By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you become even more persuasive.
I’m a mean person.
I’m constantly challenging technical experts to clarify their meaning.
After all, it’s too easy for leaders in their field to shovel technical information in our faces like so much manure. And like manure that information piles up fast and smells the more you try to spread it around.
Whoa there, Mr. or Mrs. Know-it-all. Put the shovel down. Let’s rake that manure of information more meaningfully to fertilize your audience’s thinking instead of burying them under still another shovel full. That’s what the most effective leaders I have known do.
They put their information in FORMATION –in perspective –so that a wider range of audiences/followers can better assess, understand and apply their expertise, their point of view, their key message.
Imagine trying to communicate the concept of the vastness of the Universe. Do you talk about light years or billions of stars? Sure if you’re communicating to other astronomers. But what if you are trying to reach a larger audience (investors, foundations, grant decision makers etc.)? Then you speak in visual metaphors the way physicist Stephen Hawking did in his book: A Briefer History of Time :
“If a star were a grain of salt, you could fit all the stars visible to the naked eye on a teaspoon. But all the stars in the universe would fill a ball more than 8 miles wide.” (p.53)
To leverage your sense of perspective, you could also compare your information to what your audience already knows like the size of a silver dollar, or the geographical length and breadth of the United States or even the size and scope of the earth.
Information In Formation
Let’s see how David Louis put his information into FORMATION in his book 2201 Fascinating Facts:
- A pulsar is a star made up of neutrons so densely packed together that if one the size of a silver dollar landed on earth it would weigh approximately 100 million tons. (p.362)
- If all the seas on the earth dried up, they would leave enough salt to cover the United States with a layer of salt 1.5 miles deep. (page 350)
- If the ocean were to become totally flat and the ocean distributed themselves evenly over the earth’s surface, the water would be approximately 2 miles deep at every point, (page 46).
- The pyramids of Egypt contain enough stone and mortar to construct a wall 10 feet high and 5 feet wide running from New York City to Los Angeles (page 16).
Put information in formation to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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