Want to improve your communication skills? I have two items to add to your ‘to do’ list: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the ‘How I Got Here’ podcast.
How do these dots connect? Pulitzer prize winning author, Jon Meacham put it simply as a guest on the April 4th podcast:
“There is a direct connection between the number of great books you read and your own capacity to express yourself.”
Think about it. Now consider your catalog of reading materials over the past month. Could there be a connection with the difficulty you are encountering coming up with a business proposal in more than 140 characters/no emoji?
Time for a cultural intervention this weekend to jump start your personal ‘communication improvement project’.
Step one: Come to Los Angeles for the LA Times Festival of Books on the campus of the University of Southern California. Step two: Maintain the momentum with a subscription to the weekly ‘How I Got Here’ podcast.
The book festival is a two day event hosting authors, poets, and musicians discussing their work at moderated panels and outdoor stages. All the events are free and provide amazing access to those creating art in these interesting times.
As an example, my itinerary for the weekend includes a two panels on biography and epic history, four ‘indoor’ conversations with George Saunders, Roxanne Gay, Chris Hayes and Margaret Atwood, and an a cappella performance by the SoCal VoCals.
I doubt you will leave the venue without at least one new book (perhaps bearing an author signature) to continue your adventure in reading and improved communication.
Next week on your commute or morning run listen to ‘How I Got Here’. The podcast, hosted by Georgetown University grads Tim Barnicle and Harry Hill, is a weekly exploration of the diverse career trajectories of various luminaries.
Imagine sitting for an hour with your career idol as they describe their path to success.
If you believe we learn from the wisdom of others, events and podcasts are a treasure trove of accumulated knowledge.
What are you waiting for?