I have a "YouTube" show that I put on for visitors.
The show evolves—the George W. Bush impression that seemed hilarious in 2006 is past the point now; and even shut-ins have by now seen that thing with the guy juggling to the Beatles—and I show different people different stuff.
For instance, I show parents the Mom song.
Old married couples get John Prine and Iris DeMent singing "In Spite of Ourselves."
Chicagoans, journalists and boozers get the video of Mike Royko talking about softball at the Billy Goat Tavern.
Golfers and Scotsmen get the Robin Williams routine about the invention of golf.
But there’s one video I show all my guests, because, more than even the Martin Luther King "I Have A Dream" speech—people have to be pretty drunk to let me put them through that—these seven minutes demonstrate everything I think I know about communication: Why it works, how it works, when it works.
It’s Fred Rogers, in the year I was born, taking on a crusty, showboating senator to secure funding despite proposed cuts by President Nixon. Have a look—and then paste in the link to your favorite YouTube delight, communication or otherwise.
I love the Mom Song, and that Robin Williams clip is classic!
As far as Mr. Rogers goes, sorry, my eyes were slamming shut after about two minutes and I had to turn him off or risk falling asleep on my desk.
He may have had great things to say, but for me one of the keys to effective communication is to get, and keep the audience’s attention long enough to deliver your message. Rogers just didn’t do it for me.
My favourite YouTube clip has nothing whatsoever to do with communications, and everything to do with humour. This clip demonstrates:
a) you don’t need to buy babies expensive toys
b) sometimes the simple moments are the best ones, and,
c) men are easily entertained, no matter what age group! (ha ha! That was a joke! Please nobody hate-mail me)
David Murray says
Kristen, the baby clip blows. Have a cup of coffee and give Mr. Rogers another try.
I love how he starts with the hard financial facts but ends up talking about feelings. Best part of the whole thing is when he essentially says his goal is “to make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable.” How’s that for a mission statement? I was never much of a fan of Mr. Rogers, but I agree that despite his quirky delivery he knows how to make a compelling argument. In fact, it’s his delivery that makes it all the more compelling because he comes across as so unassuming.
David Murray says
Yeah, I agree with you, Rueben–I’ve never liked Mr. Rogers’ show (it’s cloying, isn’t it?) as much as I’ve liked THE IDEA of his show and the messages he delivers.
I always imagine the many kids out there whose parents can’t remember or manage to regularly express their love … sitting in front of the set and hearing every day from this gentle orderly fellow: “There’s no one in the world exactly like you. And you’re okay just exactly the way you are.”
All happy and healthy people have that message in their hearts and if some of them got it from Mr. Rogers–or had it reinforced by him–then who gives a shit if he’s a little on the smarmy side, eh?