Human, relational connection in presentations…no brainer if you ask me!

Presentations1 I've been a communicator for years…it has driven me crazy, given me joy, confounded me and challenged my life.  I have "studied" communicators since I had the honor of being pals with some great speakers back in the late 70's and 80's.  Even today, some of my best friends are great communicators (little do they know that one of the reasons they are admired by me has nothing to do with their magnetic personality but their ability to communicate).  I'm facinated with the subject and have dedicated a good portion of my life (especially the last few years) studying good communication…effective, life-changing communication.  I've shared about it on this blog before but from books like Made to Stick to Brain Rules to Slideology and Presentation Zen to many of the blogs I subscribe to, I am constantly challenged and given feedback on the effectiveness of my communication in the spheres of influence in which God has placed me. 

Now, I want to say one thing clearly here – I do believe in the "spiritual gift" of communication…and sometimes a lack of technique and presentation ability has been trumped by the Spirit's influence…evenso, there are some things to be learned and applied to our passions and openness to the Spirit's work and power as we open our mouths to do what we communicators are called to do.

Most people wouldn't regard what I do weekly (that is, give "sermons" or messages in our faith community) as "presentation".  Unfortunately, they would be misguided in their assessment.  Just because I have a "Rev." in front of my name doesn't mean that I automatically have earned a "hearing".  Times have changed…there is so much input (over 5000 marketing messages a day into our lives alone) coming into people's lives…what used to be a setting where someone who was deemed "important" or authoritative would get a free pass in terms of a hearing.  Not so much today – communicators compete in the marketplace of ideas and communication.  That's why I look for these types of encouragement (the short video from Nancy Duarte of Duarte Designs below).  Good communicators have a "wonderment" with their subject matter…they are "real" and humanly connected to others through the passion they have for their story and how it plays out in their presentation…they don't approach presentation like some sort of research paper but as a way of making transformational human connection in community.  If you are a communicator, ask yourself what is implied in Nancy's video – if people in your setting were "tweeting" during one of your "talks/presentations/studies/messages", what would they be saying?  To use Nancy's own words, "they better be listening to people or they won't be given the stage".  Something to think about…

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