Creating Space in Communications | Event Recap

Sigma-Aldrich chief of staff Kevin Krosley suggests that effective communications is based on the ability to “create space” in the minds of the audience. He offered techniques to create space in 3 different environments.

  • Public Speaking
  • Brainstorming
  • One-on-one Conversing

Public Speaking

In a speaker-audience setting, Krosley suggests that the speaker first engage the audience individually to “create a space” where they want to hear, see, absorb the presentation. This can be done by offering a riddle, the answer to which should be revealed in the course of the presentation.

Krosley also suggests presenting a series of questions that the audience can participate in answering. The best use of this technique involves questions where the answers are not what the audience expects, more so even when the audience gets the answer wrong at first. Krosley referenced an effective TED Talk by Prof. Hans Rosling as an example.


Here Krosley suggests doing a private collection before public sharing. Challenging the group to privately collect thoughts on a topic and write them down. Then invite folks to offer suggestions to the discussion. This, Krosley maintains, helps ward off the opportunity for “groupthink” and hyper-focusing the group discussion on the first topic offered. People are better prepared and the brainstorm is more fruitful and varied.

One-on-one Conversing

Krosley suggests that in one-on-one conversations, try to “break the pattern” that the partner expects. He offered four questions that can spur dialogue in four different “conversation spaces:”

    • Are you having fun? To create an emotional space.
    • Are you learning something? To create an intellectual space.
    • Are you making a difference? To create a productivity space.
    • Are you developing others? To create a relational space.

A big thanks to Kevin Krosley (@kkrosley) for presenting.

What did you think?

Did you take away something more or different from Mr. Krosley’s talk? If so, tell us about on Twitter @iabcstl.

Save the date

  • Luncheon with 2e Creative | Nov. 19
  • Student Coffee Event | Nov. 21