Mining For Vision

Flagship current affairs breakfast radio. Millions of listeners. Hopes on reviving mining in Cornwall. Exploratory drilling for known deposits of lithium begins. Will commercial quantities of the precious metal be uncovered? To end the dialogue, a final question; “So, all being well, what’s your vision for the company?”

“The vision for the company really is, erm, if we, if we can make this work it could be a major new industry for Cornwall and for the UK. (Pr-)Supplying a much-needed metal for the industrial revolution that’s now happening with, er, the rise of electric cars.”

This is a sales standard on which I’ve frequently blogged. It is astounding how ill-prepared for it people selling continue to be. Your audience left non-plussed, ‘you lost me at hello’.

Whether or not Jeremy Wrathall (CEO of Cornish Lithium) here had scripted a response, I would still say it is a decent stab.

There’s much to like. The not-a-done-deal humility – or is it the investor expectation management – of stating “if we can make this work”. The social ambition of not just jobs but perhaps a “major new industry” (especially given this is a region often isolated in this regard). The market opportunity attraction that could come from the “revolution” we all see coming, desperate for a scarce resource.

It took fifteen seconds to say. Which felt right. Three-dozen words. Two sentences. The first, stakeholder facing, the second, their place in changing the world.

You can get picky. After all, who can resist the urge to edit someone else’s words? Yet such responses will require refinement through experience. Cornish upliftment could be made more explicit. Swap out “industrial”. Hammer home how close the sustainable new non-carbon future is.

As for delivery, that’s the one element that tends to suggest a little unpreparedness. A quartet of stutters in mainly monotone, monotempo speech. But smoothness can come.

Stripped down, I note that this sample is 162 characters. Now that tweet limits no longer include other users’ handles and links, and 160 being the sms cut-off which twitter originally sought to emulate, this seems a remarkably coincidental size. One you can surely bounce off.

Your keys best include rehearsal, your client problem and your cause.

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