Whether we like it or not, this statement is just as true for you and me today as it was for Gandhi then. Who we are and how we are is the medium through which our message travels. That medium is far richer and truer than what we say in words.
When we present our material to a group we are facilitating or training, what we’re really presenting is ourselves. Our deepest, thoughts, feelings, fears, hopes, and aspirations come through as an unspoken wave of information that others pick up at a level usually below their conscious awareness. Yet this material influences others more powerfully than mere words. So in a very real way, you are your material, and your life is your message!
Your Message is More than the Material You Present
So what if you just want to present something your audience has asked for or that you want them to hear? And you figure that you’ll impress them by having all your data in order and your presentation impeccably organized and you’re just humming along right on track and on schedule. You can see the audience is listening respectfully to what you have to say. And your presentation is clicking like a fine-tuned machine.
Then someone asks you a question and you spontaneously find yourself reminded of a real life experience from your past, and you begin to reveal it as if you were there again–unplanned, unbidden, unprepared, but entirely relevant.
When you complete your story and remember where you are, you look around and see that the audience is hanging on your every word as if you had touched their souls. They see you as you are–a real live human being just like them and they are with you. Many of them show up after the meeting and want to share their stories with you. They want to ask you questions. They know you and they trust you. You’ve delivered your message loud and clear …you’ve given yourself.
The next time you have the opportunity to facilitate or even participate in a group, take a chance and share yourself at a level beyond your agenda. Share a personal story or experience or an honest response at an emotional level to what someone else has shared. Notice how this changes the dynamic. I’m interested in hearing about your experience. Please click on the Add Your Comments link above and share your thoughts, stories, and experiences around this topic. I’d love to hear from you!