Tag Archives: audience

Storytelling as a Business Tool

From the Batten Institute on entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business comes this great explanation of storytelling as a business tool.  It’s from the Design@Darden Initiative.  I’ve been preaching much the same message on the power of storytelling to generate connections and insights, and it’s good to see the concept promoted at this great business school.

That’s About Right

From The New Yorker:

Want to do something about it?  Try this.

Five Great Ways to Create a Terrible Panel Discussion

Like the sound of yawns?  Of people fidgeting in seats and checking email during your event? Of audience members complaining about your panel afterward? Then follow these steps — any one of them can do the trick: Continue reading

The First Good Question: Who is Your Audience?

Several times I’ve found myself working with some great organization, focused on a fascinating topic, that declares its goals for a particular event to be:

1. Create video that will explain to the masses the group’s topic, and why it matters; and

2. Provide content that will be riveting to the highly sophisticated, involved members that will make up most or all of the live audience.

The idea, of course, is to get the most bang for the buck: engage your members at a conference, while creating content that can be used to educate non-members in the future.

Yet the product of such thinking will not be a bang, but a fizzle.   An event that insists on explaining a topic as if one knows nothing about it will bore a knowledgeable audience to tears.  Even if one eventually gets to more sophisticated questions, the basic explanations have to come at the beginning — the most critical time for engagement.

Holding, and promoting, two completely different events — one for the general public and one for insiders — eliminates this problem, but at a great cost.  So, what can be done to engage a sophisticated audience, while creating content that will work for neophytes?

Here are my suggestions:

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