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How one keynoter distracted everyone from breakfast

I was half asleep as the TDWI keynote warmed up early last Thursday morning. Bob Paladino is not a bad speaker, but at first the good scrambled eggs and coffee were better. Then he got into the Southwest Airlines story, and I looked up.

The five guys at my table also looked up. They picked up the handouts for the first time and followed along.

The Southwest story is a little old by now. TDWI’s muffins were at least fresh. But Paladino was telling stories, and that won out over the muffins.

It’s all about storytelling.

Does the habitual obscurity make anyone sound smarter? If you’re dumb it might. But if you want to deliver information, suggestions, products, ideas, insights, and god help you a blog, it’s best to be accessible. Stories do it.

Oh, one more thing. The co-keynote speaker followed and had no stories. One by one, several people around me suddenly seemed to remember the muffins, and they stood up.

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