Photo Credit: Betty Stone Photography

It’s Been Three Long Years
since I last attended my beloved Beantown, a week-long swing dance camp focused on Lindy Hop. Sweaty, high-energy, up-close and personal couples dancing sure hasn’t been on my agenda during COVID.

Is It Worth It?
I did a little risk/reward analysis when Beantown announced they would open again this summer. Risk? I get COVID. Reward? I feed my soul with what gives me the greatest joy: dancing. It helped that they mandated indoor masking at all times.

Your Through-Line
I like to believe that we all have something: a hobby, an interest, a curiosity, a talent, a pursuit that is a through-line in our lives. We may not always actively engage with it, but it’s there for us when we’re ready. And it’s central to who we are. It makes us feel good.

Starting At Age Five
I took ballet lessons every Saturday morning in my elementary school gymnasium in Montreal. Today, I’m involved with the swing dance community in Boston and beyond. During the decades between these two touchpoints, dance moved in and out of my life. Sometimes, I lost the beat and forgot what I needed.

These Harsh Times
we’re in are hard on the soul. It’s easy to give in to depression and disillusionment. I believe there is power in remembering what fuels us and tapping into that through-line. Think of it as a life source that renews our energy. Aha! Now I remember why this feels so good.

Here’s the Parallel
with your presentations. There’s a through-line that runs, literally, through your presentation from top (your opening) to bottom (your close). Everything you say should hook onto this line. It is your guide to keep you on track. The through-line is your focus, your theme, your point, your objective.

And It Creates Forward Momentum
which is great, and too often missing from the average presentation. Please don’t be that speaker who wanders in the desert of extraneous verbiage, looking for your point. When you know where you’re going, so does your audience. And that is an immensely satisfying feeling for your listeners. You might even say it’s joyful!

Find A Little Joy
for yourself and spread it around. Audiences are all hungry for positive energy. Stay focused as best you can, know why you’re saying what you’re saying and use your through-line to make your point. Sooner as opposed to later.

You can do this!

PS: Here’s a diagram to help you visualize the through-line of a presentation. I call it the Diamond Visual Communication Flow. Enjoy!

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