Saturday Evening Post #133 :Bell Like

I had the opportunity the other day to go to a presentation by an acquaintance, (not a close friend).  It was among her first out-in-the-open, in front of people, speaking assignments.

It has been said that if asked to speak in front of people, over 70% will say, “No, not me, I’d die if I had to  speak in public.”  I once saw that equated to the fact that at a funeral 7 out of 10 would rather be IN the coffin than, delivering the Eulogy. 🙂

With the inevitable, pauses, loss of thought chain, mixed up notes, nervous hair rearranging and the odd apology, she kept going and the ‘ordeal’ was over.
And do you know what? She’ll get better.
In a couple of years, should she have to speak to the same group, it will be a fully polished professional presentation. Full of confidence, because apart from the learning, she believes in the topic at hand. So much that the struggles will be forgotten—not erased, just no longer daunting.  The one thing we took away was her sincerity.

It has also been said, and attributed to several sources, that

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”,

Some sources wrongly attributing Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching add.

“When  the student is Fully ready, the teacher will disappear.’

And so for my new-speaking friend, the struggle to hold an audience will disappear and the message will be bright, clear and unhindered. How cool is that.

As I sat listening, I was drawn to the idea that no matter the art form, and photography is one such form, we want to uncover the techniques, the knowledge, and the craft, that will best resonate with our vision.
So we search.

And our experiences strike us, (as Deng Ming Dao says, “… like a stick hitting a bell and we learn about ourselves.”), like an experiment.  Education comes from the results of that experiment.

With so many creative photographic possibilities, it’s always an adventure behind the camera. Each experiment holds a chance to hear the clear ring of the bell.

Keep takin’ pictures.  We do.

8 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #133 :Bell Like

  1. A lovely post, and I do like your Great Cormorant on a mission.

    It is daunting to give a presentation, even when you know that the audience is sympathetic and friendly. I gave one to my Field Nats last month on Bird Colouration, ie how they get the various colours in feathers, skin etc. It’s a fascinating topic and I think I did it reasonably well, but I wish I had done it more smoothly. I had typed notes, but found myself holding a mike rather than wearing one (COVID H&S), so I bumbled around a bit with the paper. I should have put it on my iPad! A learning for next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said David! IMHO confident public speaking comes naturally once one believes that the subject is more important than oneself. Education, knowledge and experience are the building blocks of confidence – yet by themselves may not always be enough to overcome embarrassment or self-consciousness. Wether it is through a through a belief in the subject or a passion for the art, it is the subject or art that is important – not the speaker. The speaker will grow to own the subject – and then the room.

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    1. G’;dauy Rowan, I’m certain brain surgery is a snap after 25 years of practice. Think its why I’ve never found a “”Dummies Do it at Home on the Kitchen Table, Brain Surgery” book. 🙂
      At the end of the day, no matter how confident the speaker becomes, it they overlook the needs of the audience, they will simply vote with their feet.
      Fascinating subject really

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  3. Over the years I have watched, from safely behind the sound desk, many public speakers begin their journey. And have been able to follow some as they became more confident. Experience and education that allows someone to step out of ‘the formula’ seems to have the ability to allow people to grow in any field. Knowing the ‘rules’ but being prepared to go outside those boundaries to attain the goal only comes through said experience and education, along with an enthusiasm for the subject will bring the results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And just as much skill working out mic placement, staging and lighting. Hours behind the desk getting the right mixer settings and being able to place the speakers, and all of the other things down to tidying up the cables is also a wonderful thing when done with enthusiasm and knowledge. Keep it up.

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  4. Yes we all grow with experience David, if we never brave it and step out we never accomplish that which we feared impossible. When I first started photography I did not know much, but over the years and many good and nor so good photos I learnt what works best when and where, but I had to take a lot of not so goods to learn. As Adam Osborne said ” The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake, you can’t learn anything from being perfect.” As with public speaking, when we focus on the subject at hand, research it and build on our experiences and not allow fear and past failures we can achieve a better outcome each time. Enjoy the week ahead !

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  5. Your thoughts and observations on public speaking are true and insightful. I admit I’m glad I don’t have to do it anymore, especially on subjects that are not particularly close to my real interests. I prefer to concentrate on photography and some less popular skills I still strive to improve.
    Your image of flying cormorant just shows how creative one can be when the creativity is backed by solid knowledge and (yes!) the years of experience in experimenting and breaking the rules. I love the movement you paint with light and exposure time.

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