Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Saturday 7 August 2010

For a presentation - use the Sonata form

The sonata form comprises an exhibition, a development and a recapitulation. It is the most common form of the first movement of a classical symphony, solo concert or string quartet. In the exposition the main themes or theme groups are presented, in the development the themes are elaborated, questioned and argumented. All tonal, harmonious and rythmic developments are finally resolved in the recapitulation of the main themes from the exhibition. Similarly in a presentation one should start with the two or three key messages one wants to convey to the audience. Next one should illustrate each of these messages with examples and stories preferably from one’s own experiences. One should conclude with repeating the main messages.
A colleague of mine has to give a 12-minute presentation on communicating biodiversity to consumers. The themes she choose were: ‘perception is the only reality’, ‘people change because they want to’,’ let others tell it’. We talked about developing the first theme with stories about generating attention and interest of consumer groups by changing the focus on biodiversity messages and using jargon to focusing on people’s own situation, experiences and values and using plain language. The second is to be developed by stories how change in behaviour of large groups is more successfully triggered by appealing to people’s own motives and drivers. And not by rules, penalties and prohibitions. For the third theme we thought of stories where she had used intermediaries that are most credible to consumer groups and who conveyed messages from their context that (also) benefit biodiversity. For the laggards behind finally we need strict enforcement and if that does not work we should reach out to the responsible agencies.

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