Words of Wisdom for
Leadership, Learning, and Life in
Exactly 99 Words
99's On the Go

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99-Word Stories by ,
Creative Learning Director of
The Flirefly Group.
© 2012 Brian Remer
Updated Oct. 2012


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Say It Quick!

99's on the 9th


Ideas based on 99-Word Stories that
come to you on the 9th of every month.

October 2012

Too Much Talk!
I was having a heart-to-heart conversation with my daughter. About to enter her teen years, I knew she would benefit from my reflections of how to survive those troubling pubescent times. As I revved up for a helpful review of my main points, I looked over in her direction.

She was staring into the middle distance with glazed eyes and slouched shoulders. She'd been turned off. I'd been tuned out.

Too much of a good thing had become just another lecture. Less is more. I wish I had shared my sage advice in only 99 words!

 

You can build upon the theme of this 99-Word Story by using some of the following questions for your own reflection or to spark a discssion within your team or organization.

 

There are many ways to understand this story as the discussion questions suggest. If you or your group would like to compare or contrast your interpretation with an outside viewpoint, consider this analysis:

Fathers, professors, and managers are supposed to lecture, right? They have insight, information, advice, and experience, why not share it all? Make people learn the hard way from experience? Too painful! Waste time and resources redoing something that has already been figured out? We invented the wheel long ago!

But then there's curiosity. Discovery, exploration, and learning are major factors in personal motivation. We've all become energized when on the scent of something new. Curiosity propels us to action and charges our passion to continue the quest for answers. Unfortunately, some orators ignore this motivation for learning. With their focus on conveying information in one direction to the listener, public speakers may not leave time or opportunity for curiosity to slip in with the challenge of exploration.

In fairness, lectures can be an efficient means to transmit information and some lecturers are adept at asking questions that engage listeners with immediate relevance. A good lecture can inspire people to challenge long-held, outdated beliefs or investigate an issue on their own. However, we've all experienced lectures in which the speaker was so engrossed in their own opinions and facts that they never noticed the inquisitive hand raised tentatively from the back of the room.

What if your next lecture had just the right balance of sharing information and inviting provocative questions? The information would provide grounding in theory and the work of thought leaders. The questions would inspire innovation and exploration of new territory. Besides asking questions that challenge, in such a lecture you would also be alert for the glazed expression and slumped shoulders that indicate defeat and disinterest. You would have a plan to confront these nonverbal signals of resignation on the spot and turn them into a passionate spark of curiosity.

In this type of lecture, you'd be able to change your strategy before the first eyelid began to droop and - Hey, enough talk from me! What's your best tactic to spark a lecture?

 

Did you use this 99-Word Story and the discussion questions or interpretation in your work or personal life? If so, about your experience! If you would like help using 99-Word Stories in your organization, please me.

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