More tales from backstage.
Richard our glorious leader has a lot to say about having a story when you are presenting. To help engage and connect with your audience. I will be using lots of his techniques when i run my first PowerPoint training course next week. Stay tuned for more about this in my next column.
Back to now. I’ve just finished a conference for a well know Herman Melville obsessed coffee company based in the east coast of the US where i was lucky to hear a powerful talk by Steve Chalke, a UN.GIFT Special Advisor on Community Action against Human Trafficking. As an outspoken baptist minister he is a master of emotional and thought provoking rhetoric.
He told a tale about a girl he first knew as a 3 year old when friends of his became her foster parents. From the first day she was with them she showed an amazing gift for, first the piano, then drums, guitar and eventually dance. But by her teenage years she was out of control, and left home and generally having a bad time. Asked her what the problem was – She loved her foster parents but they had no musical ability, were tone deaf and had no sense of rhythm. “Can’t sing, can’t act, can dance a little” as the probably apocryphal RKO Radio Pictures screen test report on Fred Astaire said.
How do i make sense sense of all this. This amazing talent, this skill. Everyone tells me i’m amazing. But i’m just confused. She told him.”Because i don’t know where this all came from. I can’t make sense of myself. I don’t have a story.” Eventually she managed to trace her birth parents after a long search and discovered her mother was a professional dancer. It all started to make sense, She slowly began connecting with her and also rekindled the bond with her foster family.
I was always told at school that everyone has a talent, has something they are good at. I have not always found this to be the case. Maybe we don’t all have a talent, but i realise now, what we do all have is a story.
And the reason for the headline. Well the foundation that Steve set up that develops hubs to help build, restore and transform communities, is called Oasis.
One little funny that made me smile at the end of an exhausting show. When we were just about to take off on a very full flight from Schiol airport in Amsterdam, the captain spoke over the tannoy. “This is the 17.55 flight to Heathrow. If you’re not expecting to travel to london this evening, now is the time to speak up”.