The Benefits of the Arts in Business
I took to Twitter a few weeks ago when I overheard my wife on a Zoom call with her alma mater, where she was learning about their storytelling program.
Eavesdropping on my wife's Zoom call with her alma mater @etsu about their storytelling program and how it works with business students. Fantastic. Seriously students, learn how to present and tell a story. It's a skill so lacking that you'll stand out immediately.
— Mike McBride (@mikemac29) October 17, 2022
(If you can’t read that, the text is – Eavesdropping on my wife’s Zoom call with her alma mater @etsu about their storytelling program and how it works with business students. Fantastic. Seriously students, learn how to present and tell a story. It’s a skill so lacking that you’ll stand out immediately.)
My point was that as a trainer, I do quite a bit of presenting and public speaking. I also do a fair bit of storytelling, but I didn’t learn that skill in business school or from my technical education. I had to learn those skills later in my professional life. So, I take every opportunity to encourage young people to learn those skills. You may not be looking for a career as a speaker, actor, or improvisational comic, but the skills you learn there will make you stand out in the workplace when it comes time to do a presentation or speak up for your ideas.
I was reminded of this again last week when I listened to my friend and former colleague Laura Prael being interviewed on the Aussie podcast Two Drunk Accountants.
Laura shares her background studying creative arts at University and the benefits she believes that education gives her when running her own business. She talks about learning what has become the mantra for their work, “Start Anywhere.” I think she is a great example of what I have been saying. Learn how to do creative work, like tell a story, hold an audience, start anywhere, and think on your feet. These may not be your “hard business” skills, but they are the skills that make you even better than a typical business person, lawyer, or technologist.
Please give it a listen.