Back in August, Simon Wakeman tagged me for a meme on my top three inspirational communicators. Due to the vagaries of the new WordPress dashboard (which is sadly appalling at tracking incoming links) I missed it.
So, months late, I’m cheating and here are my thr-our.
Randy Pausch – The late Randy Pausch‘s last lecture was one of the most inspiring pieces of video that I have ever watched. His delivery, his passion, and his sheer bravery, not to mention an amazing message that applies to everyone, combined to create an inspirational, motivational and thought provoking hour that could and should change your perspective on the daily grind of living. For that alone he makes the list.
Michael Parkinson – While it might strike some as odd to choose a television interviewer as an inspirational communicator, I disagree. Over a forty year period, Michael Parkinson provided an incredible insight into the personalities of “celebrities” (good and bad) with a manner and approach that made every interview fascinating viewing whether you were interested in the subject or not. That is an incredible skill and the sign of a great communicator.
Steve & Steve – Small cheat here.
Steve Jobs – There’s no question that in his favourite environment with the black slides, the dark room and the Apple faithful, Steve Jobs is an outstanding and often inspirational communicator who matches well rehearsed timing with great delivery and a sense of theatre. He doesn’t make the list on his own, because sometimes for me it’s a little too controlled. So….
Steve Ballmer – On the other hand, Steve Ballmer doesn’t necessarily evoke the essence of cool, but he brings energy and passion to the stage. Passion is one of those intangible assets that I believe you can’t replicate but from a communications perspective, particularly to an audience, it’s gold dust. Of course Steve’s persona will be forever tied to “that developer video”, but he’s equally compelling talking to smaller groups and for his passion and his energy in communications he makes the list.
Ying and yang perhaps?