February 11, 2019

The one thing that could make your presentation redundant

I remember how I’d groan, as I sat on the edge of my bed.
I felt lucky. Almost 5 hours sleep again!

Then, I’d heave myself onto my feet, and shuffle into the bedroom next door.

I’d peek through the crack between door and doorpost…
…and breathe ever so slowly.

I’d look at the creature lying there in the pink and white cot.
This Breathing, Snuffling Thing.
This Child.
This Newborn, Mystical Baby Thing.

You see… She was here, wasn’t she?
One minute she wasn’t. Then she was.
Indeed from now on, she was always going to be, well… Here.

And nothing would ever be the same.

She was our youngest.
The fifth child in our life.
The fifth.

There was a time – when I thought I knew just about everything – that I had no children.
Just 5 Rules for Raising Brilliant Children… Brilliantly.
No Children. Five Rules.

Now, here I was.
With Five Children.
And No Rules.

You promise yourself there are certain things that your parents did…
Which you’re never, ever going to do.

This Breathing, Snuffling Thing, becomes…
This Ludicrously Bright, Annoying Thing.

She asks questions.
You try to intelligently respond.
To which she answers… “WHY?”

So you sigh, and try to dig another level of wisdom deeper.
To which she answers (yeah, I know you’re three steps ahead of me)… “BUT WHY?”

Of course, you know where this is heading. But you’re going to be much wiser than your parents.
Aren’t you?

Because by the 7th layer-of-wisdom down, you can feel your hands clenching, your voice rasping, your teeth gritting.

And you say it.
You know… IT.
The words that take on a life of their own, and force themselves through your teeth.

You say (oh cringe!)
“Because I SAID SO!!!”

And you regret it immediately.
A total failure at intelligent parenthood.
Scarred for life. For eternity.

Because the fact is… How can she learn without those maddening questions?

The danger is that she stops thinking and discovering for herself.
That she just goes along with being told…

So, in my eyes, meeting a potential client or group of people for the first time…
Questions are the most powerful tool that we have.

in fact, I believe that…
There is no presentation you can devise that is as piercing and memorable and attractive as the power of a well-crafted and timely question.

Remember that… the next time you’re thinking of trying to convince someone of “The Brilliance of What We Do Here”