For 36 years, before I start speaking on stage, I’ve said the phrase ‘For Them’ over and over to make it clear to every cell in my body that the up-coming presentation is not about me. It is, I thought, for them.
It is so much a part of me that ‘forthem’ it was even my password on my Mac. And I’d even written part of a book ‘Better Business, Better Life, Better World’ about it.
Saying ‘For Them’ got me centred; it got me thinking about others. It got me focused on the audience and making them the hero. And sometimes it even formed part of the opening story of the presentation.
But 3 weeks ago it all changed.
I watched a short 3-minute Danish film. It’s a powerful film about acceptance, about diversity and the simple fact that we all are one.
And instantly I changed my mantra. It’s no longer ‘For Them, For Them, For Them, For Them’.
Now, it’s ‘for us, for us, for us, for us.’
It feels SO much better too. Somehow it’s not me isolated from ‘them’. Somehow it’s not putting me above ‘them’ (I never realized that could have been an outcome.)
I realized that I’m part of the learning that’s going on doing the presentation. I’m seeing and hearing reactions. I’m constantly learning at every moment.
So now it is very much about and for us. Not me above the audience, but me with the audience.
Again, it feels so much better. And yes, I’ve changed my password too!