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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0015 | August 21, 2001
5,200 subscribers

Presence and Presenting Skill

Be Your Material
Your "message" is far more than the material you present.


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The Point?

Once long ago, when asked by a reporter if he had a message he wanted the world to hear, Gandhi replied, "My life is my message."

Whether we like it or not, this statement is just as true for you and me today as it was for Gandhi then. Our "presence" that we express is far richer and truer than what we say in words. So when we "present" our material to a group we are facilitating or training, what we're really presenting is ourselves. Our deepest, thoughts, feelings, fears, hopes, and aspirations come through as an unspoken wave of information that others pick up at a level often below their conscious awareness. Yet this material influences others more powerfully than mere words. So in a sense, you are your material, and your life is your message!


So what if you don't know who you are and you just want to present something your audience has asked for, or that you want them to hear. And you figure that you'll impress them by having all your data in order and your presentation impeccably organized and you're just humming along right on track and on schedule--a presenter delivered from God! You can see the audience is listening respectfully to what you have to say. And your presentation is clicking like a fine-tuned machine. Then someone asks you a question and you spontaneously find yourself reminded of a real life experience from your past, and you begin to reveal it as if you were there again--unplanned, unbidden, unprepared, but entirely relevant. When you complete your story and remember where you are, you look around and see that the audience is hanging on your every word as if you had touched their souls. They "see" you as you are--a real live human being just like them and they are "with" you. Many of them show up after the meeting and want to share their stories with you. They want to ask you questions. They know you and they trust you. You've delivered your message loud and clear.


The next time you have the opportunity to facilitate or even participate in a group, take a chance and share yourself at a level beyond your "agenda." Share a personal story or experience or an honest response at an emotional level to what someone else has shared. Notice how this changes the dynamic. I'm interested in hearing about your experience. Please email me your thoughts, stories, and experiences on this issue.

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Reader Survey 
What Are YOU Up To?
As we evolve this journal and our website, we are looking for new ways to provide helpful resources and information to our readers. To that end, it would help us to know the focus of your interest and/or efforts in facilitation. Please take a second and select the facilitation category that most closely matches your interest in facilitation. Then simply click on the link and press send. The subject will contain the category automatically. If you'd like to say a few words about what more we can be offering to support you, that would be even better! Thanks very much for your time. 

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Interactive Forum
Creating Dialogue With Our Readers
In an effort to stimulate discussion on facilitation tips, tools, and processes that are relevant to your interests, we'd like to hear from you. Please post your answers to the questions at on our interactive forum to stimulate discussion on these topics, or simply send me your feedback and I'll post it here or at the forum. Here is some recent feedback  from one of our readers:

Steve, on the theme "Be Here Now," I have discovered another excellent resource you might let people know. "The Power of Now" by Echkart Tolle (ISBN 0-9682364-0-5), published by Namaste Publishing Inc. out of Vancouver, Canada is great. He provides exercises and meditations to help us be fully present. It's a wonderful resource.

Debbie Kemp, Coach and Organization Consultant.

Please email your questions and input to Thanks. We look forward to hearing from you.

If you know someone who might benefit and enjoy this newsletter, please send this link to a friend.  

About the Author: 
Steve Davis is a Business and Life Coach facilitating others to stretch beyond their full potential in their business and personal lives. Please email your stories, comments, suggestions, and ideas. I'd love to hear from you. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends. Thanks for reading! 

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Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on August 28, 2001. 

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