As a preventive measure, I had to slip this slide into Professor Nile Stanton's excellent presentation on persuasive speaking. Try as we might, a few individuals in his Legation audience of master's business students from Tangier's HEM (Haute Ecole de Management) were not persuaded to turn off their infernal machines.
But hey, if some students couldn't be parted from their cell phones, weren't paying attention, and missed Professor Stanton's helpful advice, that's their problem: they have to make their own presentations – in English – this Friday, in front of a jury. You snooze, you lose.
You can watch a segment of the presentation on this YouTube link, and also access Prof. Stanton's slide show. And please excuse my brief appearance playing with the lighting.
Despite the distractions, it was a very effective presentation. Nile Stanton, professor at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), is a pro, and he knows of what he speaks. A trial attorney in his former life, Nile Stanton peppered his lecture with real-life anecdotes from the courtroom, where his powers of persuasion were applied to convincing juries of the innocence of his clients.
To the amusement of his audience of students, Nile recounted how some of his own clients could not be restrained from blurting out self-incriminating evidence. Credibility, it turns out, is one of Professor Stanton's key elements of his "Three Golden Keys" to persuasive speaking: "relate experience, respect audience, establish common ground," according to one of his slides.
We all learned much from Nile Stanton. I had never come across "Monroe's Motivated Sequence" – known to those in the world of advertising – but see that its progression from getting an audience's attention to spurring it to action could be a powerful tool in any presentation.
Nile Stanton's presentation at TALIM was one of several we have offered to HEM students, whose school engages English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers provided by the British Council for a six-week immersion course. Earlier, Dr. Peter Limbrick of UC Santa Cruz gave the students a primer on film appreciation, with examples from his work on Middle Eastern/North African cinema.
At TALIM, we believe in making the most of our limited resources. Which, in the case of professors Stanton and Limbrick, means getting pro bono services of educators who are either resident in Tangier (the case of Nile Stanton), or here for research (Dr. Limbrick). We might not offer an honorarium, but we've gotten some great talent "singing for their supper."
Nile Stanton, whose UMUC work is mostly of the distance-learning variety, has been a stalwart in the local community's support of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies. His volunteer work at TALIM is proof that there is a wealth of knowledge to be tapped right here in our back yard. Thank you, Professor Stanton.
Now my question is: would some benefactor please get us a mobile phone jammer?