Getting Over Yourself

May 20, 2014

Jill Abramson’s brilliant speech at Wake Forest

Filed under: Observations — Barbara Rocha @ 9:43 am
Tags: , , ,

I’d say it was brilliant for several reasons:

1. She wasn’t whiny or defensive. If any sense of being personally wronged had come through, it would have been uncomfortable for everyone and also given critics a chance to say, “Gotcha.”

2. She included her family–her sister and her dad. Telling something about yourself helps people relate to you and it showed family solidarity and values. Plus, it provided insight into her perspective on growth and life, and  acted as a transition to including  her audience. Applying the lesson to their own challenges.

3. By using her own story, she made it easier for them to get it. Generalities aren’t nearly as convincing.

4. She artfully used the word “dumped.” As in, “we’ve all been dumped.” Dumped is an emotionally charged word that grabbed the audience. And, while many probably have been dumped in the context of personal relationships, she didn’t use that as one of her examples. She stuck with business examples. It would have taken the speech off track to have included the personal, and yet the word “dumped” has all those emotional overtones and people could apply their own dumped experiences. Again, making it relevant for everyone, while staying totally on track with encouraging greatness in their lives after graduation.

If she maintains the open, rational, human approach she used on that speech, she’s the winner in this.


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