This month’s post
Do you, like us, catch yourself making new-year resolutions, in an almost child-like wishful thinking ritual? As if this was a way to craft a better life, to grow a better skin? And yet no-one asks us to do these things. And we could do them any time, without fanfare. But no: we trumpet the long list of what we commit to doing, and we get everyone to bear witness as if the better to make ourselves do it. And three weeks later – a month at most – they’re buried unceremoniously with the utmost discretion…
So what?! We demand so much of ourselves already, 364 days a year, no wonder we ditch them, those wonderful resolutions. What’s more disturbing is the fact that we go on deluding ourselves into thinking we’ll keep them, when we have neither the will nor the energy for it, and then give ourselves a hard time because we can’t manage it!
So our new-year present to you is to invite you to drop all those self-imposed pledges that you never truly wanted to make anyway – to hell with what you think others will think of you – and to give yourself permission to think instead about what you really dream of (not as easy as it sounds). As for the workplace, same thing: seek out these ideas and ways of working that enthuse you; you can bet they’ll also be effective and productive. In any case, what we can promise is that if you find what inspires you, it will soon turn into a resolution that you’ll have no trouble keeping!
The Najberg Milne team
Presenter of the month
When he made this speech in 1944, Thomas Douglas, former prime minister of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, knew full well that nothing beats a story to make a point.
What’s unusual here is that he tells the story during a political meeting, that it lasts over five minutes, and that it’s a children’s story… To date, this speech remains one of the most powerful parables in Canadian history.
What’s in it for you?
Do not read please
To all those speakers, presenters and lecturers who are asked to talk as experts:
Reading is not presenting. It is impossible to read a text while establishing an authentic connection with one’s audience. When you read, everything changes: your posture, your gestures and your way of interacting – or rather, in this instance, of not interacting. Unless you’re world-class actor Helen Mirren reading world-class writer Charles Dickens, reading aloud is likely to sabotage your presentation, as “anything that doesn’t attract, drives away”… Rather than read your text aloud, save yourself the journey and email it to your audience – they learned to read a long time ago, and they’ll be more comfortable at home. If, however, you wish to make your mark at a gathering, you’ll need to do something else.
You could, on the one hand, try and learn to read aloud in such a way that you give the illusion you’re looking into someone’s eyes. If you manage it, please contact us to teach us how you do it. On the other hand, you could learn to present without having to read. Come on, you already know your topic inside out! All you need to do is to “know” your text enough to let go of it and thus communicate with your audience again.
What people have come to listen to is you and your experience, not this boring robotic voice. They want to see, feel, be moved by the professional that you are, the human being that you are, with her or his struggles and uncertainties.
And what else?
If surprises makes life interesting, curiosity is what generates them. Today, we’re inviting you to read something that has apparently little to do with the themes of our newsletters – physics.
Carlo Rovelli has written a book that is not only technical and well-researched, but also supremely human and poetic. And that’s exactly what seems to us to characterise human interaction and public speaking: necessitating techniques and know-how, but also deeply human and complex to decipher.
The book endeavours to give an overview, with great simplicity and humility (another lesson to remember when presenting) of the state of the art in physics. It is a staggering and compelling precis of knowledge that demonstrates that to understand doesn’t mean to grasp everything but to stay open to what cannot be explained, to what is not rational, to the infinite!
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. Carlo Rovelli, 2015, Allen Lane.
Najberg Milne news
Our next open courses
In Paris: 28-29 April 2016. To book a place, email JS.Pigeau@najbergmilne.com.
In London: 13-14 April 2016. To book a place, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The link of the month
Our clients are wonderful
Amandine Lepoutre is the founder of Société Anonyme, a marketing and communications consultancy with a difference, interested in change, potential and the dynamic tension between the individual and the workplace…
We’ve been working with Amandine for some time, and we’re delighted to show you her performance at the TEDx Celsa. She talks about her journey, her views on communication and how relationship building is the first step to a better world.
Saying thank you
I heard someone making fun of a management course about re-learning to say thank you!
Two days spent in thanking each other and putting a new value on expressing thanks, is that too much?
To say thank you to demonstrate your gratitude.
To thank your colleagues, your teams, those close to you for what they’ve done for you. Thank you, to say that you couldn’t have succeeded without them. Thank you, to say that their presence at your side has been a huge comfort in hard times, when nothing seemed certain. Thank you because you too are afraid to fail. Thank you because their presence matters to you and makes them irreplaceable.
Thank you, to bring you closer to them.
The reasons for saying thank you are countless. Essential. And they show up every day.