Creative Collaborative Communication

Speak to Create Anticipation: How Foreshadowing Can Hook Your Listeners and Even Get You a Job

Foreshadowing Creates Anticipation

Speaker Linda Larson is one of the most compelling speakers I know. I have heard her speak a dozen times, and I’ve listened to her audio many times over with complete interest each time.

Linda uses foreshadowing to create anticipation. She arouses questions in your mind and keeps you hanging on to the edge of your chair wondering how things are going to turn out.

Her use of foreshadowing may be natural – she does the same thing in her one-on-one interactions. She once left me a voicemail that said, “I wish you were there, because I just made a huge decision that I need to tell you about.” It took us days to get a hold of each other. Every time my phone rang I hoped it was her so I could find out what her “huge decision” was.

Linda’s audiences can’t get enough of her. She can hold their interest for hours on end. The way she creates a sense of anticipation is a part of her success.


Foreshadowing Can Get You Hired

I felt a Linda Larsen-like anticipation recently when reading an email from an internet marketer who wanted my business. Terry stirred my curiosity by telling me about a web site he thought I could use as a marketing model. Terry’s email said,

Okay, now I want to point you to a web site from someone you may already know about. This guy is a content web visitor driving fool. I want you to notice some very specific points on his web site.

1.)   What people are saying (builds credibility).

2.)   Speaking (one of his core income producing products – looks like you are a speaker as well.

3.)  Audio and Video – notice the word “powerful” and then notice what he has done for many different “highly” targeted audiences.

Oh, I forgot to give you his web site, sorry about that…

4.)   Now for the *really* big deal. This is what makes this guy so much money…

The email went on for a few more paragraphs before he told me who he was referring to. Terry had me hooked.


Foreshadowing at Home

So, today I practiced foreshadowing with my husband. I start my days by watching Sex and the City reruns while I exercise. I’ve been following this routine long enough that I’ve seen almost every episode several times. This morning was an exception and when I finished my routine, I went up to my husband and said,

“Today was a very special day.”

“Why?” he asked.

“I went downstairs to exercise to Sex and the City, and after all this time I didn’t think it would happen, but it did.”


“I’ve been watching all reruns and that’s what I thought I was going to get today.”

Bob said, “You saw an episode you hadn’t seen before.”

Bob played along with me, and it was a simple way for me to practice a technique that has been shown to work so well.

Next time I’ll use foreshadowing for a topic that has better payoff to him…

This technique does have its limits. If you’re in a bottom line time-limited conversation, you won’t want to prolong the communication process. If your listener does not seem to enjoy the process, the technique will be counterproductive. When foreshadowing goes beyond playfulness, it can be very irritating. But properly used, foreshadowing adds interest.


Are You Curious?

Speaking of interest, are you wondering what Linda’s big decision was? Are you wondering who Terry was referring to? Are you wondering whether Terry got my business or not?

Linda decided to make a change in her client base. Terry was referring to Brian Tracy. And yes, Terry is my internet marketer and a great asset to my team.

Foreshadowing worked for him, and will work for you as well.

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The Problem with Right and Wrong

The Problem with Right and Wrong:The Collaborative Creative Process

right_wrongThe problem with right and wrong
Is they’re used where they don’t belong.
The problem with wrong and right
Is they paint the world black and white.

A black and white eye won’t see
How a seed can become a tree.
A black and white heart will doubt
The potential contained in a sprout.

Black and white never leave room
To envision bare trees in full bloom.
Yet right and wrong do find their place,
Blended with wisdom and grace.

The Collaborative Creative Process

The collaborative creative process is like growing trees from seeds. I toss some seeds to my partner who sees their potential. She tends the seeds and sends back seedlings that look very different from my seeds.

Does that make my seeds wrong?

I grow and develop her seedlings into a tree.

Does that make her seedlings wrong?

She prunes my tree.

Does that make my tree wrong?

The tree does not negate the seed

The problem with right and wrong is they’re used where they don’t belong. I have creative writing partners. If we send each other’s offering back full of changes, it could mean our original was way off the mark, poorly written and uninspired. There are some editing/pruning absolutes. The period goes outside the parenthesis when the parenthesis is inside a sentence. Anything else is just plain wrong.

But in a collaborative creative process, revisions are often m
ore evolutionary than corrective. Lots of changes can mean that the exchange took the vision to the next level of clarity, sincerity and effectiveness. It’s a process. Revision does not negate the original any more than a tree negates the seed it came from.

In your collaborative creative processes, look for the tree in the seed. Envision the bare tree in full bloom before you lower the boom of right-and-wrong. In the collaborative creative process, right-and-wrong find their place by embracing grace. That embrace is the ultimate collaboration.

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Collaborative Communication Agreements

Is communicating with your team like herding cats? Are your allies acting more like adversaries? Are partners more APART than a PART of initiatives? If so, you’re in the right place. Read on.

An invitation to get in or get out

Collabra CadabraI loved working with “Amy”, but in recent months she had gone from being actively involved to dialing it in. I got the sense that she was checking off a to-do list to meet minimum requirements and wasn’t engaged anymore. Her personal life had gotten chaotic, and she had checked out on me.

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