When I’m not writing speeches, I’m a singer – so I often find music going through my head at odd times. A few months ago, I got pretty annoyed by it. I was on deadline, had to come up with a title and theme and write an abstract for a speech by the end of the day. But every time I tried to think about the speech, there was this song.
I tried to swat it away, to think serious thoughts, but it kept coming back. Finally, I just gave up and listened to it for a moment…and I realized that I’d found my theme. That song turned out to be the perfect entry point for the discussion my speaker wanted to lead. Fortunately, he’s secure enough of his business cred that he was open to standing up in a serious forum and quoting Rodgers & Hammerstein (well, the Hammerstein part of that duo, anyway).
I got to hear him deliver the finished product and I’ve never been so proud to hang out anonymously in the back of a room. The audience loved it. They were engaged in the speech within moments and they stayed engaged throughout. Lots of meaty questions in the Q&A proved that the fanciful statement of the theme had enhanced rather than masked the points he wanted to make.
So I pay attention to distractions. Because sometimes they’re the doorway to creativity.