On Thursday afternoon October 23rd some Headwaters volunteers and some Trainees in Waiting got a real treat – both literally and figuratively! Gail guided seven of us on a trip to “you can do it” land. Headwaters volunteers from two different cohorts: Sandy Greene, Judy Tammi, Ann Murray and RoxAnna Theiss were joined by Trainees in Waiting: Kathy Byers, Byron Hukee and Elaine Smith on an adventure to learn the passionate nature of presentations.
Gail’s teaching style is structured but easy going. Encouraging and chock full of “why didn’t I think of that?” pointers and “this makes soooo much sense” take aways, the workshop did more than give each of us a three minute presentation of our own – it gave us each other.
Gail has developed her own “Ask, don’t Tell” method. She taught us about invitational posture, posture’s relationship to “stage fright” and active participation. She led us through the logic of her ASK method:
Attention: Invite your audience to listen – without telling them, give them a reason to pay attention
Specifics: Your research supports what you intend for them to do, feel or want from your presentation
Keeper: Your message in one thought – this is what they will remember and walk away with
Gail breaks the process into three’s. Her workshop is in three parts. She teaches you to structure your 3- minute in three parts (and each of your three parts can have three parts). Gail believes in the power of threes! She also believes in “goodies”. We got lots of goodies: write on tools, write with tools and take it with you tools. And we each got our own really cool take away pocket!
We didn’t have the time you would need to take for a lot of practice, but practice you must if you want your passion to flow. We did our first practice run on each other after our break of treats and beverages (like I said – lots of goodies) and it was amazing! Just as a sample: Judy was on her knees with passion about Saw Whet Owl banding, Sandy’s passion was about alternative energy, Ann’s passion was farming, Kathy’s passion was about making environmentalism “cool” for youth, Elaine was passionate about gardening with natives and Byron belted out passion for the Condor!
When you talk about something that is your passion you are very close to your most true self and that grabs attention. We all took that journey together with eye opening results. If we can talk Gail into doing this again for Headwaters, you all need to take this trip!
BTW – RoxAnna was passionate about making a difference by volunteering with the Virginia Master Naturalist Program and Headwaters!
– RoxAnna, November 2014