Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lessons from a Ukulele

According to musician Jake Shimabukuro from his bio on this week's Ted.com:

"...The ukulele means more (to Jake) than grass skirts and loud shirts. He's on a mission to revolutionize our perception of the four-string, two-octave instrument."

In what is a very obvious example of "show, don't tell," Jake expresses his love for the ukulele not by talking about it, but by playing a stirring rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody:"

From the Green Room: Most of us don't something as clear as a musical instrument to show, rather than describe a message.

But we all can learn from Jake's TED presentation.

If you're trying to tell a group of employees how much they matter to the company, focused eye contact says more than words.

If you're trying to sell a new product, a physical demonstration is so much more memorable than a description.

And if you're delivering bad news, the tone of your voice can soften the blow the way no words can.

In whatever way you can, show, don't tell.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was a performance (albeit a brilliant one) not a public speaking presentation. His two sentence intro was totally lame. Instead of mawkish pap about the ukulele as an instrument of peace and how if everyone played it, the world would be a better place [barf], he could have highlighted some of the reasons why the uke in fact transcends its underdog reputation & then illustrated those unique qualities of tone and expression by playing the piece.