If you’re 77-years old and want to allay the fears of Iowa voters that you’re spry enough to be president, what better way to do it than to play a softball game at the Field of Dreams? Such was the strategy of Bernie Sanders and staff who challenged members of the press in a light-hearted duel.

Of course, it was more of a campaign rally than an athletic event, complete with special buttons, free pennants and paper megaphones. In addition to the usual propaganda, they also distributed baseball cards featuring Sanders as #46 (the next president). He “bats right, throws right and thinks left.” Clever!

I have seen many other candidates over the years – all in traditional settings. It would have drawn a crowd just by having the game, but the food trucks, banners, celebrity announcers (Susan Sarandon and Yogi Berra’s granddaughter) and giveaways all served to make it memorable for its spectacle even if you didn’t agree with the politics.

The next time you need to convey a message, put as much thought into the venue as to the words themselves. Sometimes just changing up where your communication is delivered could set you up to hit it out of the park.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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