I was recently at a Kevin Hogan Seminar in Las Vegas and one of the speakers was Al “the inspiration” Duncan. I put his nickname in small case because that was Al’s former nick name. It is Now Al ” The Millennial Mentor” Duncan.
I know Al from about 5 years ago when he and i were taking a public speaking course from Kevin Hogan.
Al was really good then…and is Incredible now. As a matter of fact Kevin said he thinks Al could be the best speaker in the world right now.
Al gets the name “Millennial Mentor” because he has spoken at the college level and high school level for years and he knows this group of people very well.
First there was the Boomers…then “X”…i think there might have been one in between:-) …and then there is the Millennial’s this massive group of apx. 95 million up to the age of 30-35 years old max
They appear to be the biggest buying group ever..even bigger than boomers.
Well Al came to tell us a bit about the Millennial s. We as marketers couldn’t wait to hear what Al had to say. He spoke for an afternoon with questions and questions.
When he was done…i was disturbed by the picture he painted. Knowing a bit about psychology he almost perfectly described the psychopathology of both Narcissism and the criminal psychology.
Now i dont think Al had any idea that he was leaving me with this impression. Al was there to help us get these young people so we could connect with them as marketers…but Al is a man of the heart so he was also hoping there might be a deeper connection as ..Human beings.
Young Folks are one of the toughest crowds to connect with when speaking..and Al has made a profession out of it…filling his year up with colleges and high schools. This is one of the reasons Al got to be so good. When he spoke to us…it was a breeze compared to his usual audience.
Like any good weightlifter…Al lifts the heavy weights to tax his speaking muscles…so that when people pay him to lift what they consider is heavy…Al easily lifts it…and shows off a bit.
This is a key lesson in success.
Now back to what we were learning as marketers. We were learning words. Words that meant something to the millennials ….maybe something different than we thought.
One word had us all laughing “swagga” as older white men said it with a twang it was funny sounding coming from us. “Swagga” apparently is the new word for “bling”. Bling had to replaced because too many older white dudes were using it too much.
And the way we were all taking to ‘Swagga” i think it will soon be replaced.
Well i noticed one word Al kept using to describe words. The word was “cool”.
Al was letting us know all the new words the millennials were using were “Cool” to them.
This word is cool and that word is cool…that word is for sure not “Cool”
I raised my hand and asked Al if “Cool” was Cool”
He thought for a second and said yes….i said isnt that cool that cool has transcended all generations.
Even those ancient civilizations before the boomers.
He said he had never thought about that.
I kept thinking about it…why the heck were we all talking about words that separate us and this one word we all use and it stays “Cool” generation after generation.
Then it hit me…and i understood the underlying language that transcends separation.
I couldn’t wait to tell Al.
Kevin had invited us to his $2000 a night suite at the Venetian to chat and Al and I agreed to split a cab from the Luxor where the seminar was being held at.
On the way over i shared my discovery with Al and he loved it and said he was going to add this part to what he speaks about. This felt good to me. To find a point of connection and know it was immediately going out to the world in a useful way.
Al had given us so much in his speech that day and it was my pleasure to add value back to him.
I asked Al about what i had asked him earlier about the word “Cool” transcending generations.
Then i told him what came to me.
I painted a picture of a family watching a big fireworks show…from Grandmother to young child …and a huge display exploding in all its grandeur…and a sound comes out of all of them automatically “oooooo”……it is the same sound in the middle of the word c”ooooo”l.
I also thought of people standing in front of a bakery window looking at all the days fresh cookie and doughnuts “ooooo”
Funny how we all know what that sound mean.
It makes me wonder if this theory holds true with other languages. I invited you who speak other languages to let me know if there are “oooo” words that mean cool.
I also wonder about “wow” with the “ah” sound.
I’ll be willing to bet that most words in most languages that have the “oooo” or “ah” sound have very positive connotations.
off the top of my head i can think of some “ah’s” Yashua..Yahweh..Allah..Buddha
Does anyone know of any books on this?
How Cool would it be to develop a language that uses all these good sounds that connect at a very deep level for all…so there isnt a want to create a “Swagga” that is a different language than your ancestors. It also comes to me while writing this that there is a place that many call paradise that their language uses a whole bunch of these vowels…Hawaii
How many “ah” sounds in the Hawaiian language…lots!
How “Cool” to speak a language that so many of your sounds are the sound of pleasure. No wonder so many Hawaiians are happy!
I wonder if Al should have changed his name from “The Inspiration” because he continues to inspire me!
Stop buy and see Al’s site http://www.millennialmentor.com/…and please share your thoughts
P.S I want to let you know i am having a blast using these wonderful vowels with my 8 month old Claire…i get to “OOOO” and “AH” with her in grocery stores and malls and gas stations and nobody bothers me….in fact people usually smile…and might come over and “OOO” and “AH” them selves
I guess we all really want to connect or re-connect at the deepest level