Communications Insight For More Inspiring Leaders A Surprise Tip from the London Underground

A Surprise Tip from the London Underground

 10th Feb 2024
A Tip from the London Undeground
What could the London Underground network possibly have in common with your spoken hashtagcommunication ?

Well, for many years, the tube map was superimposed on an actual city map.

So, relative distances between stations were true to reality.

But as the network expanded, this became increasingly hard to sustain.

Either the map needed to become massive or the close-knit inner city stations became impossible to meaningfully distinguish.

Until 1931, when designer Harry Beck applied the principles of visualising electrical circuitry.

By removing true-to-life distances, so was born the schematic “map” travellers in London know today.

Precisely the same mental shift is needed in communicating (potentially complex) content.

While it’s tempting to provide the literal whole true and reality in all its detail…

Chances are you’ll lose your audience as a result.

This is especially true with storytelling and case studies. The skill is to focus on what’s absolutely pertinent - and cut everything else!

In this way, clear, accessible and relevant value for your audience should look much more like a Harry Beck schematic…

Than a true-to-life map.

Speak soon.

hashtagpublicspeaking hashtagediting hashtagleadership hashtagleadershipcommunication hashtagstorytelling hashtaglondon

What I've appreciated most has been the increased thought the team has been putting into how they come across and what they say. Colleagues in other teams have already commented on the improvement in both skills and confidence.


Emma Truswell | Deputy Head of Services, Open Data Institute (ODI)

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