Saturday, August 8, 2009

Making the audience your orchestra

I'm always urging my trainees to leave the lectern behind, use their bodies as a prop, move around to hold the audience's attention visually and most of all, to involve and engage the audience. And here are all those principles embodied in Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival, where he uses the pentatonic scale--and audience expectations--to make a point about how your brain is programmed. He gets the audience to become a group orchestra of sorts. How can you use this to inspire a similar engagement with your next audience?

tell your leadership story: 2 minutes

If you think of public speaking skills as leadership skills, read this inspiring post from management professor Stew Friedman, who suggests you can be a better leader by boiling your own leadership story--your vision, goals or perspective--into a short two-minute story that better fits today's fast-moving society. Given our iPod shuffle versus hear-the-full-album world, he notes:
All the more reason, then, for giving attention to how you get others to pay attention. The trick is to show movement on the issues that matter while, for each issue, helping your key stakeholders grasp the meaning of what you're aiming to achieve — why the goal matters to the team or the organization and how we're going to get from here to there.
Friedman offers six elements that make for a good, short leadership story. Can you translate yours briefly and post it in the comments?