Stasha–our beloved leader here at Q Media–is fond of reminding us of a fundamental fact about audio tours… really, about all forms of communication: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote is attributed to Maya Angelou, who knows a thing or two about making people feel.
We at Q Media are considered adept communicators. Golly, we love words and ideas. Turn us loose on a topic, and we will spin its story in no time flat. But for that story to stick to the listener and to last beyond the “immediate,” we have to find its emotional core and deliver it too.
The emotional core of the message is what matters… It is the stuff that sticks. This is part of the so-called Q Media “secret sauce”—a recipe so potent and effective that I have seen it drop jaws and surprise even the crustiest museum haters.
The crusty-haters may have entered the museum with every intention of gliding through the exhibits as quickly as possible, grumbling about how bored they were… Their expectations were based on the very worst aspect of a dry-as-dirt school lecture: cold data, facts, dates, all mumbled in the monotone one associates with Charlie Brown’s teacher.
But what happens when, instead of the mumbled dry data, they get powerful stories aimed at their hearts and minds? What happens when the tour goes beyond the data… and to the deeper place of our shared humanity?
Need an example?
Consider the seductive power inherent in a pair of “innocent” chairs created by Wendell Castle that are part of the current exhibit at Modernism Museum Mount Dora. Surely, it would have been simpler to just describe the leather and wood in ordinary language… brown, smooth, and supporting the most basic description.
But we wanted you to take these remarkable pieces of artwork to a deeper place… a place we all understand, even if it makes us a little uncomfortable in a deeply human way.
Listen in. You’ll see just what I mean.
Also think about the emotional power of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass’s specific experience as they moved from enslavement to freedom. The path they took—and led countless others to take–was through a natural environment. The “underground railway” was a conduit of big ideas but it was also a real pathway through the dark woods, including the woods at Adkins Arboretum.
Listen in to the emotion-filled exploration of those ideas in that extraordinary place.
How much more powerful and lasting is the sensation of hearing the stories told with real emotion… and aimed at the listener’s heart and humanity, not just his brain?
How can you ever look at those chairs the same… as anything other than vehicles of great passion?
How can you ever gaze at the stars without feeling their beckoning power to lead you to a freer place?