Sunday, September 25, 2016

People's Choice Deadline Extended to September 30

I heard about a new component of the Comp Laude awards for 2016. This year, there will be a “People’s Choice” component. Most Comp Laude award winners are nominated, vetted, and then judged by the WorkCompCentral team. But not People’s Choice; these awards will be judged by the audience based upon a short public presentation, delivered without the aid of props or PowerPoints. Are you interested? 

How to begin? The time limit for each People's Choice will be about 6 minutes. Not a long period of time. I have met people who are incapable of saying good morning in less than ten minutes. I had one acquaintance that was infamous for the greeting “how are you.” He was not infamous for saying it, he was infamously known for the danger we all faced in saying it to him. See, when you said that to him, he told you. He told you in minute detail, often dropping into a play-by-play description of what he said to his physicians and what they replied. 

So, if I were to put in my proposal for the Comp Laude 2016 People’s Choice program (I am not as I am on the selection committee), I would figure out just how long that speech would be. How many words could I say in 6 minutes? I consulted Yahoo. Many agree  right now that Yahoo is no security authority, but it has a page that is accepted as authoritative on almost anything else, Yahoo Answers. It says the average speaking (250) pace is between 110 and 150 words per minute. At that pace I would need to limit myself to something between 660 and 900 words. 

From a desire for verification, or to at least have two perspectives, I also visited a website called This one is less specific, but provides a words-per-minute calculator. It is based upon an average speaking pace of 130 words per minute, yielding a necessary volume of 780 words for this 6 minute presentation. 

I am concerned from my word-count reading. How fast do I speak. Am I a fast speaker, thus probably needing the 900 words predicted by Yahoo? Or am I slow – 660 words, or average – 780? With no way to answer, until I complete my transcript and practice it aloud, I settle on 780 as my target. In the back of my mind, I am having a subconscious debate on rectifying any ultimate shortcoming. When I speak the 780, if it does not match the 6 minutes, will I add or subtract words or will I alter my speaking pace? 

Too many variables, like trying to contemplate how we might adjust an average weekly wage, but before we know any details. As Sherlock Holmes used to say “"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." And thus, I write on, pushing the “talk faster”/fewer words debate deeper into my subconscious. 

So, what would 780 words look like? When I sit down to write this People’s Choice presentation, how would I make sure that it is long enough, but not too long? Either could potentially be a bit embarrassing. If there are hundreds of people watching your clock, you might want to assure yourself that your presentation will be “baby bear,” that is "just right."

Fortunately, we live in the world of word processors. And, word processors count words. So, I typed this in Microsoft Word. Recognizing that “your font may vary, as might your margins, and other variables, it might be helpful to know how I am doing so far. I am using a Times New Roman 12 font. And at this stage of my transcript, the word count in my lower left-hand corner status bar alerts me that I have now reached 641 words; essentially one typed page was 561 words. With only 780 words available, I have now wasted almost all of them. 

And, as yet, I have said nothing the least bit inspirational about workers’ compensation. After all, that is the real point of the Comp Laude People’s Choice Awards. The industry is full of people and stories that are inspirations. They come to our attention, but unfortunately they too often rush past our consciousness like the scenery outside our coach window as we sit persistently performing our work a day duties. But if we pause and consider, we each know someone that inspires us. It may be their perseverance, their attitude, their dedication, their intellect, their (oh my, 760 words).

Well, the point is you know some story worth telling. Describe a success, lament a failure. But that is 781 (6 minutes flat at 130 per minute). 

So, either make yours this long and deliver it at an average pace, or keep typing a bit and plan on talking faster than average. But, at any rate, write your story and send your 250 word proposal to this week. The deadline has been extended just for you. Though you will need more for the speech, your proposal for the selection committee has to be under 250 words, noted above with a parenthetical. Submit no later than September 30, 2016. Packing your brilliance in that volume is not easy, but worth it! Good luck! (891 words if you are counting). 

We are counting on you! Tell the WC world an inspirational story.

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