Recently, I did a “presentation seminar” for mothers who wanted to raise bilingual kids. (Note: This is a bit of repetition of previous material)
It was the first time for me to do something for this kind of audience. Unless they also have a job the likelihood of doing a presentation is rather small. Even if some of them have a job, a certain percentage would certainly have a job that doesn`t require speaking in front of people. So, what kind of topic could I talk about? How would I structure a workshop so that they would get something out of it?
From my point of view, presentation is not just putting together a beautiful power point presentation, saying the right words and delivering the presentation with great body language and vocal variety. There is a lot more to it.
At the very core, is the message you want to get across to the audience and the reason you want to do so.
First is Graduation
So, we went through an exercise. The idea was to work through three important speaking events in one`s life. Can you guess what they are?The first part was to imagine that you are at a graduation ceremony. Your child is going to graduate. Now, keep in mind that most of these mothers at this seminar have kids that not even entered elementary school. So, this a very far off event for them. For you it may be a different story.
In any case, the person to speak at the graduation ceremony is not Steve Jobs, or former president Obama or any famous person like that. The person that is to speak is you. What is the one thing that you would say to the crowd?
If you give a question like that. Some people will come up an answer. Some people will have a very tough time So, before answering the question directly, I had them brainstorm some answers and then pick the one they like the best.
At the Reception
The next one was about the wedding. Here it situation was your son or daughter`s wedding. After the ceremony is over, and there a wedding reception party. He or she give a little speech thanking their parents. What heart harming episode would the share?
This time it gave the people time to things about how they want to raise their kinds and what kind of experience they want to share together. Coming up with these kinds of ideas from nothing can be hard.
So, I asked the participants to think back to their own childhood. What experience did they like or not like with their parents? How would they do things differently this time? Or was their good example or bad examples by other people that they could use as a stepping stone for an experience that they want to create?
Third as the funeral example. In this case your son or daughter is again speaking. How would want to be spoken of after all is said and done. What kind of legacy do you want to leave to your children. What would like them to say about the kind of person you were.
You could use your own past as a basis to come up with some future. You cold also think of some not so good future and then figure a way to avoid that and the experiences you want to to create to make an even better future.
These are big thought provoking questions. After you thought about them, I felt that it would give new parents at least an idea of the kind direction they want to raise their kids. And the kind of message that they themselves want to leave to others.