Show and Tell

 

Do you remember show and tell?

Imagine yourself as a kindergartner, and your teacher explains that there will be no more “showing” in show and tell. You would be outraged. How boring would it be if there was no showing? You would stand at the front of the class by yourself and tell your classmates about something you had to leave at home. It would cause every student to beg for nap time.

Kindergartners with the most exciting show and tell presentations have the coolest things to show the class. The telling is secondary. In fact, none of the other kindergartners will remember what’s being said. Surprisingly, the same basic principle applies to business and life.

We recently updated ADDO’s website to reflect the trajectory of our business and the people involved in our work. Throughout this process, we worked with a website development company called Whiteboard, and they challenged me to think differently about this new iteration of the website.

They explained that websites work most effectively if they show rather than tell. In the past, you told the customers visiting your site what you could do for them with catch-phrases, buzzwords, and well-crafted marketing language detailing your products and services. But today, the most effective sites do a lot less telling and a lot more showing. They show the work you’ve done and how you’ve achieved success through real-life examples with other clients and trust the person viewing your website to do two things: 1) see how you’ve made a difference for somebody else and 2) look through the lens of the work you’ve done for another client and see that your company can serve them too.

By showing stories of success and the ways we’ve made a difference, we empower potential clients to make a well-informed decision for themselves. That’s why we’re so excited about our new website. We have more work, credibility, and success to share and used half the words we did last time because we’re making the decision to show rather than tell.

Showing rather than telling is not only a great idea for a website; it’s a great idea for life. We spend so much time telling people what we can do, but it’s far more effective to show them.

Instead of telling your boss you’re committed, show up early, do the extra work, and add value to your company.

It’s great to discuss the importance of character with your kids, but it’s far more effective to model it to them.

It’s good to be passionate about improving your local community, but it’s far more impactful to organize a team, pick up a rake, and clean up your favorite park.

It’s important to know and share what you believe, but it will fall on deaf ears unless it changes the way you live your life.

It’s one thing to tell someone you care about them, and it’s another to show up in their time of need.

Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Well done is better than well said.”

Telling is good, but showing is better. So save your words, and make a difference in the world around you.


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Today, business means more than just mere products and services. Your organization needs to stand for something. Branding is what you tell the world; leadership is how you make it come true.

No one knows this dynamic better than Kevin Paul Scott.

Companies turn to Kevin for advice on how to up the meaning-quotient in their businesses, so that employees and customers alike champion the business as if it were their own.

Let Kevin come and teach your group about how to build a business and communicate corporate values in a way that resonates with consumers.

His speeches include:
• Building a Business with Meaning
• Leading When the Majority is Wrong
• In Changing Times, Hold to Unchanging Principles
• The War for Talent: Recruiting and Retaining Top Tier Talent
• Essential Exchanges: What You Have to Give Up to Go Up