Numbers Can Numb your Audience

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea how to enliven stats alive in your speech. Reading time: 2:56

      Numbers can numb your audience unless you put those numbers into perspective. That’s what leaders do.

       imagesImagine trying to help your audience understand how small a chance there is that another person has their DNA. One in a number so large that “if  you were to write out that number with each zero being one inch wide you’d need a strip of paper 37,000 miles long” writes author Rick Warren in his book The Purpose Driven Life. That’s a leader’s power of perspective.

       Imagine if you had to help an audience understand the progression of life on earth over billions of years. Here’s how author and scientist Richard Hawkins puts it all in perspective:

     “Hold out your arm. Imagine that life begins at your shoulder and extends to the top of your finger. Until about half way down your arms there is nothing but bacteria. Multi-cellular life begins at the palm of your hand. Dinosaurs don’t appear until half way along your finger.

        And humans arrived at your finger nail All recorded history– from Babylonia — is just dust in the scraping of a fingernail.”That’s a leader’s power of perspective. Continue reading “Numbers Can Numb your Audience”