Have you ever marveled at the performances of famous orators and world leaders, making fantastic speeches that exhort the audience into action and inspire them to no end? Have you wondered at the brilliant oration, the voice modulation, the jokes at the right time, the pauses, the very fact that they remember their lines?
First, they do have great skills. Every single great orator has worked on their skills very deliberately. With the help of the internet, you can dig up old speeches of almost every leader and you’ll see how much they have grown as orators.
But there’s another secret that you usually don’t see when you watch them on TV – the teleprompter. These speakers don’t read out from the text on the prompter (that would result in a very dull, boring speech). They use it to ensure they cover everything that they wanted to.
According to Wikipedia, a prompter (or prompt) in a theatre is a person who prompts or cues actors when they forget their lines or neglect to move on the stage to where they are supposed to be situated. Now the responsibility of the prompts has been taken over by the Stage Manager.
Prompting is very important during rehearsals and many a time, it saves the day during the live performance as well. Aren’t the actors good enough to remember their lines? No. There are just so many things going on, on stage that it’s natural for the actor to forget lines. Does it make the actor an inferior one? Definitely not. It’s simply a part of better preparation.
Of course, the stage manager doesn’t take over the actor’s role on stage when she forgets her lines. The actor is still the one doing all the hard-work and rightly gets the plaudits at the end of the show but the whole unit understands the importance of the stage manager and the actors acknowledge the fact that they can go about their job confidently because they know the stage manager will do theirs!
If all the world’s a stage, who’s your prompter?
A smart person like you has a sense of what is good for you and will benefit you in the short, medium and long-term. So you know your lines.
What’s usually missing is the prompter. So where is the person who is...
- ...reminding you of things you ought to be doing but haven’t done in a long time?
- ...asking you the tough questions?
- ...asking you about the good habits you always wanted to develop, but slipped up on?
A question like this serves multiple purposes:
- It helps you crystallize and articulate what you have learned in the last six months. Doing that helps in reinforcing the learning and converting it into action.
- It also spurs you to take action and put in effort to learn the things you had planned for, but somehow didn’t get around to doing it.
- Sometimes, this question also makes you add newer things to your ‘to-learn’ list.
So who’s your prompter? Who’s pointing to your blind-spots? Who’s helping you reflect upon your life and the direction it’s taking? Have you set aside dedicated time to do this?
Just as you have a gym/physical trainer/program/yoga/daily walk to keep your physical health on track, you need something or someone to keep your personal and professional growth on track.
Pause at Yellow is that prompter for your personal and professional growth. When you receive daily reflective questions, it’s a trigger to pause and you try to answer them. At times, they spur you into action and at other times, they reveal a blind-spot. From personal experience, they can also lead to some disappointment ("Oh! Why haven’t I acted on this? I had decided to do it almost a year ago!") but soon you realize that taking action is the only way to get rid of that disappointment and off you go!
So go ahead and subscribe to Pause at Yellow now. There’s a life-time subscription option available, which may not be around for too long.