Everyone is a presenter. We all present our ideas somewhere. Whether it’s at the office or at home, we all express our thoughts to our family, friends, love ones, business associates. No matter where we make a presentation, big or small, casual or official, one to one or one to many, I have found that the best way is to communicate soul to soul.
I’ve been going to Urantia conferences, gatherings, workshops, study groups and lectures for many years. Some that I attended I truly enjoyed and some bored me stiff. The latter has been the case all too often and I have found that many others echo my observations, which is that the intent and the information may be wonderful, but the delivery often stinks!
I have also given many presentations and have done much outreach. If my presentation is boring, whatever good information I have in it will not be conveyed, as boredom tends to make the audience’s mind stray away from the topic and go to sleep. I’ve bored many a people, overly analyzing the intellectual ideas of the UB and relentlessly trying to tell people about them, until I became aware that they were tuning me out. So, I speak from experience.
In an attempt to prevent future classroom miserly and/or outreach futility, I would like to make a few suggestions; to those future would-be presenters and outreachers and also to the admin who will be vetting them into making a presentation: Please make it interesting. Please engage us. Please do more than quote from books. Make it a soul presentation, not an intellectual presentation. Talking soul to soul engages the heart and speaks to everyone. Talking mind to mind only speaks to those with similar intellects.
The UB talks of the importance of transferring our identity from the material body to the soul. Apply this concept in making your presentation. Present with soul.
Here are some examples:
In making a presentation on prayer, instead of just reading quotes about prayer from a book, actually get people to try different forms of prayer. Get them to talk about their praying experiences. Pray, not talk about prayer. Like art and music, you learn prayer by doing.
Instead of just explaining what meditation is, teach them various forms of meditation, right there and then. (I tried that once and it went very well. As a group, we chanted some mantras that we made on the spot for ten minutes, and we discussed what we felt.) Again, do it, not talk about it.
In making a presentation on returning good for evil, instead of just talking about it, demonstrate the concept by, for instance, having people in the audience casually offend each other and teach them how to change the negativity into positivity. (That should be fun!)
Even presentations that are by intent intellectual and scientific can be made so much better by putting more soul into it. As I demonstrated in a talk I did at Pato’s gathering, even the simple act of reading can be made more dynamic and engaging by putting in spirit and allowing the soul to shine.
In doing outreach, overlay the UB’s intellectual content with passion and high spiritual emotions like love, tolerance and empathy. Speak from your own experiences.
These presentations we make are a way to show the universe we learned. The UB says that we show that we learned by teaching others. If you want to teach a child how to play baseball, you don’t just read from an instruction book, you physically show them how to hold the bat, catch a ball, etc. Why should it be any different when teaching a spiritual concept?
The reason many people think they are teaching by reading from a book is that that is all they have to go on. If one does not know how to play baseball but wants to teach a kid how to play, one will resort to an instruction book. They’ll get the concepts intellectually, but won’t have the experience in their souls. Get the experience first before teaching. Try out those ideas you learned in the book in real life. Once we do this, we can imbue our audience with spiritual feelings based on our soul experiences, not just intellectual ideas from a book. Be able to present without relying on quotes. Again, use personal experiences. Learn to become aware of when you are connecting and when you are not. And do the things that connect soul to soul. Express your personality – body, mind and soul.
Yes, making presentations like this may not be easy for some. But it is fun! And very rewarding. I have found that the main beneficiary of making presentations is myself. I learn so much from the research that goes into preparation. And by focusing more on a soul presentation rather than a mindal or psychological presentation, my focus shifts from communicating intellectually to communicating soul to soul.
How to go about doing this? Think about a presentation or outreach you have done or will be doing that tends to have a lot of reading and talking. Use your imagination and think of ways to demonstrate those ideas through action. This can be done by creating a skit, having the audience participate, bringing in singers, artists, incorporate poetry, standup comedy…be creative! Have fun! That is what coming from the soul is all about!
However, please do not let these ideas discourage you out of making a presentation or doing personal outreach. As I said previously, the prime beneficiary is yourself. We can only get better if we keep trying. Just try to do it with more soul! And please follow the 11th commandment: Thou shall not be boring!