A Call to Presence
Sadly 2020 marked the passing of Sir Ken Robinson. I've always respects Sir Ken Robinson's work in education and his TED talk is the most widely watched in the world.
I was fortunate to work with Sir Ken and I've always loved this picture of of Sir Ken and my daughter chatting. Everyone wanted to talk with him but he alway gave his full attention to whoever he was with. As a result of my work I've met with some prominent politicians and leaders, and while on the face of it they can be pleasant and courteous, you can sense that their attention is already straying to the next (often most influential) person in the room.
Sir Ken was different. He had tremendous presence and authenticity. My eight year old daughter has his full attention. He's not looking past her to the next networking opportunity. He is in the moment, present, listening, learning and laughing...always laughing.
The amazing story behind his TED talk is that there was no script, no weeks of rehearsal, no artificial story to bring all his points together - basically Sir Ken walked on stage and connected with his audience. For him it's the most natural thing in the world.
Today, speaking from our heart, unscripted, unedited can feel a little too vulnerable. In my experience as a teacher this often arises when we have little conviction in what we are saying. This is also the case when we try to second guess what people want, when we lack faith in what we present or when we pretend consciously or otherwise to be someone we are not!
Our power of connection is our call to be present. To be in the moment with that person or audience and speaking from the heart. We convince by our presence.