Learnings from Vin Scully – A Legend Passing on Legendary Principles

Vin Scully

As we approach the final weeks of the legendary Vin Scully announcing for the Dodgers (67 years!), it’s important that his lessons don’t go unnoticed.

Tom Verducci had a great write-up for Sports Illustrated, and we recommend all to read. We took something away from his article, of course tied to communications . . .

Vin Scully went to Fordham University and took his first role as a broadcaster for university athletics. When he was a freshman, he took a seminar course that all freshman were mandated to take: Eloquentia Perfecta. In Latin, it translates to ‘perfect speech.’ Taught by the most accomplished faculty, the course focused on the mastery of written and spoken expression guided by consistent principles – of which humility was one. It’s key teaching: ‘The speaker begins not with himself but with an understanding of the needs and concerns of his audience.’

Scully’s humility shined because he always met his audience where they were. He started a broadcast thinking not about himself or how expert he could be perceived. He thought about his audience – how he would break down the game, players and strategy to simple explanations. In doing so, he transformed his commentary into a visual play-by-play in the imagination of his audience. His success comes from serving others first.

This concept of humility in communications can be traced all the way back to the beginning, from biblical teachings to the early start of human days. The funny thing is, this is no different than any of the coachings we incorporate with any of our clients. Whether a CEO is speaking to his or her board, a new face takes the stage at one of the multiple sales kick-offs happening this week around the country, or someone is delivering a simple sales pitch or QBR to a client, the more we know about our audiences and continue to think of them, the better we will be. 

So many great teachings are re-stated in different ways to help people understand them. Humble Confidence is one of our Decker Core Values, and it is a great way to connect and influence others. If Latin’s more your thing, strive for Eloquentia Perfecta.

Vin Scully’s magnificent broadcast career is a great example of just how well it can work when you work it.

Thank you, Vin Scully!

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