Tag Archives: tim-ferriss

Writing and Preparing for a Speech (Tim Ferriss’ System)

The Tim Ferris technique for preparing a speech. For those aware of the concept, you may spot a resemblance to the snowflake method (previously), as typically used for writing novels.

There are also some non-structural tips in the article (i.e. “No one should misunderstand you. Everything you say should be clear”.)

  • Organise the speech using the “rule of thirds” (no content at this stage, tailor the timings to your desired speech length):
    • 2-minute introduction.
    • Three 10-minute segments.
    • 2-minute close.
  • Create the content for the three central segments. For each 10-minute segment:
    • Decide what the main takeaway or usable action is for the audience.
    • Explain this using the PEP or EPE format (E = Example or case study. P = Point, illustrating the concept, offering actionable next steps).
    • Use 2-3 of these per 10-minute segment.
  • Create the introduction:
    • Preferably start with a story.
    • Explain that you’ll introduce three concepts that will help the audience do “X”, where “X” is whatever the overarching theme of the presentation is.
  • Rehearse:
    • Rehearse the sections separately.
    • Time yourself.
    • After each rehearsal write down any one-liners or wording that you like.
    • Do not memorise the speech verbatim.
    • Do remember the starting and closing 2-3 sentences for each portion (introduction, the three central segments).
  • Create and rehearse the conclusion.
  • Rehearse the entire speech:
    • Rehearse until you recite the speech perfectly at least once.
    • Accept that you’ll forget at least 10% of your memorised lines.
    • Continue to review notes to ensure you are hitting the important points.
  • Sleep.

So, the final speech will be structured like this:

  • Introduction
  • Segment 1
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
  • Segment 2
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
  • Segment 3
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
  • Conclusion

Fixed-Schedule Productivity: Fix the Schedule, Don’t Compromise

In a guest post for I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Cal Newport of Study Hacks discusses fixed-schedule productivity: a productivity system whereby you set a schedule of work (and play) between certain hours and stick to it ruthlessly.

Tim Ferriss aficionados will note that this system relies on a premise that Ferriss heavily depends on:

Much of the work we do is of questionable importance and conducted at low efficiency. […] If we instead identify only the most important tasks […] and tackle them under severe constraints, we’d be surprised by how little time we actually require.

The précis of the fixed-schedule productivity system, as used by author Jim Collins:

Fix your ideal schedule, then work backwards to make everything fit […] around your needs. Be flexible. Be efficient. If you can’t make it fit: change your work. But in the end, don’t compromise.

Some of you may recognise this: Cal suggested something very similar last year, but on a  grander scale.

Fix the lifestyle you want. Then work backwards from there.

A Guide for Learning Foreign Languages (Resources)

Latin was probably the single most useful subject I was taught in school. I despised it at the time, but now I have come to realise its importance and many applications–the greatest of which is how it has helped me learn other languages.

In learning languages (although none to fluency… yet) I have found the following resources invaluable. This is the order in which I would suggest researching/learning:

  1. Choose a language to learnHow to Learn Any Language provides good language overviews and gives information on difficulty, popularity, and other metrics. However, don’t be put off by stats!
  2. Deconstruct your desired language – Tim Ferriss provides a good overview of how to quickly deconstruct a language – an important step that will give you a great insight into the workings of a language.
  3. Understand the deconstruction – Yes, you may have deconstructed it, but do you really know what it all means? Study the linguistic typology of your chosen language to really understand it.
  4. Find high-quality free material
  5. Hit the books – Start learning using all the material you acquired in the previous step. There’s a specific order in which you should do this:
    1. Pronunciation: From the very beginning you need to know how to pronounce words correctly. Find some native speakers or learn the IPA and do it phonetically.
    2. Vocabulary: Learning grammar becomes much easier with spaced repetition. Don’t translate from your native language: use a combination of images and target words (translation will limit your use of the words). Choose your words wisely: word lists that are tailored to your situation are always good.
    3. Grammar: Again, spaced repetition and good material is the way to go.
    4. The Rest: Reading and writing, speaking and listening… now that you have a grasp of the language (however small), it’s time to immerse yourself.

The Warren Buffett Guide to Investing

In Picking Warren Buffett’s Brain: Notes from a Novice, Tim Ferriss shares the notes he took at a recent convention for Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. It’s an interesting read and here’s the crux of it all:

How would you invest your first million dollars?

“I’d put it all in a low-cost index fund that tracks the S&P 500 [UK equiv: FTSE All-Share] and get back to work…”

Why do people struggle with this simple investing concept? Because people believe the experts, and when you pay the experts for advice… well, I’ll let Warren continue:

“No one will give you this advice [index funds] because no one gets paid for it.”

How about the best books to read “for investing and life”?

  • Buffett: Chapters 8 and 20 in The Intelligent Investor.
  • Munger (Vice-Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway): Anything by Ben Franklin.

Japan Travel

Hoping to have an extended visit to Japan in the near future? You may be as pleased as I was when I stumbled upon a site offering 10 Japanese Customs You Must Know Before a Trip to Japan.

A perfect compliment to Tim Ferriss’ Hacking Japan: Inside Tokyo for Less Than New York (part two).

I’ll be double-checking facts with my brother (who lives in Tokyo) and if there are any anomalies will be posting them here. Seems promising though.

Also: 10 Reasons Japan is Better Than America