Kids Interrupting Dad: 3 Principles Every Communicator Needs To Know

No doubt you’ve seen the video with the kids interrupting dad’s live BBC interview.

As hilarious as it is, the video of Professor Robert Kelly’s kids interrupting him, highlights three important communication principles every new communicator ought to be aware of in nearly all formal communication situations.

Mistakes Happen.

So preplan your communication situation well.  Every presenter/communicator knows that when you’re presenting, technical glitches will abound.  It’s inevitable.  So, as communicators, we need always prepare for the worse.  Meaning, we need to practice the art of pre-crisis planing.  Before a live interview, before preparing a video or live cast, prepare a checklist of things that could, might, may go wrong.  Create contingencies for each of the possible crises.  In so doing, we can help prepare ourselves to deliver expertly despite life’s unexpected “comedy”.

Another great tip, all professional presenters should be ready to present their sales pitch, briefing, tech-talk without powerpoint or the necessary technology .  If you can’t give the essence of your speech without your tech, then don’t give the talk.  Be prepared for what could happen and have your alternative actions planned.  And keep smiling always.  Because mistakes…oddities…Murphy’s Law…will happen.

People Talk & Judgements Result.

People talk about your communication.  They react.  In funny uncontrollable situations like this, you need to remember that there really is only one thing you can control.  You’re communication.  So, learn to accept the inevitable.  Remember to always smile.  And no matter what happens….do your best to always stay on point.

The hero of the video isn’t remembered for his words.  The internet is awash in stories and tweets related to the video, but thankfully most have been kind.  Some have not.  People have criticized the man for pushing his kid away instead of taking her up on his lap, of being a cold grumpy papa instead of warm cuddly daddy.  People have called his wife “the nanny” out of stereotypical reactions.  Others have made judgements about how she looked emotionally abused.  Some have called her abusive for yanking the oldest child’s arm.  There have even been parodies:

Regardless, Professor Kelly remains quiet and calm as the waves begin to die down.  Gracefully, he’ll likely exit stage left without a hitch.  What’s more, given the nature of the video and it’s global reach, he might even find himself in a better position later on.

Some folks, however, lose their situation.  Some turn into tragedy: Case In Point…

Do your best to stay on point when communicating regardless of what happens.  If you can’t, then at least stay graceful.

Your Background Says More About Your Than You’d Probably Care To Know.

Our hero has a bookshelf, maps, and unnaturally placed books on the bed.

via GIPHY

All are designed to deliver an image of intelligence.  But, the books on the bed are ridiculous.  They communicated a sad attempt to appear intelligent and well informed, as if being chosen to appear on BBC wasn’t enough  Luckily, his children and wife saved the day.  Without them, the interview would have faded into obscurity.

Key Take Away: communicators in all communication situations need to be highly aware of their background.  Although this means both physical and biographical background, I mean here only physical.  When filming or doing a camera interview, books are always good.  But they should be in a bookcase only.  None of this superficially placed nonsense.  Bare backgrounds or maps are also good.  But overall, keep it simple.  Like the uncontrollable judgments that can result from our communication, background quirks can distract listeners from clearly hearing your message, and ultimately result in a completely unplanned and uncontrolled response from your audience.  In short…plan your background well….or they’ll walk all over you.

via GIPHY

Conclusion:

The world is better for having had this video enter into global consciousness.  Kids Interrupting Dad helps us all remember that life is not that serious, shouldn’t be taken too seriously, and that family is awesome!  As well, communicators are better off for having had this video enter our consciousness, because it perfectly displays three considerations every communicator ought to think on before any communication situation.

All for now.  Peace!

Additional Reading:

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Why Lion Deserves Best Movie of 2017

And this year’s Oscar for Best Picture goes to….Lion!

 

I’m not the only one who agrees.

Albeit, I’ve not seen La La Land.  I hear it’s outstanding.  Manchester by the Sea is also called a real contender.  Hacksaw Ridge is awesome.  Hell or High Water is off the charts!  Moonlight, Fences, and the Arrival all carry a significant chance at winning.  But to me, for Best Picture of 2017, the only show that should complete the phrase, “…and the winner is…” is “Lion” staring Dev Patel.  Not only is it a outstandingly non-American true story–which is arguably a great reason for one film to be picked above any other–it’s also a tale that completely embodies the mythic journey of hero as it is experienced in real life while opening the door on a glaring social issue.

Joseph Campbell and his famed tome A Hero with a Thousand Faces outlines the mythical journey of the hero throughout world narrative culture.

The Hero’s Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development.  It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization.

Its stages are:

  1. THE ORDINARY WORLD.  The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma.  The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history.  Some kind of polarity in the hero’s life is pulling in different directions and causing stress.
  2. THE CALL TO ADVENTURE.  Something shakes up the situation, either from external pressures or from something rising up from deep within, so the hero must face the beginnings of change.
  3. REFUSAL OF THE CALL.  The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly.  Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.
  4. MEETING WITH THE MENTOR.  The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey.  Or the hero reaches within to a source of courage and wisdom.
  5. CROSSING THE THRESHOLD.  At the end of Act One, the hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition with unfamiliar rules and values.
  6. TESTS, ALLIES AND ENEMIES.  The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.
  7. APPROACH.  The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.
  8. THE ORDEAL.  Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear.  Out of the moment of death comes a new life.
  9. THE REWARD.  The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death.  There may be celebration, but there is also danger of losing the treasure again.
  10. THE ROAD BACK.  About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home.  Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission.
  11. THE RESURRECTION.  At the climax, the hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home.  He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level.  By the hero’s action, the polarities that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved.
  12. RETURN WITH THE ELIXIR.  The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed.  (quoted from The Writer’s Journey)

Over the years, Campbell’s work has been scrutinized for its wisdom and applied to a majority of films and stories around the globe.  To quote Campbell is almost a cliche when discussing fiction, storytelling, and myth, for it has reached the status of unconscious assumption throughout the storytelling world.  Even Dr. Suess’ “Green Eggs & Ham” can be analyzed according to the structure Campbell outlines.

What readers of Campbell often neglect in their quest to understand story writing structure are the psychological, emotional, spiritual implications of the Journey.  Campbell discovered something much more than just a tool to help writers write more cleverly and impactfully.  He also discovered a way for humans to understand their place on earth.  Each of us on this planet have the opportunity to live a hero’s life.  If analyzed, each of us can place our experience–current, past, and future–somewhere on the line of the heroic journey.  When we do this, we have the potential to shift our lives into a living miracle.  Saroo Brierly does just this in his life as reflected through Dev Patel’s portrayal.    Vanity Fair provides an interesting synopsis of the film.

So, how exactly does Saroo live a hero’s life?  That’s for you to decide.  Watch the film, then comment below.  If commenting in relation to how the story aligns with the stages of the Journey requires too much cognitive effort, let me know.  I’d be happy to explain.  However, please do yourself a favor and at least watch Lion.  It’s brilliant!

 

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