Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Philanthropy Center

Simple Living Institute has a membership with the Rollins Philanthropy Center, a very supportive organization for nonprofits. Tia and I attended a class there this week given by Annetta Wilson titled "Give a Better Elevator Speech" .

Just the words elevator speech congers images of being trapped in a small space with a high powered salesman, doesn't it? So what does this have to do with living simply?

When we are out and about people ask the big question: "What do you do?" We all ask and answer this question in our business and social lives. We took the class because answering the same old way was not satisfying to us or to the people asking. There had to be a better way to make our message clear in a very short time period. Now that is living simply.

Aahh! dear readers, Tia and I were in for an unexpectedly wonderful learning experience! We knew we would come away with something new to say to people, but it was the way Ms. Wilson helped us find our own great words to use that was such a delight and real work as well. It was clear that all we gleaned could be used for any specific event or different aspect of our endeavor, be it a nonprofit or business.

It was a 3 hour workshop, so I can't cover all we learned here. But, if you would like to dialogue with Tia or myself more about specifics of this class, please reach to us via the Simple Living Institute website. We'd love to share with you some of the exercises we learned. It was fun! They showed us how to tap into what really goes on in your nonprofit, or your business and be able to tell about it in 30 seconds or less.

These new skills are quite valuable in our hurry scurry world. People do ask the question, "What do you do?" But Ms. Wilson made it clear that that is not really what they want. They want to know what's in it for them. And we can help them find out quickly if we have what they want. Simple!

Ms. Wilson demonstrated the Dr. Mehrabian formula for effective communication. His studies conclude that all communication between people is 55% non-verbal, body language, 38% tone, inflection and pace, 7% actual words or data. Who you are and how you come across conveys most of your message! And because the rest is only 7%, those words must be chosen to carry the most impact.

We learned that people respond to emotional words and enthusiastic delivery. We turned from the old way, "We show people how to grow their own garden organically" to to the new "Our hands on workshops help you to magically bring great food to your table by playing in the dirt!" When we say something like that, as opposed to presenting our laundry list of events activities, and benefits, it allows who we are talking to to decide if they want to know more. A conversation can be had, or not. Either way is good.

This is another skill we can use to live simply. This helps us to not get bogged down with telling people too much. Let them ask if they want more. So simple!

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