TALK LOUDER: A Military Guide To Group Work

Speak up. You can’t hear yourself over other people’s ideas and input.

LOUDER! Let these dweebs know who they’re dealing with.

You are a Type-A motherfucker. A real man. You are your boss’s go-to guy. You score Outstanding on the PT test and starch your uniforms like you shine your shoes: EXCELLENTLY. You are not here to fuck around. Your opinions matter!

Demand eye contact. From everyone. Eyes wider, that’s it! Like a mental patient. Like a terrorist’s asshole after you’ve fucked it! Are people listening? They’re about to, because you’re getting LOUDER. Who’s that still yapping over your shoulder? LOUDER! You have something to say, goddammit!!!

Louder still, yes, that’s good! You’re showing real bravado now. You sound like Morgan Freeman and James Earle Jones met in a bar. Listen to that snap, that poise, that presence! You have a huge dick. You’re yelling now. You’re red in the face because you’re yelling. YOU ARE MAKING A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO THIS ORGANIZATION. YOU ARE GETTING SHIT DONE. Because that's just what you do.

Uh oh, looks like somebody else on the team has a thou —

INTERRUPT HIM. He is weak. You bench-press 350 on a rest day. You drink protein shakes for lunch. You’re an Army of one. You’re the whole goddamn Joint Services. LOUDER, you maggot, LOUDER!

What are you saying? Doesn’t matter. You’re not wrong, because you can’t fail. Just keep saying words. Nouns, verbs, gerunds. (What’s a gerund?) Words, words, words. Volume check. LOUDER? Good.

There now. Your voice is the world, and the world hears your voice. Lead from the front. Never quit. You’re sweating. What’s that you said? I can’t hear you, soldier …