Monday, November 1, 2010
The ability to present the key points of an idea inside of 60 seconds basically depends on the idea itself.
When the idea is an entire organization concept that has inspired nucleos serving hundred of thousands of children (if not millions when you open up the numbers to non-Venezuelan El Sistema inspired programs)... The task seems somewhat impossible.
At the same time, I've found that an equally valuable skill is instantaneously and continuously evaluating the audience's face (or faces). Reading their poker face if you will. How did their expression change when certain words were spoken? Do those words have any underlying implications? Could you see something light up in their eyes when you talked about children, or under-served populations, or community empowerment, or orchestral music, or free? Was there ANY response at all?
The truth of the matter is that El Sistema encompasses so many powerful elements that I have met VERY few people who don't seemed enticed by at least ONE aspect of the program.
While I believe reducing El Sistema to it's core elements is incredibly important for starting an organization, I am finding it equally valuable to always be aware of the real time adjustments that may need to be made to cater to the audiences' interests.
The fact that there is no prior preparation to speak to a random person you meet on the street, at an airport, at the market, or an elevator makes this "blink" experience all the more valuable.