You go. I put it up on Twitter, and I noticed that because Twitter and Facebook sometimes are my testing ground for ideas, if it's going to work, should I put more effort into something like this? So I'm constantly doing tests all the time. I put something up. I guess people want more of this thing. I can give you more of this thing. And what's happening now is, I guess I'm starting to hit a certain level where when I post something on Twitter, somebody is bound to screen capture it. And posted on Instagram and posts on Facebook, so now I have to beat them to the punch. It used to be I would use either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to test an idea. But now, because I think I'm starting to reach that threshold where if I share it somewhere, enough people grab it and share it elsewhere. And I at least want to be the first person to share it on the different platforms. So now I have to post on LinkedIn, on Facebook, on Instagram, I don't do it Instagram, I'm sorry, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn really fast because I want it to be the origin source from a post that I did. I used a few hashtags, mostly just to help myself find it later. But I'm not hacking anything. There's no secrets there. OK, and so for some of you guys, I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm going to pull this up. And I'll tell you the differences between these two things. And what I've learned thus far. OK you see this right here. The amateurs versus the professionals I'm always scared to when I retype something in. That I'm going to do a typo, so I did spell checking, I'm like double check, I'm sure I messed up something. And it's laid out really simply, and there's something that I think people look at, if something is well-designed or at least cleanly laid out and set in Helvetica feels superficial. Because the blog post looks like, but it really does. So I give attribution by Farnum straight, and it linked back to it, so hopefully the authors of this thing, we'll see that I'm driving traffic back to them. And I put it out there, this thing has 1,300. Looks like a bunch of rideshares, and it's just through the roof. The engagement. Because it got people upset. Some people saw it as a way to hold down creative people, a small, small minority. The majority saw like, wow, I'm on the right path. I'm mostly an amateur today, but I see where the path is going. Some people disagreed. Some people have questions about some of these things, and I'm telling you, I don't even agree with all of these things. And I'm not even saying that to be a professional is always a good thing because amateurs are the ones who make all the innovative ideas in the world. People who are young in the profession or from a totally different field are generally the ones who come up with disruptive ideas that change everything. Give you an example, Steve Jobs was not a telephone guy, but he changed the telephone industry. OK, now some of my professional colleagues on LinkedIn said, Chris, I know you mean well, but we don't like this. I'm like, OK, tell me how I should write it. And I'll write it. I'll lay it out. I'm not attached to this thing at all. So somebody shared this other one. Come on. My computer freeze, what's going on? There we go. Somebody shared this other one from artist duo Peter fishel, fish Lee and David Weiss how to work better. This one is a lot less offensive. This is coming from two fine artists. This is the title of their book for an exhibition for the Guggenheim Museum. This one is getting love as well, but it's not nearly as engaged as the first one. What does that tell you? If you try to be nice and good and kind and gentle and loving to all people and people like, that's cool. But if you make people make a decision about which side of the argument they want to live on, do they hate this? Do they love this? Do they agree? Do they disagree? They get engaged and they share and they comment. And they criticize and they add to it the part of the conversation. This post, as of this morning, had eight comments. This one has 73. Chris, I have a question and I wrote it down in my notes, I didn't want to interrupt, but I'm itching to ask it OK, which I feel like there's a dichotomy going on based on what you're saying in regards to content creation. And it's one you pulled the Trump move, which is to post to agitate. I'm serious. Like, that's what it sounds like, which is really it like. That's what fake news. That's a false equivalency. Fake news also. But also the question is, is it strength to post from a place of apathy in regards to the end result you want from your content? Like you just said, I don't care what it does, I'm posting to share information. I didn't say, I don't care what it does. I did not say you don't care like that engages, or maybe I'm not. I do care that engages. That's what I do care. That's all I want. I want people to think. I want people to ask questions. I want people to wake up from autopilot. And I've learned something here. See, so I wrote there, hey, what's up chumps? You're all amateurs unless you think like a pro like me. Then I clearly. Stated my opinion on this thing. now I try to I'm not perfect because I'm not a writer. I tried to write it carefully. I don't always succeed there, obviously, because I get a lot of hate on some of these social platforms. I said, hey, this is an interesting two minute read. This is the original blog post from this person. I've just reformatted it in helvetica, so I'm literally telling people what I did, and I said, how do you measure up or how do you score or something like that? And that's it. And they said, hey, amateurs, if you're stuck, this is what you need to do, or this is what pros do, so suck it. I guess in relation to the original question of seo, like you're not going out of your way, you know, this perfect post that gets traction, but you're doing it to gain. Somebody feedback, I guess. Well, I'm doing it to start a conversation to see what the pain points are in the world. Now, here's the cool thing about this for Hugo, who asks this original question, I don't sit here and think this is going to be the top of my funnel and then have a content piece. And then there's a call to action and there's a five email soap opera sequence that I'm going to give to you. I don't look like that at all. Because I'm not in that actually the business of selling things right, Ben, is he's helping us to market and make sure we have money. But I'm just a content guy and I'm going to stir things up. I do piss off a lot of people. I'm not going to lie and I'm OK with that. Because as you can see, the engagement between these two pieces of information is one is doesn't I mean, how can you be offended by the other one? It tells you to smile and everything's OK and. Be a good leader, listen to people, ok? A lot of things that we all believe in are and are true and no problem. But it's when you stir up the emotions and you say, wow, you have to make a decision. And most of it's positive, and you have to realize you have to be able to. To be willing to alienate some people, if you have a point of view. Watch this. This is a very classic example. I love chocolate ice cream. You would think that's not going to hurt anybody. Everybody loves chocolate, Chris. Yeah, we all love chocolate. And then there's going to be some people where it's like, I hate chocolate, dude, vanilla or mint chip. Rocky road. And they want to argue with you. Right, but if I say ice cream is good, most people will say fine. And then there will be some people who are like, well, that's cruel to cows. What are we doing, dairy industry man? So you see, it's like any time you take a point of view, somebody is bound to disagree with you and I'm OK with that. I've learned to accept that that's part of how we communicate, especially on Twitter. It can get really nasty, really fast. So, Hugo, I think you guys think and I'm flattered if you think this that there's some genius plan behind all these things that I post and I've hacked into the system. No, I just post things that I think will get people to talk. And I adapting, so I think through the lens of a former recovering graphic designer, if I just made things a little more clean and Swiss on my design, friends and themes will come out and comment on it. One way or the other. If I took the original image and I did nothing to it, I just reposted that, well, I haven't transformed it in the slightest and that's OK too, because I do that as well. But if I really want that engagement, all I have to do is clean up the layout just a little bit. I just have to put a tiny little effort. I'll give you guys one more example on content marketing, ok? I love maksimovic, Nelly, but I want to be honest in terms of his thinking and his point of view. I'm fairly new to it, so I'm searching one day about a year and a half ago for Massimo McNeely quotes. And we go on Pinterest and you see all these designs, and then some look like Massimo McNeely and some look like some design students who don't understand how to design, who try to design like Massimo. And as a designer, I'm a little offended by it. Like, how dare you? Here's a guy who loves Helvetica bold. Really tight letting. And you said it in baldoni or ghahraman or casselton. What are you doing? How dare you? At least try to do it in the spirit of massimo, if you're a fan. So as I'm looking for like nice posters to just download and reshare, I couldn't find them so. I searched a little bit, found the Mossimo Giannulli canon. Laid out the poster with using red, white and Black. And I just designed them, some of them took a little bit longer than others, but I did it all probably 10 or 12 layouts in a day. No problem. It's easy. I put it out there gets a lot of love. So if you are able to tap into two or more worlds, hugo? Chances are you're going to get some people excited. So if you tap into the world of design, OK, we know all the tropes that designers fall into. Like layers, right? You know that every time you show anything about layer management and Photoshop, the designers get, oh, it's us, you know, too many layers or numbered labeled layers or the joke that keeps living forever. Final, final, final, Final Four. Real final, final file naming. Those are things that designers get all like hot about. Or typos? They get crazy about that, so in some instances, rarely I'll introduce a typo because they'll go insane. They'll go insane because they're we they us are obsessive compulsive. And everybody wants to show you how smart they are, how good of it is, I know whether they can spot something. Right away, they want to say some, so you bring something from psychology, philosophy, literature, film, history and you smash those two together. People are going to engage. OK hey, Chris, just a follow up question on it, so I understand pitting two ideas two point of view to attract engagement, but you're not taking a stand on it, correct? You're letting it. I'm trying a new idea. Yes, usually I take a stand, but so. So what does that do in terms of for you to post? What is the post do for you? Because you're not taking a stand, you're not establishing expertise or any? So what does that actually do? Oh, but Au contraire, Mon frere. I bring something to the consciousness of people all of a sudden people who don't know me or was like, who's this guy? What do you find? This is an interesting thing. I would see. So here's the weird thing you go. People assume I authored it, even though I to say I did not. Clearly OK. And then they assume I'm taking a position one way or the other, even though I tried not to. And so they imply or they assume all these kinds of things about you. Right? so what's going to happen now? Some marketing executive. And this is happening because they're asking, can you make this a downloadable PDF or this is a screensaver from my iphone? I'll make it for you. So now I can make a downloadable piece of content for free. And Ben can capture the emails. See how that works. I know what they're engaged in. I also now know what the argument is, and I can write a blog post about it for real now. And I can write this little story. So I found this thing. I wrote this thing. It got me to think more deeply about what is an amateur? What's a professional? What is immaturity, maturity and do these things matter, and I can write a whole blog post about it now because they're helping to do all my research. I'm getting real time user testing feedback. On social media. And I know there's not a lot of people crying or going crazy about it one way or the other. I'm not going to spend time writing a blog post on this because nobody cares. Nobody cares. So every piece of content that I put out is the conversation that needs to continue. If it's a good conversation. So a lot of people think inbound marketing, content marketing is just talking all the time. So that's one thing that I think I do pretty good. Which is I listen, so they talk, I talk back. They talk, I talk back and this is how I do it. So the person who said, Chris, we expect more of you. We know you're a good person, but we don't agree with this. Then I ask them, what would you like to see? How would you like to change things? I'll do it, I'll change it. No problem. Whoa OK, so there's no absolute with you. I'm like, no. Sometimes I feel this way tomorrow. I can feel totally differently. No problem. I can change it. I don't think I have some kind of divine right to say what is good and what is bad. I just have my opinion. And that's totally OK. You followed me, Hugo. So people who ask to download this thing now, I might not that I want this part of it, but let's say I'm looking for work. A CMO might have this and she might have problems with her team. You guys behave like amateurs. Print us out, boom tape, take this on the wall. Now, prior to that moment in time, she doesn't know me from squat. But now I'm starting to bubble up. Two, three, four more pieces of content. She might stop and think, who is this guy? Let me look at this dude, Chris, though, and then find the future and like, whoa! And then she might say, let's get him in to speak to our team about this thing. Let's purchase some courses, let's look in for an event, let's have him consult. Third party content game to me is very long. It's not about I got a product to sell, I'm going to make this thing and then boom, there it is. Now I know there are a lot of people who do it that way, and they're very good at that. I'm just not that good at that kind of thing.

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