The creative process is at times, about holding on tight to your ideas. Other times, it’s about letting go of them.
When do you let go?
When do you hold tight?
Today I was working with a client who is going to be giving a keynote presentation at an internatinal conference tomorrow. He is understandably
nervous excited (word choice matters!) to be speaking in front of 500 peers from his industry.
During a rehearsal, I noticed he added some new points to the talk and he didn’t feel sure about them. He really wanted to give this new information, but he hadn’t embodied it yet.
Embodied or not embodied Message
If you have to look at your notes to explain something during a ‘relaxing’ rehearsal, you can be sure that during an ‘exciting’ talk in front of 500 people you won’t be able to convey this information convincingly. When the message you want to share is embodied, metaphorically speaking – you and your message are one. Similar to this quote from William Butler Yeats:
“How can we know the dancer from the dance?”
The message is such a part of what you know and believe that you can simply talk to the audience and don’t have to refer to any notes.
If you haven’t reach this embodied stage with your information, I recommend that you LET GO of this part of your talk and save it for a later talk when the material feels more ripe.
My client had a wide repertory of other experiences and knowledge he could share with the audience. Even without this new information, he had a lot to share with his audience. Once he left go of trying to teach the audience something new, and began to share his own valuable life experience and knoweldge – the speech began to flow again.
Ideas are not wrong or right.
As the speech coach I also had to learn to let go. My client completely changed the ‘wonderful’ concept and structure I had worked out for him. As I listened to his new version, I noticed I wasn’t listening – I was holding on tight to the first idea. I was judging the idea: the first idea is ‘better’ (mine) than this new idea (his).
Once I let go of this first idea, and began to really listen to his new speech, I began to get ideas on how to improve its clarity and stickiness. The reason I was there as a speech coach in the first place!
Trust in your own abilities to solve your problems.
My lesson learned: to truly trust that every speaker has the solution to their problem. Every speaker knows what they want to say. My job is to guide them to finding their message and to remain non-judgemental.
Take no heed to critic – yours or anyone else’s.
Sometimes you have to hold on to your ideas against all the odds. Everyone is taking the main road and you know you just got to go down this side road – then do it! Be couragous. Be creative. Turn down the volume on critic from others and your own self-sabotaging voices.
Let go of ideas from yesterday.
But other times, you may be holding on to the ideas from yesterday and these will prevent you from being open and flexible and creative to deal with the problem of today. Ideas are not right or wrong. You can’t judge an idea. YOU can only choose the idea that will best serve your purpose for that moment in time.
Dyane Neiman is the Moving Speaker: www.moving-speaker.com. She helps business professionals at all levels, who are challenged to speak in public, in English. She guides speakers to find their message and convey it with passion and persuasion that moves people to action. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Creativity and the writing process