Sunday, June 24, 2012

Know your Audience - But first get feedback

Many centers had graduation sabha this weekend. We had one. We were asked to give a small 10 minute keynote talk. Awesome. We fired up the SUS engine and also were sent a link to a great commencement talk that has been making its way across the internet. The entire video is embedded below. In it English teacher David McCullough makes the audacious statement to the audience that they are not special. He was looking at the entitlement attitude that pervades high school

His best quote two quotes:

You see, if everyone is special, then no one is.  If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless.

The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you're a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer.  

So we read all this and we felt we were set.

Simple: Graduation is the start of trying to become special, even though we are not right now.
Unexpected: Telling all the graduate that they are not special.
Stories: We had a few prasangs that fit the bill.

We gave the talk.

A few people told us - That was a great talk.

Then we asked our board of people who we trust to give feedback. And one person gave us a gem.
"You started off great, but then you went to the you are not special part. I see where you were going with that. It definitely engaged the older kids. There were many shishu and small bal/balikas. When you tell them they are not special, they can really take it the wrong the way."

Think about your audience. We have mentioned it so many times before. But this time we simply forgot about it. A very good learning point. We hope we don't forget it again.

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