Recently, I gave my first international presentation on life design. This was a new experience for me and I learned a lot. This post takes you through 5 takeaways from my first international presentation on life design.
5 Takeaways From My First International Presentation on Life Design
1. Accepting Where We Are All At
I was honored to be invited by the Sri Krishna Adithya College of Arts and Sciences (Coimbatore, India) to give a virtual talk about life design to their second year English and Psychology students.
All their students were home due to COVID-19. In accepting the talk invitation, I also needed to accept that I would have to adjust my presentation.
With a day and a half to prepare, varying technology situations, and 40+ attendees – my usual interactive presentation would not be possible.
And that was okay.
We all were meeting each other where we were at.
2. Defining Life Design Terms
While life design is a major part of my work, it’s still a new idea and framework to most of the world. Some of the terms my colleagues and I use frequently use, might not make sense outside the life design bubble.
During my presentation, I was intentional about defining the life design terms that we most often use in our work. This took a lot of time; however, it was crucial in order to give my audience the foundational knowledge about life design that they were seeking.
3. Connecting Concepts
In addition to defining life design terms, I made a point to show how life design concepts connected with one another.
The life design process is often displayed in sequential steps, but it’s a non-linear iterative process. I did my best to convey that in the talk.
4. Intertwining Personal Examples
Sometimes I feel a bit awkward talking about myself. However, doing so helped my presentation in two ways:
- Relate to my audience through storytelling
- Ground abstract ideas to make them more understandable
Based on the feedback from students, they appreciated it.
5. Gratitude Goes Both Ways
The students at Sri Krishna Adithya College of Arts and Sciences expressed their gratitude through a series of messages to their instructors, which was then forwarded to me. I really appreciated it and it meant a lot.
Their appreciation was also met by mine. I was grateful for the opportunity to reach a major professional milestone in my journey as a life design educator. I appreciated their invitation, interest, and flexibility.
From getting the invitation to presenting – this was a whirlwind experience.
I learned a lot about presenting life design in an international setting. For the most part, there were a lot of similarities to presenting to audiences in the US that were unfamiliar with life design.
In tandem with the 5 takeaways, I found it important to package stories and examples in a way that was relatable to my audience. For example, when referencing social media, I mentioned platforms they used or that we both used.
I’m fortunate to have an existing connection to India. If I was speaking to an audience that I was less familiar with, I would make sure to do my research.
Speaking about life design and sharing my work with an international audience was a great experience and an important professional moment for me as a life design educator.
What are your lessons from presenting to new audiences? Let me know in the comments.