17 Sep 2012

David R. Henderson, Manipulator of Crowds

Economics, Foreign Policy, karaoke 8 Comments

David posted the below video of his talk at Middle Tennessee State University, on how economists helped end the draft. I haven’t watched this particular talk, but I’ve seen/read David on this topic before, and it’s really good stuff to help all of us think that maybe we can make a difference.

However, the real lesson here is what David does after his song. In his post, David says, “If you want to see me sing, go to the 30:20 point.” So naturally, that’s the first thing I did. What’s great is, look at how David just owns this crowd.

Three points:

(1) He gets them to ask him to sing.

(2) He busts the kid for being asleep, thereby putting the whole room on notice that he’s watching.

(3) He does a slight little head bob at the end, letting them know, “Now’s the time when you all clap for me.”

This blog post isn’t a joke or something; I am being dead serious. This is the kind of stuff you have to watch if you want to improve your Econ Celebrity game.

8 Responses to “David R. Henderson, Manipulator of Crowds”

  1. David R. Henderson says:

    Wow, Bob! I’m busted! I do do these things very consciously. Glad you noticed.

  2. David R. Henderson says:

    Oh, and by the way, it occurred to me a little later that I might have been out of line in announcing to about 150 people that the one student had been sleeping, and so I did apologize to him afterward. He said that there was no problem.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      You did it in a nice way. That’s also why I called attention to it. You made it sound like, “All right, I finally did something to warrant your attention.”

      • David R. Henderson says:

        Thanks, Bob. I’m glad you saw that. The student did, too, which probably explains why he wasn’t upset.

  3. Ash says:

    David R. Henderson is an excellent lecturer. I only planned on listening for a little while, but I watched the whole darned thing. So warm. So charming. So engaging. So Canadian.

  4. Adam Hickey says:

    Very interesting talk. My dad was a teenager during the vietnam era and when his brother was eligible they would gather around the living room and watch the live draft results. I can’t help but picture a scene like the Hunger Games.

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