Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Presenter Pointers #4: Assist (not Assault)

Every Sunday (or Saturday), Sabhaologists are on the field monitoring, observng, and analyzing presentations. This series brings to light their observations and points of improvement in a bite-sized blog post.

In presenting passionately, it's easy to get carried away with feisty rhetoric, but we must remember that we're here to help our audience. They are the true heroes waiting to realize their potential, and as presenters, we need to edge them along the way. 

For example, kishore/kishori mandal had the topic of prachar in their sabhas this past weekend, and it can easily be misconstrued into the extreme - far from what Pramukh Swami Maharaj has shown in his life:

In 1982, Pramukh Swami Maharaj was in Leceister and noticed a Christian man present before him with a reserved countenance. Upon meeting with him, the man disclosed how he needed to find peace after his son committed suicide since people blamed him and his wife for it.  
Swamishri asked, "Were there any difficulties with the boy?"  
The man replied, "Yes, he was mentally handicapped." 
"Did you fully love him?"  
The man explained that the boy had been hospitalized for the severity of his condition. He tried to escape from the window but killed himself in the process. Swamishri then explained that since the parents loved the boy fully, they were not at fault. 
The man became so ecstatic upon hearing these words and offered a donation, but Swamishri told him that if he wanted to give money, then to donate at his church. The man felt surprised at meeting the first spiritual leader who did not so readily accept money. 
Next Sunday, the man spoke to the audience about his experience with Swamishri.
We see from this example that Swamishri showed prachar to reflect from his actions and not from preaching, manipulation, or even deception. 

Perhaps our audience may sport mandir t-shirts or cite BAPS on their resumes when they may shy away from talking to strangers at mandir, but if we can recognize their efforts and nudge them along, their superpowers will shine sure enough.

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