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Embrace the Power of Your ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ for Inspiring Communication

July 17, 2023

When I was visiting the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) yesterday, I came across a fascinating recreation of the artist Rembrandt’s own ‘cabinet of curiosities’.

This collection includes historical artifacts, artworks, and natural wonders from all around the world. Rembrandt drew on it for props and inspiration all through his prolific career.

I realised I too have a virtual ‘cabinet of curiosities’. My digital treasure trove holds quotes, memorable book passages, stories, humorous road signs, memes, metaphors, Taylor Swift tickets (I wish!) and much more. It’s constantly evolving with every new experience.

But why have a ‘cabinet of curiosities’?

Whether you are crafting a presentation, writing a LinkedIn post, or engaging in everyday conversations, drawing from your cabinet allows you to weave in nuggets that entertain, inform and inspire. Caveat: Your intention must be to serve your audience.

In a world where so much communication is vanilla, a quirky personal touch is joyful, memorable and inspiring.

For example, this morning I was listening to the radio and the commentator said a herd of reindeer was spotted in Northland shopping center! I have now filed this away in my cabinet.

The beauty is I don’t know, and I don’t have to know yet how I will use it. Perhaps in the future to make a point about dealing with the unexpected. What matters now is keeping it safely in my cabinet, not relying on my memory to find the perfect anecdote, metaphor or news clipping to make my point.

So, have you ever considered creating your own ‘cabinet of curiosities’? What would it include? And how would you use it?

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