Kip Meacham’s passion for communications began in an elementary school library. “Books were my first love,” he said. There was something magical about them. These printed words, written by people he’d never met, took him to faraway places and opened his mind to new ideas. He combed packed bookshelves for many years before he found an InfoWorld article that would change his life.
The article described 1985 as “the year of the LAN,” a concept that sent Kip’s neurons into overdrive. He reasoned that if personal computers were networked, more people could share more words, and ultimately communicate more. This watershed moment led him to work as a marketer for modem-maker, US Robotics.
“I like to work with smart people,” he said, describing his professional life as a non-engineer living in a world of engineers. But smart people aren’t always the best communicators, and so Kip has spent his career developing skills to fill the communications gaps of his heavily left-brained co-workers.
“I like to help people figure out their story. Your deck has helped me do that.”
While many people have reported similar things, Kip was the first person to send physical proof. Here’s Exhibit A: the condition of his StoryHow™ PitchDeck box.
Kip is as enthusiastic about the deck as he is creative in his praise.
“It’s fricken awesome!” he said, describing the deck as a meta tool that’s flexible and adaptable. “It’s like lineman’s pliers in an electrician’s tool belt.”
Note to self. Add “lineman’s pliers” to storyhow.com’s list of keywords.
“It’s a great consultant’s tool,” he continued. “You can use it to crystalize your strategy, determine tactics, and find execution points that lead to an ending.”
But Kip’s decimated box didn’t get that way through his marketing work alone. It’s also pulling double-duty to support his passion for communication.
“One speech can change the world,” he said, describing an obsession with connecting audiences with ideas. “If people could communicate better, we’d solve most of our problems.”
One of his outlets for teaching how to change the world is Toastmasters International. And while most people would consider joining one Toastmasters chapter enough, Kip is a member of three different chapters in the greater Salt Lake City area. His wife refers to Kip’s obsession with Toastmasters as being in “a cult.”
“You need three skills to communicate: writing, speaking, and drawing,” he said. “Therefore, my communication’s bible consists of three books: Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes, Nancy Duarte’s Resonate, and Dan Roam’s The Back of the Napkin. And I tie all of them together through storytelling and the StoryHow™ PitchDeck.”
Finally, when asked if he had a favorite card in the deck, he answered without hesitation. “Yes, the Catalyst Card (SHPD Card # 9) because that’s what I am…a Creative Catalyst.”
We wish Kip the best of luck in his mission as a Creative Catalyst. If there’s one thing that this world needs right now, it’s the ability to communicate better.
Photo Credit: Kip Meacham