Lives are complicated. Flawed yet beautiful at times. The layers of nuance and interdependence can be mystifying. I get lost trying to work out what’s going on sometimes. I’ve been thinking about this as I tell the story of what I’m doing. And where I might be heading.
I’m not about to break in to a free-form rant about why we need to simplify our lives (that can wait for another day). Instead, I remind myself the stories which move an audience are often the simplest – the clearest and the most concise.
There’s part of the human brain that loves a narrative and wants to move through it. To find resolution. Like the musician holding out for the cadence to resolve.
Which is why I believe storytelling is so crucial when trying to communicate with people – and when you want to inspire them to action.
However, making something simple can be hard. Really hard. Especially if you know a lot about a topic (which you really should if you’re going to be talking about it). And it’s worth it. If you have a limited time to tell someone about your idea, you need to be really clear about it, the impact it will have and how they can get involved.
Telling a multi-layered story might leave them switched off.
Putting in the time to refine. And refine. And refine again will always be worth it. You’ll be clearer about what you’re saying – and your audience will be too.
This process of inviting people to the workshops and taking about Presentation Greatness is, for me, a bit of a risk.
Sure I’ve helped people do this stuff for a long time, and I’ve learned from some great people. But me taking action and getting started has involved being willing to take the risk that no matter how simple and clear the message, people might not pay attention.
Dancing may not be for everyone
For some people the return of Strictly Come Dancing is a TV highlight. Personally, it’s not my thing. But I recognise the risk that the participants are taking.
As I read this quote from Robert McKee‘s seminal work “Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting“, I was encouraged to persevere. To keep working. To have faith that I will continue to learn.
“Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage, courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully but write boldly. Then, like the hero of the fable, your dance will dazzle the world.”
There are times of uncertainty and questions, and that’s okay. Recognising that I don’t know everything is incredibly liberating. And what I do know if that I want to help people develop and deliver amazing presentations.
Get in touch if you want to know more.