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They say that new vocabulary words are like vitamins for the brain. They also say that there are, for each culture, concepts that the people don’t understand simply because they don’t have a word for it. Thirdly, my opinion is that there are some ideas that should be brought to people’s attention but aren’t because it takes too long to describe.


Welcome to a new topic category here at the Responsible Puppet – JamsCoin – where, as a public service to the great culture that we call American Life, I will provide new and timely concepts coined as a word or phrase. These contributions to the lexicon will be introduced here and then brought to the greater culture at large by you, Jamsco’s readers (Literally dozens have read this blog since it’s conception.)  Join with me, won’t you?


I’ll make the first one a simple concept:


Askanser –

noun:  Presenter, public speaker, or speech-giver, who, after spending time watching their presentation, you realize never actually looks at the eyes of anyone in the audience.


Have you noticed this? You’re listening to a power point presentation and you see that while they look at spots very near (just under, around or (most typically (over)) anyone listening to them.


A couple comments:

– I believe that some speech coaches suggest this to avoid stage fright. I don’t think I would.

– Askanser does not equal poor speech ability. I have found that these people often present well. Sometimes good presenters have no need for visual interaction.

– I (as a presenter) am a Anti-Askanser. I used to T.A. at the U of M and I would have hated to not to be able to see the responses of my listeners. But again this is not a sign of being a good presenter. In fact, in my case, it showed insecurity; I wanted to know the exact second that someone looked confused or upset.


Closely related to this is the Focuser – Someone who you realize rarely looks away from one person. This person is often a spouse, a fellow presenter, or a person in the audience that they speaker is unintimidated by.


Now I hear some of you saying, No, Jamsco, I’ve never experienced a presenter who could be described with these terms. What are you talking about? And sir, my answer:


That’s because no one has invented a term to describe the concept! But thanks to the Responsible Puppet, those days are over.

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April 2007