Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Presentation Challenges

Yesterday, we did a modified version of our “Welcome to Ouagadougou!” presentation for the Northern Lights Seniors group that meets once a month at Glenwood Chapel in Port Carling, ON. Someone who had seen our presentation at Calvary Baptist Church in Gravenhurst at the beginning of April recommended us to the group. We often get invited to speak at various groups like this because, unlike most churches, they’re always on the lookout for new speakers and presenters. Some people might say that we’re just providing local entertainment in such cases, but we consider them as opportunities!

The leader of the group wanted us to do as much of our presentation as possible, but was concerned that the full two hours would be too long for them. Normally, the seniors first all had lunch together, and then had the special speaker or presenter do their thing. But you know what happens to people after they’ve eaten a good lunch, don’t you? That’s right! They tend to get sleepy and doze off!

I offered to shorten our presentation, but the seniors group leader came up with a better idea: split the presentation around lunch! In other words, do half of it before lunch and the other half after lunch. It meant changing the normal procedure of things and starting their program earlier than usual, but it worked wonderfully!

Nevertheless, we did make some modifications to our presentation in order to better relate it to the age and life-stage of our audience. This is a constant challenge we face: making our presentations relevant to our audiences.

In July, we’ve been asked to give a presentation to the PROBUS Club in Bracebridge. PROBUS stands for “Pro(fessional) and Bus(iness)” and is a club for… well, retired professional and business people! It’s sponsored by the Rotary Club and consists primarily of people who were formerly members of Rotary. Most of these folks would not call themselves Christians and thus would find it difficult to understand what we’re doing from such a perspective. So we’ll be presenting our work in a slightly different way, a way that will make more sense to them in terms of where they’re coming from.

Constantly modifying our presentations to suit our audiences, as well as respecting the venue and time limitations, keeps us on our toes. It also helps us keep the material fresh in our own minds. Thank God for that! Lack of fresh input is what makes both water and people stagnant. These monthly meetings with special speakers was one method that the Northern Lights Seniors used to get fresh input in their lives and keep from going stagnant. We’re glad that we had the chance to provide it for them this time.

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