Lawrence W. Reed, founder of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), here gives a talk on his seven principles of public policy. Sounds (yawn) fascinating. It’s actually a good example of how to give an interesting talk. Reed tells stories, and these stories elucidate, educate, enlighten.

First off, there’s his funny story about the property developer in Louisiana who was asked by HUD to provide the history of the plot of land he wanted to develop, prior to 1803. Well, prior to 1803, Louisiana belonged to France, as the property developer had to point out to the government officials at HUD, but he did not stop there.

Secondly, Reed illustrates his first principle with the story of the Kellogg brothers. The older brother was ambitious and successful; the younger one worked for his older one at 25$/week for many years. But it is the younger one who created the world-famous breakfast cereal. Hear how it happened.

This video illustrates something that entrepreneur and historian Gary North wrote about recently – The Rabbi and the Professor. He begins by quote Bob Buford:

Peter Drucker told me once, “There are two ways of teaching: the Greek way and the rabbinic way.” The Greek way, he explained, is based on analysis and breaking down a subject into its logical outline sequence (I A, B, C; II A, B, C). The rabbinic way always begins, “Let me tell you a story.” — Bob Buford

I took a graduate seminar in 1965 from a master historian, Douglas Adair…. He warned us about how hard it is to teach the American Revolution. …Here was his advice: teach biographies. Teach about the lives of people: why did they do what they did…. People remember a good story.

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