John Daly

Editor’s note: From developments in the Occupy movement to Willie Nelson’s endorsement of Mayor Lee Leffingwell, the following quotes are among the best from the last few days.

“While you might say, ‘Hoo, man, that’s a lot of money,’ that was something actually earned by Ed over an 11-year period with an 11-year retention hook to it.”
— John Bethancourt, chairman of the Texas A&M Foundation, remarking on criticism regarding the compensation of A&M’s president, Eddie Davis, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Davis received $786,983 for the year ending June 30, 2010.

“John is a very talented faculty member. He’s one of the most prominent scholars we have in the University.”
— Tom Gilligan, dean of the McCombs School of Business, on the compensation of John Daly, UT communication studies and business professor. Daly received more than $100,000 in supplements to his salary in 2010 from the McCombs School of Business Foundation, according to the Statesman.

“We think the way that we have worked with the Occupiers has been a model ... What we have noticed throughout this movement is that the movement changed. We continue to respect free speech.”
— Assistant City Manager Michael McDonald, after protesters at Occupy Austin were evicted by police Friday, according to the Statesman.

“We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives ... We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we ... determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.”
— The Susan G. Komen Foundation in a press release Friday. The foundation came under fire last week for its decision to withdraw financial support for breast exams at Planned Parenthood.

“There are a lot of people calling for a special session, but we don’t see the need for one.”
— Bill Peacock, executive at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, criticizing the call for a special session at the state Legislature to reform school finance, according to Texas Public Radio.

“I am gratified to learn that the U.S. attorney’s office is closing its investigation. It is the right decision, and I commend them for reaching it.”
— Austinite and Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, in response to the closing of a federal investigation of Armstrong regarding allegations of steroid use, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

“I love Austin, and I think Mayor Leffingwell has done a real good job of helping keep it a special place.”
— Musician Willie Nelson endorsing Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell in his reelection bid, according to Leffingwell’s campaign website.

Dominic German, a video game designer and “pick up artist,” helps men acquire various skills that are required in order to successfully pick up women. Using tips ranging from how to avoid being perceived as creepy to methods for overcoming fears of rejection, German strives to help even those who think they are hopeless find love.

Photo Credit: Jono Foley | Daily Texan Staff

There is no cheat sheet for mastering the dating game, but Dominic German is doing what he can to help the less skilled find success.

German, a 25-year-old video game artist, knows what it is like to be rejected. Only two years ago, he was the guy in the bar who could not pick up a girl. Using those past experiences, German began to analyze his mistakes with the help of a few mentors. He figured out what he was doing wrong and eventually became the guy who is playing the game the right way.

“I had an Italian father and from day one he was teaching me how to talk to women,” German said. “The difficult part was not getting punched in the face by her boyfriend.”

But now he is trying to help others who have trouble talking to women.

“When a guy gets rejected by a girl, he feels like he wants to quit,” German said. “What I do is I say, ‘There is a problem here. Let’s find what that problem is and come up with a goal to reach.’”

His free weekly meetings on Mondays at 9 p.m. at Crown and Anchor Pub last only about 30 minutes because according to German, the most important part of picking up women is actually going out there and doing it. At the pub, the men talk about their problems and experiences. German gives some advice and listens, then the group heads out to put German’s advice to the test. After each pick-up attempt, German critiques the men.

UT communication professor John Daly notes that if there is one rule in successfully talking to women, it is to avoid being creepy.

“Don’t push too hard,” Daly said. “That scares people.”

According to German, there are two rules to follow that will help any guy avoid the creep factor. First, if you make eye contact, do not stare. Second, if you see a girl you are interested in, get in her field of vision, make eye contact for no more than two seconds and then say hello to her as well as her friends.

“Some men come at girls so intensely that it’s almost as if they are hunting,” German said.

The men that German helps all have different problems, but one common thread ties them together: They need help learning to talk to women. A common problem tends to be when a man is too touchy-feely with a girl. German tells men to simply have a casual conversation with a woman before lightly touching her hand when the moment feels right, and she feels comfortable.

Many have only tried Internet dating and only know how to communicate via email. When a physical woman is placed in front of them, that suaveness found in their email exchanges is suddenly lost in real life.

“With computers, men are becoming so isolated,” German said. “They are just isolating themselves with games and social media networking. It takes a kick to get out of your chair and just experience life.”

Daly warns that simply approaching a woman for no reason tends to not go over well. He suggests men get involved in activities that way there is a reason to talk to women. Once men begin talking to a girl, Daly said the key is letting the woman talk about herself.

“Be genuine,” Daly said. “You want to be interested more than interesting.”

German believes that the approach is different for each man. He feels that some men do have the ability to just walk up to a girl, be forward and she will be interested. Others lack that ability.

“Human interactions are complex,” German said. “Everybody is different, and you have to find the solution that fixes your particular problem.”

The method a man employs when approaching a woman also depends on the city he is in, German said.

“Austin is this unique bubble where women don’t care about status and money,” German said. “If you go to Dallas, it’s the complete opposite.”

German sets himself apart from other pick-up artists because he is willing to teach anyone. Rather than judging the person that wants to learn from him, German attempts to set all judgments aside and does his best to do what he can to help. Usually, this just involves taking the time to listen.

“We live in this conservative society where you aren’t allowed to talk about your feelings,” German said. “There isn’t enough therapy out there in the world.”

But being a pick-up artist comes with plenty of criticism. While putting up fliers advertising his craft, German has been laughed at in the face by critical passers-by. And yet, German keeps doing what he is doing.

“I like helping guys get through experiences that are rough,” German said. “It just really makes me feel good to know that I helped someone else.”

Although the Longhorn Network is primarily focused on sports, it will feature its first academic series this October. The series, called “Game Changers,” will showcase faculty who have done extensive research in their respective fields.

“One of the best things about UT is its faculty,” said Kathleen Mabley, director of brand initiatives at the Office of the President. “The series is meant to bring a unique presentation of information not necessarily given in class. It also provides alumni with the opportunity for life-long learning.”

The first episode of “Game Changers” will premiere in October and will air three episodes this semester.

Business and communication professor John Daly will give a presentation called the “Politics of Ideas” in the first episode, which will be taped Thursday at 6 p.m. in the CMB Studio 6A. The presentation will involve the audience in interactive comprehension exercises led by Daly and will focus on the importance of following through with and promoting ones ideas. All UT students and alumni as well as the general public are invited to attend the taping Thursday.

“Good ideas go nowhere if you can’t advocate for them,” Daly said. “When students get out of school, they are often brilliantly trained in their fields, but they face an additional challenge. How well they advocate makes all the difference in [their] careers.”

The series had been planned before the creation of the Longhorn Network and creators decided to use the network as a medium for presenting the series to the public, Mabley said. She said a combination of faculty, staff and students across campus came together to choose “dynamic” faculty with different and innovative ideas for the show. Communication representatives also suggested speakers and worked with the Longhorn Network to pick ideas which would appeal to a TV audience, Mabley said.

“I have great hopes for the series,” Daly said. “It will hopefully let people around Texas and the world know about some of the most interesting research people at UT are conducting. Too few people appreciate how extraordinary our campus is when it comes to new discoveries that will change the world.”

Another episode will feature history professor H.W. Brands. Brands, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, has done extensive research in American history and is presently focusing his research on the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. He is also currently writing a biography of Franklin Roosevelt. Brands said his episode will discuss the history of the American financial policy and focus on the evolving role of the dollar.

Art history freshman Maggie Conyngham said she is interested in learning more about the series.

“I think this show will add something different to the Longhorn Network,” Conyngham said. “It will show people that the network is not just geared towards sports but to UT as a whole.” 

Printed on Thursday, September 29, 2011 as: 'Game Changers' series showcases high-achieving faculty

Dr. John Daly signs a copy of his new book, Advoc

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

An award-winning UT professor known for his enthusiasm in the classroom has authored a book he hopes will inspire others to reach their goals through effective communication techniques.

Communication studies and management professor John Daly unveiled his latest book, “Advocacy: Championing Ideas and Influencing Others,” on Thursday night at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. Daly, who teaches interpersonal communication skills to both College of Communication and McCombs School of Business students, said he’s been a part of UT’s faculty for 34 years now, and has written more than 100 scholarly articles and completed six academic books.

“I want everyone to know about what I’ve taught and included in this book — it’s a zealous goal of mine,” Daly said.

Building on the interpersonal communication lessons Daly teaches, he says the art of persuasion is the message that he wants to present to a much wider public with the book, which pushes aside many of the restrictions he felt his previous academic textbooks contained.

“It’s all about how good you are at selling your arguments that gets you on top, I say — and the best way to learn to do that is to study others who already know how to present themselves,” Daly said. “Networking isn’t ‘who you know,’ but ‘who knows you’ and how you’ve influenced them over time.”

Campus Club administrative coordinator Morgan Jones said she took Daly’s course as a communications student at UT and that she has carried what she learned there along with her in both her career and her relationships.

“I love my job and I think that maybe his communication lessons should very well be thanked for it,” Jones said. “It’s now my job to highlight this facility, and we just wanted to help him sell his work.”

Communication graduate students Nicholas Merola and Nadina Sandlin said they remember going to Daly’s lectures and seeing undergraduate students that were not even enrolled flooding the classroom only to see the professor “do his thing.”

“I just can’t wait to dig in,” Merola said. “This book has pretty much been in the making for four years by Daly, and I’ve been waiting to read his enthusiasm on paper.”

Both Merola and Sandlin said they agreed the charisma and animated gestures of Daly in the classroom would have to be called a “dance” because of its inability to be described.

“It feels really nice having someone close to you being able to do this and get their word out,” Sandlin said. “What Daly teaches is something that everyone can take in and use in any situation — you’ll definitely take it with you.”