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“As you know, transitions are not easy.” Maria Shriver

I don’t know much about Maria and Arnold, but I absolutely read this top story in the news this week.  Sometimes celebrities fall apart and the train wreck inspires serious voyeurism. Sometimes, a statement like this inspires an unexpected train of thought. Ms. Shriver’s quote continues as follows, “It’s so stressful to not know what you’re doing next. People ask you what are you doing and then they can’t believe that you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Her honesty and candor struck me. Transitions are really hard, and disorienting. Who can’t relate? After all, while most of us gave up our childhood blankie, we still have “transitional” objects to support us through those disconnected feelings in our hours and days. Watch people and notice how much cell phones, gadgetry, and all the social media entertainments are being used as transitional objects. And believe me, I am no exception.

Of course, not all transitions are not created equally.  But, her comment resonated for me because I spend so much of my coaching time helping speakers move through the shadows of speaking transitions. PowerPoint seriously exaggerates the issue because when you move your audience visually through a deck, connecting the dots can be awkward and apparent. Point A and Point B are clear in your mind, but getting from one to the other is a challenging bridge to cross for yourself and for your audience.

I have come to love these open spaces. Links and connection possibilities. Digging into these shadows is where we smooth and grease the wheels of the presentation and where the form of ideas begin to take shape as a whole. We lean into it and from there find your presentation flow. It’s tremendously rewarding.

I think Maria Shriver was brave and truthful and I hope she and her husband take the time they need to lean in, reorient and move forward.

Charlotte

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