Part 1. Invention | Ask your hosts what they want

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Not long ago, I was asked to deliver a “motivational talk” to 180 sixth-formers over Zoom.

I spoke to the event organiser beforehand, the deputy head of the sixth form, Ms Elliot, and with her permission I recorded our conversation to share with you my planning process.

You may not have any plans to speak to a school. You may be giving a wedding speech, or talking about your work. That doesn’t matter. As you watch, think about a conversation you might have with your own host, and how it could help you to sharpen your sense of what’s needed.

You might even actually have that conversation!

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Postscript: Perhaps inevitably, the session threw up surprises.

Some individuals were on their phones (camera off, alas). Most were in classrooms, but sitting far from a camera and blurry, making interaction delightfully awkward.

Happily, I had the sense to name that awkwardness, and even managed to play an impro game through the internet with a teacher (thank you Mr H, hope you enjoyed your two pints of Guinness).

Having come through it alive, and not (yet) received any kind of bollocking for doing anything unspeakable, I’m happy to share this video. Thank you Ms Elliot.

PPS. I didn’t ask people to put a hand on their nose.