Friday, January 9, 2009

It’s not by accident

It’s 10:00am and the colorful mini-auditorium held about 75 three-to-five year olds, a lot of moms, some grandparents, a couple dads and me (scary picture for those who know me – I tried to find a kid to borrow to fit in but none available). Barbara Richardson enters the room and immediately “owns” the environment. She is located in the power position, opens each activity with a short orientation and in her case she is the loudest among many (the microphone helped). Her 20 years of experience gave her credibility and authority. Yes – it’s “story-time” at the Huntington Beach Public Library. I timed seven distinct activities in 30 minutes for an average of 4.285714 minutes/event.

So, what does this have to do with leadership and our blog community? Given the fact that stories have proven to be an effective way of making points in the business world, I was curious exactly how early we are taught this method of listening/learning. There were more similarities than differences in what I observed. If there had been a way of changing the volume, pitch and colors of the room, it was the same dynamic as any senior level business environment we have experienced.

The story telling method of communicating (and thus blogging) works for many reasons. One is clearly our disposition towards it that we learned long ago. This should help you craft how you share your key messages during meetings, presentations and lectures.

Has the story telling method helped you communicate a difficult topic? Have you seen others be successful at it?

2 comments:

Larry said...

This is not funny at all! A few years back when I realized that I was at a stage in my career when I really needed to work on my speaking to large audiences, I really started to study what made speakers in small and large audiences very good. I remembered credibility and sincerity from my speech classes, but I was surprised when I realized how incredibly important story telling was, not only for good speaking, but also for networking.

Tim B. said...

When telling a story you are giving that person (or audience) a small peice insight on yourself. You are making it personal which in turn makes the information seem more creditable. When I speak to an audience I use many stories as I can without losing the information being expressed.

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