Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Graphical Ramayan

This week we will try to combine the principles of Made to Stick and Resonate in creating a sticky talks that resonates with our sabha audience. It maybe beneficial to re-read the follow posts here an here to review the main points from those two books. The topic from the syllabus is the Ramayan, and we will look at one option. See if it works for you, or better yet, take these ideas (and the ideas in the blog) to make something even better - and share that with us.

Everyday Ecstasy
Everyone has sorrow in life, even Ram Bhagwan. However, he was always happy. Those who focused on him, had sorrow in their lives, but they too were always happy. We have the same relationship with Bapa.

The supplemental material has some very good unexpected graphs which we reproduce here. The ideas is that in every story, every hero has what is called the "Hero's Journey." S/he has obstacles that they have to overcome. We attach emotion to their journey, and then we relate to that journey. It may look like this graph.

Let's look at an example that everyone knows (bonus for those that watched yesterday post video - notice how this mirrors the structure of a great talk).

Now to Ram Bhagwan, what did the first part of his life (at least the part in this presentation) look like. If the audience could benefit, make this an activity: map Ram Bhagwan's life from misery to ecstasy up until he reaches the jungle. It may look something like this.

This is the first part of our introduction, where we paint a picture of what is. What is life like right now for all of us? It is this up and down of happiness and sorrow. Even Ram Bhagwan was not immune to this. In fact, his happiness was greater than ours (first prince, destined for the throne, marries Sita), but his sadness is even worse than ours (leaves home and parents at a young age, attacked by monsters that want to kill him, exiled to the forest).

Now, we introduce our idea of what could be and introduce the gap between the status quo and the simple idea of our talk - Ram Bhagwan was always happy, so really, the map of his life should look like this graph.
Concrete, Credible Story Examples
With our simple idea introduced take the prasangs from Ram Bhagwan's life and show how even though he experience a great deal of joy and a great deal of sorrow - it did not disturb him because he was one with Bhagwan. For our local sabha, the kishores would benefit by giving the concrete example of Swamishri. He has had health problems - heart attack, cataracts, etc. - yet he is not affected by this. He has also had a great deal of success - Delhi Akshardham - yet he he is not affected by this either. Why? He is always in a state of bliss, he is always focused on Maharaj.

How would this look on Duarte's graph of a great talk as described in Resonate? Here is our attempt.
Emotion and Details
Each of the prasangs from the presentation are perfect for storytelling. We had a great guest post that really identified how to make our prasangs resonate - it maybe worth reviewing. The key idea with emotion is that it does not have to pull on our heartstrings, it does not have to make us sad or hopeful. Any emotion will do - disgust, anger, laughter. When Ram Bhagwan is exiled, if we dig, we can find details (that may not be in the syllabus) that clearly show how outrageous this was - it should make us angry that this happened - it was not fair. Once we have everyone riled up, we can deftly point out that Ram Bhagwan did not get angry. Why? He was always in a state of bliss - our simple message.

Call for Action
Duarte mentions that we need to end with a call to action - to point out what the world would be like if everyone was happy. We can paint that world, there would be no war, no disagreements. We get a glimpse of that world when we are near Bapa, when Bapa visits our center, when we go to a National Convention where Bapa is present - everyone is excited, energized.

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