Wednesday, 30 May 2012

EPIC Career Advice from Buffett and Gates!


Buffet and Gates Billionaire philanthropists!
Buffet & Gates billionaire philanthropists
It is the time of year when people are entering the work force full time for the first time in their lives.  Whether you are graduating from high school or college the next step feels like a big one!   Most people have a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety.  What’s next? Will I be able to find a job? What if I make the wrong career choice? 

This week, I want to take a look at some career advice for new graduates.  As our guides or mentors, I have selected 2 pillars from the American Business Community: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. 

Career Advice

QUESTION:  Mr.Buffett, Mr. Gates, I am Ibrahim Dolly and I came from Portugal.  I have a question for both of you.  You both knew early in your careers what you wanted to do in your life.  What advice do you have for those of us who are a little bit unclear?

GATES:  Well, finding the thing that you are passionate about and that you are good at can sometimes take a period of years.  I think Warren and I were lucky we kind of ran into it. I wasn't even sure it was software.  I was kind of obsessed with it but then it wasn't clear it could be a career.  When that happened, it was great.  I think most other people get into their 20s and have to try out some different experiences.  And some things will expose you to a lot of different businesses, a lot of different work opportunities.  And I think you can make your first few jobs optimized for getting that exposure.  And then when you want it, see the thing that you want to be fanatical about and just jump on to that.

BUFFETT:  First of all, I'd say marry the right person. [LAUGHTER]  And I'm serious about that.  [APPLAUSE]  It will make more difference in your life.  It will change your aspiration, all kind of things.  It's enormously important who you marry.  Beyond that, I would say that do what you would do if you were in my position, where the money means nothing to you.  At 79, ... I work every day.  And it's what I want to do more than anything else in the world.  The closer you can come to that early on in your life, you know the more fun you're going to have in life and really the better you're going to do.  So don't be driven where you think the last dollar is presently or anything of that sort.  And then also go to work, if possible, for an organization or an individual that you admire.  I mean I offered to go to work for Ben Graham because there was nobody I admired more in the business than him.  I didn't care what he paid me.  When he finally did hire me in 1954, I moved from Omaha to New York and I didn't know what I was getting paid until I got my first paycheck.  But I knew I wanted to work for Ben Graham.  And I knew I would jump out of bed every morning and be excited about what I would do and I would go home at night smarter than I was in the morning.  Go to work at a job that turns you on and a person that turns you on and institution.  [APPLAUSE]

 
Talking Points

Have you found your ‘passion in life’?

Have you found something you are ‘good at’?

What do you want to do after graduation?

Does your ‘passion’ and ‘what you are good’ at suit your career path?

Is it always possible to make your passion your career?

Do you agree with Mr. Buffett that “marrying the right person” is important to your career?




To view these excellent visionaries of business go to CNBC


To all of the graduates entering the work force for the first time: good luck, enjoy, and always be yourself!

Celebrity Language and Culture!

ALEX

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook: - Talking Tips


Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook
Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive officer of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg recently increased his personal wealth to a little under 20 billion dollars at the age of 28.  He is still a ways off Bill Gates in age and money but the future will be interesting.  He is one of the world's youngest billionaires and considered to be one of the most influential people by Time Magazine.
Currently, Facebook has 901 million monthly active users; approximately 80% are outside of North America.

Interview

Question: How is Facebook affecting the web?
Mark Zuckerberg: I think it's shaping -- it's shaping the broader web. I mean, right now, if you look back for the past five or seven years, the story of social networking has really been about getting these 800 million people connected, right, so that they can stay in touch with all these people who they care about, and getting them signed up for Facebook and all that. But if you look forward for the next five years, I think that the story that people are going to remember five years from now isn't how this one site was built. It was how every single service that you use is now going to be better with your friends because they can tap into your friends.

[Adapted from Charlie Rose Interview - Prepared by National Capitol Contracting 200 N. Glebe Rd., #1016Arlington, VA 22203]

Speaking Style

Quite often at dinner parties or other social gatherings we are asked our opinion(s). 
Mark Zuckerberg’s style is great for discussing a topic in a relaxed manner.  Mark is ‘down to earth’ and obviously connects easily with those around him; even in an interview situation.  Although his answer style is casual it is actually well crafted.
I think there a few tips we can pick up from Mark Zuckerberg.


Tip 1: State your Opinion Clearly.

Question: How is Facebook affecting the web?
I think it's shaping -- it's shaping the broader web.

Mark doesn’t mess around.  Right away, he tells the listener his opinion directly.  However he is unassuming, or not overbearing, because he gives his opinion with an “I think….” phrase.

 

I think + opinion/idea/belief


Tip 2:  Give Details to Support your Opinion

Mark immediately supports his belief by introducing his idea with: “I mean, … “.  This speaking form used after an opinion is to clarify the speaker’s opinion/idea.

 

Opinion/ idea + I mean…


Tip 3:  Create a Framework Within your Answer 

The framework gives context to the details.  Mark implements a short past and future time context.

If you look back for the past five or seven years…
But if you look forward for the next five years,…

 

Past expression + details

Future expression + details

Tip 4:  Use a Humanizing Language Device

A humanizing language device can be used to convey a difficult topic and connect with the listener.  Mark uses the phrase ‘the story of /that’ to connect with the listener.  The key point to this language device is the referencing of ‘a story’.

the story of social networking has really been about…
I think that the story that people are going to remember five years from now…

What I mean is that ‘everyone likes a story’.  We have all grown up on ‘stories’.  People can relate to them.  For example the listener might now think (after hearing Mark’s answer): “Maybe this Internet world isn’t so difficult, boring, or cold.” Social networking has a story.  All humans have a story therefore we can think of an Internet social networking platform as human.  Mark’s humanizing language device is subtle but quite effective. 

the story of/that + topic

 

Put it into Practice 

Example Ideas

Topic 1: 3D (three-dimensional) or (S3D stereoscopic 3D)
Question: How is 3D affecting the media?

Mark’s Answer style: I think it's shaping -- it's shaping the visual media experience.

I mean, right now, if you look back for the past five or seven years the story of 3D has really been about creating a greater visual sense of reality for the viewer.  It puts the viewer right there with the objects or characters in film
But if you look forward for the next five years, I think that the story that people are going to remember five years from now is about the horizontal movement of the 3D.  3D has moved from films to TV, games and soon onto mobile devices. 

Topic 2: Toyota Prius
Question: How is the Toyota Prius affecting the automobile industry?
Mark’s Answer style: I think it's shaping -- it's shaping the broader automobile industry.
I mean, right now, if you look back for the past five or seven years, the story of
the Toyota Prius has been about selling North American drivers on the benefits of the Prius vehicle. 
But if you look forward for the next five years, I think that the story that people are going to remember five years from now isn't how this one company successfully sold the Prius.
It will be about how Hybrid vehicles disrupted the gas driven automobile market.


Now try your own ideas.  Here is the structure of Mark Zuckerberg’s Speaking Style to help you remember.

I think + opinion/idea/belief

Opinion/ idea + I mean

Past expression + details

Future expression + details
the story of/that + topic

Well until next time, try Mark’s style out at your next social event.  Never be afraid to give your opinion. 

Now, sending positive wishes to Mark Zuckerberg and his new bride Priscilla Chan!
Mark Zuckerberg and his new bride Priscilla Chan!

Celebrity Language and Culture!
 ALEX

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Celebrity Advice: Comedy


Comedy one of the Greatest Gifts on Earth!
To be able to make people laugh is one on the greatest gifts on earth.  When we laugh, we feel good.  We forget the world and just enjoy the moment with the people around us.  It is a wonderful type of human sharing.  It also has medical health benefits such as lowering stress levels, strengthening your immune system, and boosting your energy.

Laughter and Comedy go Hand in Hand!
Comedy is a ‘vehicle’ to create laughter.  But what is comedy?  And how do you get it?  Let’s get some perspective and advice from the some celebrity gurus!

Interviews
Comedy with Tom Hanks!
Interviewer’s Question: Why is it difficult for so many actors to handle comedy?

Tom Hanks:
Very simply, the world is broken up into two very distinctive groups. The people that make people laugh and the people who laugh at the people who make people laugh. I think that being funny is something that you are born with, cursed with, you make the call, but it's either something that is in your chromosomes and is not. And, but there is a consensus that somehow comedy can be crafted by a committee or you can take a film and bust it apart and put it all back together and it will be very funny, which can happen on, as much as lightening strikes twice.

Comedy with Will Smith!
Interviewer’s Question: What was your experience growing up black in this neighborhood?

Will Smith:
My school was 90 percent white, but 90 percent of the kids I played with were black. So I got the best of both worlds. I think that is where my comedy developed. In black neighborhoods, everybody appreciated comedy about real life. In the white community, fantasy was funnier. I started looking for the jokes that were equally hilarious across the board, for totally different reasons.

Comedywith Micael J. Fox!
Interviewer’s Question: What made you an American icon despite a body of work smaller than that of actors who have been working for 40 years? 


Michael J. Fox:
It's like they say: Comedy is like a frog--you can dissect it, you learn how it works, but it will die in the process. So I never spend a lot of time analyzing why people respond to my work. But I think that it's just the joy, a passion for life, that I think has always been in my characters. Beyond that, I'm just grateful for it.


Well, we had 3 interesting perspectives on comedy.  Tom Hanks feels that comedy is inborn or in your genes.  Will Smith may or may not agree but was heavily influenced by his surrounds growing up.  Can we analyze comedy? Both Tom Hanks and Micheal J Fox seem to lean toward ‘no’!  There never seems to be just one answer – which I think is great.  Laughter is considered a complex and primary emotion but then again isn’t laughter just laughter.

Well hope you make someone laugh or enjoy a good comedy with friends this week!
I am personally looking forward to seeing the 3rd installment of Men in Black for a good laugh.  Check out the trailer!


Official Men in Black 3 (MIB3) Website 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Katy Perry “The One that got Away”


Katy Perry - The One that Got Away!

Katy Perry “The One that got Away”
This week, I wanted to do a follow up on last week’s feature “Katy Perry’s Musical Influences”.  As everyone knows, music influences language and culture.  Katy’s songs are chart toppers and therefore ‘talk to’ a very large North American and International audience. When people like a song they listen to it over and over.  The words and expressions become more popular with mainstream culture.  So, let’s take a look at Katy Perry’s lyrics to her musical hit  “The One That Got Away!”
 
Part One
Now to make it a bit more fun, listen to the video and try to fill in the blanks with the missing word(s).  After that, try the North American pop culture quiz related to this song.



Lyrics - The One That Got Away 
Summer after high school when we first met
We 1__________in your Mustang to Radio head
And on my 18th birthday we got that chain tattoos
Used to steal your parents' liquor and climb to the roof
Talk about our future like we 2__________
Never plan that one day I'd be losing you

And in another life I would be your girl
We keep all our promises, be us against the world
And in other life I would make you stay
So I don't have to say you were 3________
4________

I was dreaming you were my Johnny Cash
Never one, we got the other, we made a pact
Sometimes when I miss you, I put those records on, whoa
Someone said you had your 5________removed
Saw you downtown singing the blues
It's time 6________, I'm longer your 7________


And in another life I would be your girl
We keep all our promises, be us against the world
And in another life, I would make you stay
So I don't have to say you were the one that got away
The one that got away

The one, the one, the one
The one that got away

All these money can't buy me a time machine, no
Can't replace you with a million rings, no
8________, whoa
'Cause now I 9________

In another life I would be your girl
We keep all our promises, be us against the world
And in another life, I would make you stay
So I don't have to say you were the one that got away
The one that got away

The one, the one, the one, the one

And in another life I would make you stay
So I don't have to say you were the one that got away
The one that got away

(Repeat)

Answers + Meaning
1. make out : to make out with someone - to kiss and touch in a sexual way.

2. had a clue : to not have a clue (usually used with a negative) - to have no knowledge of or no information about something. Ex. I don’t have a clue where we are. We are really lost.   In the song the lyric says “Talk about our future like we had a clue”.  Katy Perry infers a negative or opposite meaning to this sentence through intonation.  She is being a bit sarcastic with herself.

3. the one that got away :  the one - a former lover  that got away – the relationship broke up and the other person left the relationship.  The person currently feels regret because they might let their soul mate or ideal match leave their life.  The speaker realizes these feelings now but didn’t in the past. 

4. the one that got away : same as number 3

5. tattoo : a tattoo - a permanent image, pattern or word on the skin which is created by using needles to put colors under the skin.

6.  to face the music - to receive punishment; to accept the unpleasant results of one's actions.

7. muse : a muse - a source of inspiration; the goddess or the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker, or the like.

8. I should've told you what you meant to me (direct meaning)

9. pay the price : to pay the price - to suffer the consequences for doing something or risking something.
 
Pop Culture Quiz
 1. What’s a Mustang in this song?
  1. a horse
  2. a car
  3. a condiment

2. Which genre best describes Radio Head?
  1. Heavy Metal
  2. Classical
  3. Alternative Rock

3.  What does a chain tattoo symbolize in this song?
  1. love
  2. hate
  3. oppression

4. Who was Johnny Cash?
  1. a musician
  2. a politician
  3. a model

5.  Who was June?
  1. The name of a month
  2. The name of a bug
  3. The name of Johnny Cash’s second wife


Answers
1. b. a car
2. c. Alternative Rock
3. a. love
4. a. a musician
5. c. The name of Johnny Cash’s second wife


Part Two
Here are a few comprehension questions.

1. When did the girl and guy meet?

2.  Why did the guy get away?

3.  What does her ex-boyfriend do for a living?

4.  Who is singing at the end of the song (after Katy Perry)?

5. What is the name of the excerpt of the song being played at the end of the video?


Answers
1. “Summer after high school”
2. She didn’t tell him her deepest feeling about him.  She didn’t tell him how important he was to her. - “I should've told you what you meant to me”
3. He is a singer. - “Saw you downtown singing the blues”
4. Johnny Cash
5. You are my Sunshine

 See you next week and in the meantime here is an old time video 
of

And of course!

 
ALEX

Celebrity Language and Culture!