Saturday, April 21, 2012

Presenter Pointers #5: Assist (not Assault) II

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.

Last time, we looked at how to present prachar, from pounding it into our audience mercilessly to using it as a beacon to bolster our audience, and last week's presentation in kishore/kishori sabha on katha provided us with another opportunity to revisit this lesson.

In one sabha, the presenter remarked why we don't listen to katha: laziness, lack of understanding Gujarati, lack of time, etc. Such negativity serves nobody, but in review, we learned that this presenter was merely following the syllabus's speaking points.

Every audience in every mandal is different and has different levels of understanding present. Katha might be an addiction to some, a distraction to others, and a waste of time to the rest, so we have to tailor our message to hit home with these segments. Perhaps pointing out flaws may work to move those already seeking to improve themselves, but we know that many of our audience members have yet to reach that stage.

Next time we have a syllabus in our hands, lets take a step back and think of our audience before mindlessly regurgitating the syllabus. It's also not enough to reword the syllabus and present it. The Vachanamrut is replete with examples where Shriji Maharaj details one concept to a sabha filled with just sadhus very differently to one mixed with householders.

A little thinking can thus move mountains.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point! I think this upcoming week's presentation is a perfect example of a case where the syllabus presentation can get us to regurgitate facts in "Disadvantages to Partying". It is full of statistics and facts about the disadvantages to drinking. Maybe it's an assumption that applies to my mandal only, but drinking is not the issue and cold dry facts are unlikely to convince the audience (to the syllabus writer's credit, he/she does mention that case studies from the mandal would be much more effective). The real issue is the social element. But if we dig even deeper, we find that the issue is about the freedom one has in college/university to do what one wants. Answering the deeper questions such as: how should one deal with freedom? how can one fit in and still be independent? etc...are much more compelling in helping the audience members take away something more tangible and memorable compared to a message that says "don't drink, and don't go to parties!"