"Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it and give birth to it." - Meister Eckhart

28 April 2015

Day 24 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge: X is for X marks the spot

X is for X marks the spot

Back when I was a boy, I loved stories about pirates and buccaneers and I particularly loved their treasure maps. Any book that had an illustration of one was longingly pored over as I imagined discovering the fabled spot where their hidden jewels and bullion could be found.

When I was older and started performing with bands, stage hands often marked an X on the stage with chalk or gaffer tape indicating where they wanted me to stand, particularly if the event was being filmed. And, occasionally, I’ve come across this technique when delivering a public talk on stage. Just stand on the X and everyone will hear and see you, I was told. Of course, I might have started on the X but I inevitably wandered around.

However, I’ve since adopted the technique in my StoryCoaching in the sense that I encourage storytellers and public speakers to imagine an X on the stage to mark the centre of your performance space. I urge them to claim that space, make it theirs. Find a way to “stand your ground” and make it a place where the story can come into being. You don’t have to stay rooted to it, but I believe it can add to your confidence to begin with a centring spot, a place that grounds you before you begin your story or speech.

No matter where I’ve had to perform—in a classroom, on the street, or in a corporate boardroom—I will imagine that X as part of my pre-storytelling ritual. Creating a space from which to deliver, a space into which I invite my audience, figuratively, of course. In my work, X marks the spot of “storied treasure.”

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Kamink: the little boy who grew into a giant of a man

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