Even introverts can learn to be great talkers - The Globe and Mail
I thought I better speak to you before I read it to the Board.” Schwarz “Look, Arnie, I don't want this read at the meeting today. I want you to Sitting well to the back in the room, Marvin Brown managed to catch the president's eye. Schwarz. @NatalieGavin Lovely to meet you and thank you so much for a fantastic class at @act4tv You're a cracking director! So thorough & intricate! The energy in the. Most people fear meeting and talking to strangers. The problem is they don't know how! In this insightful and entertaining book, Marvin Brown provides simple, .
Harding Road, Columbus, Ohio. That will be pretty sketchy. Well, whatever you know. By way of background leading to an outline of my World War II experiences, I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, March 17,which is an official holiday in Massachusetts.
And my father was a druggist and a musician and a salesperson. My mother died of breast cancer when I was 7 years old. The longest I ever went to any one school was two years and finished high school in New York City, the borough of Manhattan, in June ofwhen I was 17 years old. I think I must have been 15 at the time. My brother also was with me as were dozens and dozens and dozens of other kids our age. Do you mean your brother was enlisting at the same time?
Yeah well, he was younger than I; he was a year and a half younger than I am. But after high school, I did take a test, and was accepted into the Army Specialized Training Program. And after working that summer in our jobs, I attended Cornell University under the auspices of the Army until May of And we were clothed and fed and housed and educated by the Army.
I had wanted to get into the Air Force and be a fighter pilot but I had had a mastoidectomy before I started kindergarten and as a consequence of that surgery, had an inner-ear problem that disqualified me for fighter pilot service.
My second choice was the tank destroyers because I liked the sound of it. I thought their patch was extremely exciting looking. Must have been about a 15 or 17 hour day. I was hauling metal trays and dumping them in hot water and my fingers at the end of the day were pretty raw and cut and creased and about mid-day, a red-headed Army sergeant, tough-looking bird, announced to us that there was going to be an inspection that afternoon and he wanted us to look lively and keep moving and keep things clean.
And here I was a brand new inductee, not only at the bottom of the totem pole, I was at the part of the totem pole that was buried in the ground. So I learned there that authority was to be feared but authority had its limits. Two days out, they opened up some envelopes and announced to us we were on our way to Fort Worth, Texas, actually CampHood; we were in the temporary part of the complex. So even though my timidity prevented me from voicing my preference, someone was looking out for me and I got it.
On the last week, we took our basic training in summer. It was brutally hot.
The last week of basic training, I think we were already finished. The Battle of the Bulge threw that plan down the drain; they needed gun fodder and replacements for outfits that had been decimated by the Battle of the Bulge. In the Civil War, I would have died but I was in the hospital about a week and I guess with antibiotics, I think Sulfa was the main illness-fighter in those days. Anyway, that resulted in my being separated from my group that I trained with and I was, became a replacement in the st Tank Destroyer Battalion which was in Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, awaiting shipment to Europe.
And I was assigned as a loader on the 76mm cannon on the, was it an M? Which I might add, for the benefit of this history, was one of the most modern armored fighting vehicles produced during the war, extremely fast and with a high-powered gun. They could move quickly, very fast. I think ours was probably a Pratt Whitney, powered by a Pratt and Whitney rotary engine. I think we could do about 32 miles an hour and the sparks flew on those cobblestone streets in Europe.
Might I just ask you now, when you first became a crew man in one of those vehicles? It was like a chateau where we received our brand-new weapons. We had to decosmaline them all, everything was coated in cosmaline to protect the metal from the overseas voyage. Had you ever seen the M before then?
In fact, the very first time I shoved a round into the breach was in combat. I had trained, in basic training, I had shoved a round into a field piece. A towed cannon, yeah. Anyway, we proceeded through Belgium and Luxembourg and took up a position facing the Siegfried Line in I believe February of It was bitter cold. I did get frostbite but not serious enough that I asked to be relieved or treated or anything of that nature.
I wanted to stay with my outfit. On or about March 1,in a heavy snowstorm, prior to that, our only rounds were sort of practice rounds that we fired into the Siegfried Line. The Germans would raise a pillbox to do some scouting and we would fire at it to make them go back down. But most of the time we were idle. I do not remember the names of the towns and villages we passed through. I remember the immense destruction: I lost my helmet liner.
I can fill that in later if you would like. And we, our mission was really in support of infantry, the infantrymen were up ahead of us. There were explosions and loud noises. And after a while, the firing died down and I tried to fall asleep in the turret with my head leaning against the backs of the 76mm shells. If I slept, I slept fitfully. I was 18 years old at the time, still plenty timid.
You were actually 18 years old in combat? Yeah, and we kept proceeding eastward with, as I recall, we were split up. Our battalion was split up. It was an icon in the shape of a keystone, I believe.
Most of the guys were from Pennsylvania and they had been taking a heavy pummelling from the Germans in the early part of the invasion of Europe.
And they were very experienced fighters. I considered that we had it pretty soft compared to the infantrymen. By, my, excuse me. I remember we were parked in front of a village which the scouts had entered and a GI from the 28th Division was shaking out a K ration, and when he shook it out, it hit a mine and blew his leg off and we found out from his buddies that he was married and had kids.
Of course, he had bought a ticket home but, that was typical of what the infantry were up against. Did you see that happen? You actually saw him shaking it out? That was no more than yards at the most from where we were sitting in our tank destroyer.
Another time, we were assembled for an assault in pretty much of an open field and the Germans were shelling with the 88, which I considered the best ground weapon of World War II, its versatility and its power.
We were, there again, maybe this was a little further away, maybe 30 or 40 yards away. There was the armored carrier. It was an armored vehicle, lightly-armored vehicle.
It had a ring for a 50 caliber mounting, the mounting of a 50 caliber machine gun for degree coverage. And one of the 88 shells hit the ring and the GI who had been standing there, was reduced to a bloody stump. His upper body was totally disintegrated and the.
You saw that happen too? I think it might have been on my 19th birthday, on or about my 19th birthday, which would have been March 17, But somehow or another, we wound up in an open field that had been tilled so the ground was soft and I remember being flat on my face, trying to make myself as inconspicuous as possible and digging into the ground with my fingernails, not very far, but you know, digging into the ground. So we kept criss-crossing into territory that Patton had raced through and Patton, I think was the one who made use of the Spee, of the M vehicles by using them offensively.
The Germans were in full rout, they were putting up light opposition. They would fire when the town was invaded but they would pull back and not put up too much of a fight.
How to Meet and Talk to Anyone Anywhere Anytime : Marvin Brown :
And the infantrymen were capturing teen-aged kids younger than we were. I was now 19, an old man. The Germans were scraping the bottom of the barrel for. In April ofI think the day they announced that Franklin Roosevelt died, we were getting ready to go into full-scale offensive the next day and our tank commander, our destroyer commander, was a fellow named Billington from Indianapolis, and he sat off to the side brooding.
It was a very small wound. We never did find his pistol and we combed that ground. We looked under every haystack, every buiding, every bed. Was he your tank commander? He was our company commander. No, no, he was a sergeant. He was commander of my. But we went on. We crossed the RhineRiver at Coblenz on a pontoon bridge. It was actually a spectacular sight.
How to Meet and Talk to Anyone Anywhere... Anytime...
The floodlights had it lit up like day. High on the banks on the other side of the RhineRiver were castles. It looked like a tourist poster. And we finished up the war with them. We came through a village or a small city named, I believe it was Erfurt, and lined up on the road before Erfurt were a platoon, I guess you would call it, of six or so Ms that had been drilled through with German 88s and were still standing there blackened and burned out, apparently ambushed by the Germans before Patton could take the town and I was so naive and so young and so ignorant of the geography, we stayed a while in that area, in Erfurt, long enough for me to have done some walking, and had I walked in the right direction, I could easily have walked to Buchenwald.
Buchenwald was northeast of Erfurt. Our last battle was in Liepzig. There was a Napoleonic monument that looked like it might have been. A monument to the Battle of the Nations. You saw that happen? And we never fired our guns. Keep your exchanges simple and direct. Trying to impress others will only come across as disingenuous and fake.
It's alienating to others. Forgetting body language You may be distracted at work and merely mumble a hello when a co-worker walks past. Or when you meet someone new, you simply announce your name and that's your greeting. Body language is as important as verbal language when it comes to making first impressions, giving your message impact, and winning people's trust.
When greeting a work associate, look up from what you're doing, make eye contact, and smile. You've just told that person with your body language, "You're worthwhile and I'm glad to see you. Story continues below advertisement Exiting awkwardly It's common to have difficulty ending conversations graciously with someone we've just met, not to mention those annoying people who corner us at the water cooler. Don't make up an excuse, such as a phone call you're not expecting, or say, "Well, uh, I gotta go.
Make the other person feel good before you say goodbye. Hope to catch you later. Two of the most common mistakes people make are contradicting the person who tells you that you look great, "Nah, I'm a mess today," or discounting their words by bouncing it right back, "You too. Take it in, and let the other person know that their gesture of generosity is meaningful. Smile, and say something like, "Thanks! You made my day. This sends a rude message to the other person that they don't matter.
In business, it's a missed opportunity to connect and possibly learn something. Save texting and e-mailing for times when you're alone or actually in the presence of strangers, such as on the long commuter ride home on the train. Practise the art of small talk by asking a polite question about a topic — a current event, perhaps, or a specific detail about that person's family or interests.