Vin Scully’s Communication and Leadership Lessons for Business Executives

Vin Scully’s Communication and Leadership Lessons for Business Executives

Vin Scully, the longtime spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who died yesterday at age 94, left behind several important lessons in communication and leadership for corporate executives.

Be confident

“Vin Scully’s grace, class, storytelling ability and vast knowledge of baseball are undeniable. But I think his sense of confidence, which was lacking in ego, resonated with so many and serves as a lesson for business leaders,” said Dick Grove, CEO and founder of INK Public Relations, via email.

Provide focus

“Vin didn’t stumble over his words and was sure what was coming out of his mouth before he spoke. If he talked about a personal experience, he would either be self-deprecating or put it in the background to focus on others, which only elevated his status,” Grove noted.

Division

“If a big moment happened in a game, he would let the moment live on his own.” He was sure enough to know that the noise of the crowd and [the] the reaction of the players can best tell the story. Vin never came across as a “know-it-all” even though he knew everything. He shared. He did not lecture.

Practice humility

“It’s safe to say that egos are alive and well in the C-suite. But for leaders to inspire trust, it has to be a two-way street. There has to be a type of security where curiosity and really listening to feedback is in action. Humility is a form of strength. Arrogance is a form of weakness. I think Vin Scully embodied humility as much as any speaker who ever lived. In doing so, he both inspired and won the trust of his audience. Two aspects of leadership that are critical,” Grove pointed out.

“Honestly, Vin Scully was the greatest of all time. The communication skills he has mastered and shown to the world provide lessons not only for future operators, but for executives and senior executives and organizations everywhere,” he said.

I tell stories

According to Steve Turner, owner of Solomon Turner PR, Scully “capitalized on his innate ability to tell stories.” “The attention to detail and the way the words are woven together really puts Vin at the top of his game. I tried to follow this guide in working with clients to improve their stories and communication skills for marketing and public relations purposes.

“Vin would connect events from the past, from 30, 40, even 50 years ago, and make it relevant for today’s audience and broadcast. Weaving these stories into short, clear and colorful sentences is a true art. This is something we learned from Mr. Scully and we think about it often to help our clients prepare for media interviews and other stories,” Turner said.

Matt Eventoff, the founder of Princeton Public Speaking, said via email that the following communication lessons from Scully are particularly relevant for business leaders.

The power of images

“His use of all five senses and his verbosity made you feel like you were living in the moment with him.”

Understand your audience

“Vin talked to everybody, all the time. And he knew it. Completely simple language and its explanations of the game [were] accessible to the first-time listener or die-hard veteran. And he always did it with empathy, kindness and a bit of self-deprecating humor. He didn’t take himself too seriously and always [admitted] but he made a mistake. Invaluable lessons for any communicator.”

Main tone, intonation and inflection

“Telling a story with just your voice requires a mastery of tone and inflection to create almost verbal accents. Any manager can do this. This means not only delivering your message! This means understanding your audience and using your voice to generate an emotional response and keep your audience engaged. An executive can do that all the time, where I emphasize key words and key concepts and create space before and after so that the audience can fully absorb them.”

Silence

“This lesson [applies] of leaders who can use silence and pauses in the same way [Scully did] Let your audience catch up, they had to really process the messages you’re sending,” Eventoff concluded.

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