Speeches

Making an impact on an audience is difficult. Powerpoint presentation design, tone of voice, content, lighting, manner when speaking – it all needs to be thought of when you make a public presentation. The speech needs to be refined and rehearsed.

However, more important is what you have done in the years and decades leading up to that point. If you don’t have the message clarified over time due to a consistent history with the subject, then it will all sound a little desperate. I think you need to have a long track record behind you and the impact you make with a speech is not the result of a couple of nights’ work – rather it is the culmination of many bits of previous work. If you gain a reputation for a line of work that is channeled, focussed and weighty due to your reputation with the audience – you will probably make an impact. If a speech is grappling to be relevant and consistent with who you really are then it will fall on deaf ears.

 

 

 

Subscription

I am on a constant mission to try to limit the amount of rubbish I read. When I started this mission, the internet was my friend, a whole world of opportunity waiting to be tapped. All I had to do was filter out what was thrown at me through free and easy channels (Twitter, Facebook).

Trying to filter information is a tricky thing, and can have unintended consequences. Online personalization can effectively isolate people from a diversity of viewpoints or content. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook do not work how I want them to work. Maybe it is just a matter of me not spending enough time curating the content, but the  barrage of rubbish just kept coming with seemingly little quality control despite my efforts to block, promote etc.. And so I am coming full circle and subscribing to what I think is quality media.

Paying for content after years of winging it on the internet feels surprisingly good. Whether it is music or news or tv series – the quality of what I am consuming has raised dramatically compared to the old Facebook feed.

Any problem you have…

…is probably fixable.

Think about it. Humans have cured polio. We discovered bacteria. We put people on the moon. We have cell phones which are as sci-fi as you can imagine. They let me talk to someone in China…if I so choose. So progress happens if we want it to, but it is not automatic.

In my personal experience, I am learning that there are two key components of creativity and progress.

First, I have to accept that progress will bring with it unintended consequences. These can be positive: For example back in the day we learned about atmospheric pressure which allowed us to create vacuums which allowed us to create combustion engines to push trains down a track. But they can also be negative: those combustion engines spit out pollution of all sorts. Personally, to become more creative has led me to quit unsatisfactory jobs, to learn about publishing, marketing and blogging. However it has also led me to become super self-critical. This is good sometimes in a work context, but it can impact other areas of my life. I never expected this as a side-effect.

The key for me is that progress is always better than the alternative, which is stagnation. It is a truth which I have had to get my head around. Stagnation is easier but far more destructive to my life. I think this applies universally to our race.

Next, for progress to occur, there needs to be focus. This may be internal – are you sure of what you are trying to achieve? Are you putting in the time and work? Or it may be a matter of collaboration. Do you have another person who will help you progress? I am learning that focus essentially means aligning of habits and habitual behaviour. Mine were all out of whack before I chose to be more creative.

I find it comforting that there are broad rules and conditions for progress. It helps my creativity and keeps pushing me on to fix problems each day. What helps you make progress?

Dune update

Over the weekend I have been away on plane flights and had evenings alone in bed and breakfasts which has given me time to get further into Dune.

What a book!

The flaws in the father’s character are becoming apparent, and the interactions with the local Fremen are adding an extra dimension to the tale.

It is such an engaging book, I think of it like a microscope which is gradually zooming in closer and closer to the inevitable war and dangers on the planet of Arrakis. Detail and nuance is getting more and more….well detailed! and Nuanced!

There is no turning back for any of the characters, only forward into the desert.

Love it.

Thoughts on Dune

I managed to read a hefty chunk of Dune today (I have read 17% of the book). It is wonderful in its focus on just the right details.

Often when I write I become overwhelmed by the sheer scale of limitless possibility in fiction. The options are endless. The trick is getting the right boundaries in place to make believe.

Dune does this so well. The author is very precise and clear in their characters, images, its fictional folklore and worlds. Also, the pace at which the story is building is excellent too. A sense of tension and impending doom for some characters is mixed with excitement at retribution and glory for others.

Needless to say, I am completely hooked.