January 28, 2011

Emotions & Changing People’s Behaviour Part 2

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Last night’s gig was great, Tony Law was (as expected) hilarious, but enough of that, you want to know about emotions and changing people’s behaviour.

Last time I shared how easily it is to change a person’s emotional state and behaviour with just a few words. I’m now going to share with you how our expressions can affect other people’s emotional state, in comedy we call this “showing not telling”.

Psychologists Nalini Ambadi and Robert Rosenthal conducted a study where a group of independent people viewed a 30 second video clip of college lecturers at the beginning of an academic term and evaluated them on a number of personality variables such as their level of confidence, optimism, likable, and enthusiasm.

The question was, could these independent raters predict how each lecturer’s class of students would feel about them at the end of term?

Remarkably, they could. The lecturers assessed as confident, active, optimistic, likable, and enthusiastic fared far better on student evaluation forms later in the year.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, even more remarkable was the fact that the raters gave their initial ratings with the sound turned off! The videotapes had no audio.

All participants had to go on was the evidence of their eyes. Our attitude gives off a halo – in as little as 30 seconds we and our products are being summed up!

Now what’s really interesting is the principle of emotional contagion – the idea that we spread emotions. Prof. Elaine Hatfield and her colleagues from the University of Hawaii (why didn’t I study there?) believe that emotional contagion is a primitive and unconscious behaviour. According to her studies, it takes place through a series of steps. Emotions are shown through unconscious facial expressions (see part 1). When two people meet, one of them will start to mimic the facial expressions of the other, with the person exhibiting the strongest emotion leading the other to feel the same.

So our emotions and feelings, can affect our customers’ emotions and feelings. Don’t believe me? Think of someone you’ve worked with in a previous company, who you looked forward to seeing, who always made you smile, who was always happy and cheerful.

How do you feel?

Now think about someone you used to work with who you dreaded (because you love everyone you work with now!), in fact the moment you saw them coming down the corridor you’d try to dive into another room or pretend to be answering a call on your phone.

Can you feel the difference?

But let’s not dwell on that person who could suck the life out of any party, it’s much nicer to think about the person who was the life and soul of the party, who lights up the room when they come in…

I wonder when we walk into a room do our customers light up or do they want to slink away in disgust?

In Part 3, I’ll be sharing how your attitude has a measurable effect on your business success…

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

January 27, 2011

The Funny Roundabout Comedy Club

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

Since Edinburgh I still like to perform comedy so tonignt I’m compering at the Funny Roundabout Comedy Club (Thursday Jan 27th) at Indy Jax in Hemel Hempstead  with the hilarious Tony Law, Chris Carr, and Nicci Mack (prepare to have your minds blown)!

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=175980962425558&ref=mf

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

January 26, 2011

Desperately Seeking Stagetime Thursday Feb 8th

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a standup comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

A lot of people come up to me after a Funny Business corporate event and ask, “how can I get into comedy?”  Well people, here’s your chance…

Starting  Thursday,  February 8th  I will be hosting the first 2011 Desperately Seeking Stagetime comedy event at the Queen’s Head pub, Piccadilly, London.

Desperately Seeking Stagetime isn’t a gig. It’s a place for new (& old) comics to get together and try to make each other laugh. And for other people to come down and watch them.

OK, that does sound a bit like a gig. But no money changes hands, except to the bar staff in exchange for refreshing drinks. And you don’t have to bring all your chums down, just to get a five minute spot. Though if you want to, that would be lovely. I’m bringing mine…

How To Get A Spot

If you’re a comic we’d love to see you do your stuff, however you can’t book a spot in advance!

Arrive early (I’ll be there from 6:30 pm!) to claim one of the 8 guaranteed spots. Arrive nearer to 8pm and you’ll have to put your name in the hat… but you’ll probably get on anyway.

The show starts at 8pm and runs until… somewhere between 10 and 11pm, depending on how many people turn up. There are only two rules. Please buy a drink because the pub are giving us the room for free. And please stay until the end, to support the other acts.

Stand up, impressionists, musical comedy, sketches, ventriloquists, mentalists, whatever you like really. Come. It’ll be fun. Sit in the front row and we’ll give you chocolate.

Here are the details:

The date: First Thursday of every month

The time: 8pm – 11pm

The venue: The Queen’s Head, Piccadilly Circus, Denman Street (next to Piccadilly Theatre), London W1D 7HD

http://www7.beerintheevening.com/maps/?pcb=W1D+7HN

The price: FREE!

You can join the Desperately Seeking Stagetime Facebook group here!

Look forward to seeing you there.

Marc

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.

  • Filed under: Blog Posts — marchogan @ 10:55 am
January 16, 2011

Emotions & Changing People’s Behaviour Part 1

In August 2008 Marc Hogan was bet £1 that he couldn’t become a standup comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival in August 2009 for 21 nights. He won the bet!

I’ve just returned from a job in Tenerife (not as glamorous as it sounds, I saw daylight for about an hour!)

Anyway as part of the presentation there was a lot of really interesting stuff about emotions, which I thought I’d share with you! Psychologist Robert Plutchik Professor Emeritus at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine wrote more than 260 articles, 45 chapters and eight books on emotions.

He argued that there are 8 universal emotions:

  • Joy (Happiness) & Sadness

  • Fear & Anger

  • Surprise & Anticipation

  • Trust & Disgust

All other emotions are made up of these basic 8.  What’s really interesting is that regardless of race, culture, age, sex we are all brilliant at recognising these emotions when we meet people…



As a public speaker and comedian, its really important that I “show not tell” my emotions through my facial expressions and body language as people noticeably respond to my facial expressions (more about that in part 2) and this is incredibly important if you want to change the audience’s emotional state.

What’s even more interesting is that with just a few words you change the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves.  The concept is beautifully illustrated in two studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

In the first of these studies, conducted by John Bargh and his colleagues at New York University, participants were asked to rearrange a series of scrambled words to form a coherent sentence.  Half of the participants were shown mixed up sentences that contained words relating to the elderly, such as

“grey, wrinkled, croaky,”

The other half of the participants were shown the same mixed up sentences but the words relating to youth, such as

“smooth, shiny, plump, strong, hair…”

Once a participant had carefully worked their way through the sentences and been thanked for taking part, the experimenter gave directions to the nearest set of lifts.  The participants thought the experiment was over. In reality, the important part was just about to start.  A second experimenter was sitting in the hallway armed with a stop watch. When the participants emerged from the laboratory, the second experimenter secretly recorded the time taken from them to walk down the hallway to the lifts.

Those that just spent time un-scrambling the sentences that contained words relating to old age took significantly longer than those who would spend time with the non-elderly sentences.  Just spending a few minutes thinking about words such as wrinkled, grey, bingo, and incontinence, had completely change the way people behaved!

Without realising it those few words added years to their lives and they were walking like elderly people!

A similar study, conducted by Ap Dijksterhuis and Ad Van Knippenberg (Why can’t they be called Smith?) from the University of Nijmegen  in Holland, asked participants to spend five minutes jotting down a few sentences about the behaviour, lifestyle, and appearance of a typical football  hooligan, whilst others did the exact the same for typical professor.

Everyone was then asked about 40 Trivial Pursuit questions, such as what is the capital of Bangladesh, which country hosted the 1992 Soccer World Cup, and so on.

Those who spent just five minutes thinking about a typical football hooligan managed to answer 46% of the questions correctly, whereas those who  wrote about a typical professor were right 60% of the time.

It makes you think, just how we are affected, without even noticing it by what others say to us. How are we affecting our friends, family, colleagues and customers by what we say? Something to think about when you go into your next meeting…

In Part 2 I’ll be sharing how you can affect people’s mood and behaviour through a process called emotional contagion….

Click here to watch Marc’s showreel. If you would like to find out more about Marc, visit www.marchoganlive.com or to book him for a speaking event please contact your favourite speaker bureau.