How to be spontaneous in meetings and presentations

When I work with design professionals on their approach to communication, something they often want to be is ‘more spontaneous.’ They want to be able to contribute and to notice opportunities to contribute. They wonder how they can be more attuned to the moment.

I was prompted to think about this recently whilst running and seeing the first signs of Spring in an amazing display of blooms in my local park. They seemed to leap up out of the ground almost spontaneously. One day they weren’t there. The next day, they were.

But of course, that’s not how it happened.

Their appearance is the result of human planning, thought, effort. And all of this happens well before the sunny, optimistic and impactful splash of colour bursts through to say hello.

Whoever planted the bulbs could see this.

They could imagine in advance what they were creating. They had to. Because when they planted them, and reviewed their work, all they would be looking at would be green grass. It was their ability to imagine the future that spurred them on.

What has this got to do with spontaneity in meetings and presentations?

One way to work on your spontaneity is to paying more attention to how you plan and practise for these moments. Small changes to your routine in these areas will often have a significant impact, enabling you to be more spontaneous.

You see, there’s a paradox about spontaneity. It appears to be instantaneous. However, in order to be spontaneous, you have to plan to be. Just as the bulbs that come up in the Spring are planted earlier, you have to plant the seeds of your spontaneity to have them emerge into the light as positive and exciting contributions at the right moment.

Here are some questions you could ask yourself in order to increase your potential for spontaneity:
  • How do I plant for spontaneity at the moment?
  • What do I need to add to my preparation routine to enable me to be more spontaneous?
  • What one thing will I do each and every day to know that I am planting for the future?
  • What will I hear, see and feel to know that my planting has bloomed?

Happy planting!

What has been your most memorable experience of spontaneity? When you look back, how did you create it?

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