How to inform people about what is going on?
Hi, I have been trying to inform people for the last year, with mixed success. I find that most don’t want to hear it! And those that do, soon grow tired of it or just laugh it off. That leaves 5 percent or so that actually will look deeper and take some kind of action.
I guess what I’m asking is how to improve my delivery. I sometimes come on to strong and make people nervous, scared or depressed. Any tips on how to get people to listen. I realize this is not an easy subject to grasp. I feel into it only because I lost so much money in the markets; I wondered why.
it is a common problem. many people are in denial.
many people are unaware. remember it is a recession if your neighbor loses his job
but a depression if you lose yours.
same with investments. you have felt the pain still tho many have as well many have not
many buy into the experts who say youbuy and hold and over time the market always goes up.
i have shown the course to people hee and it has overall been well received. i try to talk to people about it and
i get the same reaction you get. but i trust that the exponential function will work in regards to this info.
keep on keepin on in every way
This is literally the $64,000,000,000,000.00 dilema!
I have been attempting to either give people copies of the ‘Crash
Course’ (I managed to save the flash video files and burn them onto a
disk pending the DVD release for those that either have no internet or
a slow connection) or organise a group screening and I’ve come across at least five typical scenarios as follows…
1. The ‘too hard’ scenario – "It’s economics which is just too hard or boring to contemplate"
2. The ‘it doesn’t affect me’ scenario – "Things personally aren’t really all that bad, and it’s not something I think I need to be bothered with."
3. The ‘head in the sand’ scenario – "No thanks! It’s just going to talk about really negative stuff and there’s enough bad news around already"
4. The ‘too busy’ scenario – "Thanks but I’m really just too busy… with work, mortgage, bills, kids etc, etc…"
5. The ‘keen to know more’ scenario – "Thanks, I’m really concerned about what is happening and I’d like to find out more"
So in order to overcome any objections as best as possible, I felt that some lateral thinking was required.
Trying to force something as important as the ‘Crash Course’ down peoples throats is a good way to turn them off completely. It’s important to be very clear that the ‘Crash Course is not some kind of ‘sucker’ financial seminar that is going to sting them for a bunch of cash either now, or later. I found some people just say they’re not interested because they automatically assume they are going to be sold something, like many of these property seminars. So I found you need to be VERY CLEAR there is NO HIDDEN COST, apart from a few dollars for the DVD if they’re happy to pay for it (and as a result more likely to watch it). In fact I’m happy to give the DVD’s away if I think someone will watch it.
If anyone just says they’re not interested without stating why, then I try and find out what their objection is in order to put their mind at ease. However this can be fickle if you don’t really know the person very well and YMMV.
I’ve tried to develop some responses to the above comments in a way that answers each with either positive or interesting response. Basically I’ve taken snippets of the ‘Crash Course’ that really made me sit up and am attempting to use some of these to spark people’s interest. Don’t take these simulated responses as gospel, it’s just an example excercise in order to overcome objections.
1. "It’s economics which is just too hard or boring to contemplate"
"If you’re talking about the stuff we did at school then I absolutely agree with you. But I had no idea that a stack of $1000 bills that equals a trillion dollars is nearly 68 miles high! And the U.S. needs about 60 of these 68 mile high stacks to clear all it’s finanancial problems? That’s a stack of $1000 bills over 4000 miles high… can you believe that?! A stack of $1000 bills… FOUR THOUSAND MILES HIGH!!! And what about starting out with just one cent on January 1st and winding up with a billion dollars by April 3rd the same year!… How could that happen?"
2. "Things personally aren’t really all that bad, and it’s not something I think I need to be bothered with."
"Have you checked your pension fund recently? Do you know where your money is? Do you think it is safe? Did you know that in the early 1980’s a European country had inflation so bad that if you had a billion dollars on January 1st it would have only been worth only one cent by April 3rd the same year? Would that bother you if it was your money? That’s called hyperinflation and is a symptom of printing too much money in order to prop up the economy. And guess what the Federal Reserve is doing right now?
3. "No thanks! It’s just going to talk about really negative stuff and there’s enough bad news around already"
"You’re absolutely right, there is plenty of bad news around at the moment. And no one seems to know what they should do about it. That’s why the ‘Crash Course’ is such a good idea, it clearly spells out the issues and then gives you the knowledge in order to assist you in devising a strategy to best deal with those issues"
4. "Thanks but I’m really just too busy… with work, mortgage, bills, kids etc, etc…"
"I can understand that. Everyone’s busy just trying to make ends meet. There’s so much financial pressure these days and it’s looking to get even harder over the next twenty years. So by the time your kids are adults the world is going to be a very different place. The ‘Crash Course’ specifically looks at the next twenty years and offers number of strategies to help deal with these large changes that are now already occuring. Compared to the next twenty years the three hours it takes to view the ‘Crash Course’ could possible be the most valuable three hours you’ll ever spend… for free.. Who’s buying the beer!"
5. "Thanks, I’m really concerned about what is happening and I’d like to find out more"
"Great! How about spreading the word?"
If anyone has any other ideas for sparking peoples interest in the ‘CC’ then post them.
The Crash Course seems to be most effective for thoese people more open minded or already think something isn’t right but don’t understand exactly why yet (for sure that was me). I’ve been trying to plant the seed in the people I know who seem to be most forward thinking, that already have some interest or curiousity in the future. For others not there yet, I’ve been trying to spark that first step of critical thinking by just raising awareness of the importance of current issues with the hope I can later pass on links to info like the Crash Course. We’ll see how it works.
romat, thanks for the detailed answer! I may use this in a speech. I have been invited to talk on the subject. So I can use parts of this in the intro. Also, I am working on a format to introduce the whole picture-hopefully under 30 minutes, as I don’t think anyone can sit for any longer than that. Jon
I have had similar experiences to you all, and agree with Rowmat’s statement: "Trying to force something as important as the ‘Crash Course’ down peoples throats is a good way to turn them off completely." I know I have not had much success getting family/friends interested in watching the course, and I do worry that they may feel it is being pushed upon them, even though I try not to come off that way.
I also agree with what woodman said about it being easier to communicate these ideas to people who are open-minded and who already know something isn’t right and are trying to understand why. Someone on Chris’s blog once talked about how people learn when they are ready to learn, and find a "teacher" when they are ready to find a teacher (be it a person, a book, or the Crash Course).
That makes me wonder if maybe making the Course readily available for people to "discover" and pursue on their OWN is a better (or at least different) option. Like advertising the course as an educational seminar -tweaking the interest of those already concerned about what’s going on with the potential insights it has to offer, but letting them discover and pursue it on their own.
In regards to getting people interested in the course, others have observed "you can lead the horse to water but you can’t make them drink". That is what feels like! So mabe a different approach is warranted…somehow letting folks know that if they ARE thirsty for knowledge and answers, we know a place THEY can find a drink (rather than trying to TAKE them there).
I don;t know if that makes sense…
An important needed companion would be an instructors guide, which I have mentioned in the past in another post. This can be created by Chris, or created by the forum users with data input from all who are running into problems getting the info across to the general public. Keep in mind, general public. That’s the target audience. Somebody who is economics savvy will probably learn a couple of things, but the masses are the main target. Without a companion teaching or instruction guide, everyone will be teaching differently. Chris should be doing this or approving one that the forum users create based on experience. To simply sit everyone down and show them a 3 hour presentation will not work.
I have been involved in instructor/education related issues for years, and one of the main things anyone needs to do is to find common ground with people who don’t understand economics, or are uninterested. This would be like the previous post about retirement funds. This is a direct common ground subject that people can relate to. I don’t care what education level you or your audience is, you start talking money and people listen. You need to convey that economics is everywhere and has a direct effect on every individual in the world, so it’s important to have a base understanding of it regardless of interest.
Modifying your own teaching methods is a refining process that may take a few sessions to work the process out completely. Take notes, continue to post on here what problems you are having, and as a group we should be able to handle any situation that comes up.
Come up with as many relative subjects as you can. For instance, start the training by asking everyone to raise hands if they plan to retire in the next 10 years and how. Ask them about how much oil is a part of everyday life for them, as in job or even a mom taking care of kids, etc. Ask them about issues related to the crash course that relate to them. If you run this from start to finish without breaks and interaction, people will be turned off like lamps at bedtime. It’s also a lot of bad news to consume all at once, so add some light if you can along the way. Also, have some food and drinks. Don’t pay for it yourself, have everyone bring something you tell them to. A nice food break is great for a 3 hour presentation. People get hungry and bored quickly. Also keep in mind for every hour, a 15 min break is nice. It may be a good idea to try to do it in 2 sessions, but sadly it’s harder to get people to come to 2 sessions.
Relative methods can be for example if you are talking about peak oil, talk about alternatives to oil, add some progress of current technologies, what people can do (carpool, less driving, economic cars, public transportation, bicycles if they live in the city, etc)
If you are talking about retirement, give advice but never tell people what to do with individual or family finances. Give some ideas of what others are doing, but don’t tell people they should do this or that. Be as non-agenda driven as possible.
Chris M’s presentation is conveying information. It offers no solutions or direction of exactly what to do, just suggestions or basic ideas and reasons why we are where we are today. This is the way it should be, and this is what you must convey.
You can’t just shove so much bad news down peoples necks with all the stuff going on. You will be dealing with people with no jobs, low or no money, foreclosure issues. Once someone is down it’s no good to kick them anymore than you need to. Gloom and doom type instruction will get you nowhere. Be as positive as you can.
For every situation in the presentation, we have a solution with the exception of depleting oil, and the possible solution to that is less consumption now, and alternative energy sources later to be invented or discovered.
Also I think it’s important to let people know they have all the power, and the government still works for them. It’s important to let them know that voting power, contacting representatives and doing community efforts are important now more than ever. I don’t personally believe in the contact the representative approach, but if enough people do it you may get results.
I have taught 2 of the most difficult things to teach, programming and language. Making things as easy to understand is paramount to any educational course regardless of subject. Make sure you let people know that one of the main reasons that a lot of these subjects may be difficult to understand or learn is because it’s not meant to be easy. The more difficult it is to understand, the harder it is for a typical student or person to learn.
Tell people to take notes and ask questions during periods you decide. Collect these questions and report back so Chris and everyone here so they can see what people are having a problem with understanding and why.
You can teach someone to do brain surgery if you simplify the process of explanation.
This should be an open and fluid course and not static, and will benefit from feedback and modifications from all of us. The only thing that should be static is a general instructors guide for now, and that can change as well over time.
To Chris Martenson- What kind of issues do you run into that you can give feedback on? Maybe you should create a new forum area to share with all the people showing your course, and let them give feedback as well. Your seminar advice and experience will help others with showing or teaching your course, so share your experiences please.
I tell people that there are interesting questions raised and I would like their opinion on it. Ego appeal in other words. So far it has only sparked interest from 5 of my family/friends, colleagues, but I think that it will continue to grow as they continue to see the govt completely collapse and lose all sense of economic and fiscal responsibility.
Even if you don’t agree with everything presented, it is still fantastic material to begin discussions from. Those discussions *must* take place if any change is to come about.
As we all start giving these presentations, or even just as we pitch them to our friends, family, associates, etc… I think it would be wise to develop a FAQ. I’ll bring this up on the volunteer brigade forums, as well as that "instructor’s guide" idea that Krogoth mentioned. Also, Krogoth, there’s a reasonably high chance that Chris won’t see that question you asked him. I would advise you to e-mail him or, if you’re a subscriber, post it on one of the "insider" forums. I doubt he manages to read every post of each thread, but who knows – maybe he does 🙂 Anyway, i think that instructor’s guide and a FAQ would be very helpful for everyone. I know myself, being a 17 year old without having taken any formal economics classes, that it can be difficult and scary. All you need is one question you can’t answer to make you lose all credibility. Even if you know the answer, but can’t articulate it in an understandable way, you might lose credibility. Naturally a lot of this depends on the nature of the audience, and i’d guess we’re generally presenting to people who know us and are going to be respectful, if not receptive. Then again, this message is bound to make many people defensive. It would be good to have some materials to help those of us trying to spread the word and such.
Your right, you will lose credibility if you cannot answer basic or even complex economic questions. Here is a way around that for now. Most questions you cannot answer can be handled with the answer "I don’t have the data available to answer your question" or "I will need to take your name and get back to you on that" or "I will need to research that with my colleagues, or contact associates with the answer to that". You can start off the presentation with "any questions that I don’t have the answers for, I will make an attempt to get the answers for you"
That at least levels it out and will defuse the people in the target audience from testing you. Now if they ask a fundamentally easy economics question, you better be prepared. Know your acronyms, know about current conditions and know the subject matter you are teaching.
These should make your target audience feel better and have more confidence in you.
People will be looking for solutions from YOU. You need to make sure if you are giving this presentation that you make it clear you are not here to give solutions, as I stated in the above post.
As for Chris, I think he reads most posts on here. I have already made this comment to Erik T. as well, and it’s his job as manager to relay this information to Chris. Regardless, it will come up sooner or later.
Now for you personally, you are 17, and while I think it’s great for you to give your effort at such a young age and get this message across, credibility will always be a question for you because of your age, not your knowledge. I really don’t know how to get around this but to simply say you have been exposed to this information, are here to convey it to your target audience. Start small with a few people, practice and we will help you here with questions you are running into, or problems you may have. It should be interesting to see how people react to you based on your age. I myself would be really impressed with you, so don’t get discouraged.