Lessons from The Sensei (3) beginner’s mind

Do it the way you’ve always done it. You can do that, you’re not good enough. Where is the standard background? Not enough text. Use a pie chart. Make sure you put references at the bottom of the page. Read it out. So many things are done in presentations because that’s the way it is always done. Why not approach things anew, with a beginner’s mind?

The Sensei, Garr Reynolds, as part of his presentation workshop, often gets participants to turn to their neighbour, chat and then sketch the person next to them. Then, present the picture. We sketch using strange “rules” we have appropriated, we draw in two dimensions, we frequently say we can’t draw and then don’t make much of an effort. We add a strange expression, usually a crooked smile. Virtually every artist apologies. Children just draw. They express themselves and are proud of their efforts. And usually, they are worth much more, represent much more and communicate much more than the adult who attempts the same.

beginners mindThere is NO right way to make a presentation. There are no effective or valuable rules. There is a time limit and that’s it. If you were to put away those constraints and view the world with a beginner’s mind perhaps your presentation would be more effective. What if it actually communicated?

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