Perfect Pitch @ The Pod
I entered late, a dishevelled mass of rushed energy and parking problems, my poise and composure trailing some way behind me. Feeling far from my most elegant, I was both comforted and intimidated by the heart and beauty I saw in each woman that my nervous eyes rested on.
This beauty was amplified by the stunning venue, ‘The Pod’, designed and built by impressive feminine ground shaker Brett Torossi (fabulous name), floating above the city of Hobart like some kind of impossible angelic ark; complete with heavenly view.
We were a small and pleasantly diverse party of writers, mothers, students, university employees and more, all there for the same thing: to simply learn how to better speak and present.
Hosted by the gorgeously accomplished and energetic Dr Natasha Cica of kapacity.org, and lightly grounded speech pathologist Rosalie Martin (a rare combination of personal qualities I admire), this workshop was not what I had expected. At all. In any, single way.
Having been generously invited to participate via my work with the local Tasmanian Aboriginal community, I have to confess I had visions of the usual “stand here, say this, talk now, don’t talk now”, stage-between-us, standard presentation lecture. Having worked hard to escape from the corporate mold in my life, part of me was apprehensive.
Perfect Pitch @ The Pod was none of those things. It was intimate. Subtle. Big picture ideas and simple truths tied softly together with ribbons of practical information. In a word, it was fluidly-cohesive. (Ok so I cheated a bit there, but the hyphen makes it ok.)
When the work began (deliciously!) with the reading of Emily Dickinson’s poem “Tell All The Truth”, the synchronistic reasons for my being there became clear.
I was there to learn a new way.
For two days we were plied with beautiful herbal teas and snow peas with hummus while scooping up the varied treasures shared with us by Natasha and Rosie. These included the reflection of inspiring texts, anatomy lessons on the physicality of the body and voice and the power of the genuine inner smile, lessons on stillness and pause, exercises in engagement and tips on the support of the performance process (delightfully carried off the with help of Natasha’s “unfashionable” and whimsical whiteboard diagrams).
Personal experience and anecdotes were plentiful and valuable, and generously shared. Interacting with dinner guests including Tasmania Minister for Women Jacqui Petrusma and Ruth Langford of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, as well as the warm hearted Sue and Alison was another highlight.
The circle itself had a depth and sacredness about it. It was a kind space; an interested and joyful space that was a pleasure to be immersed in. I believe a big part of this joyful dynamic was created by one of the “touchstones” implemented at the beginning;
“What is offered in the circle is by invitation, not demand… this is not a share or die event.”
Paradoxically, this was a speaking and presenting workshop where no speaking was required, unless willingly offered.
This in itself demonstrated the essential message we were there to hear – that authenticity in speech and the way we choose to show up in the world is actually the point. Not how I stand. Not what I wear or weigh. Not even what is historically and socially expected of me. Rather, it’s what I want for myself (in the greater context of what I want for others) that is my point of power. And what a point of power it truly is.
As you can see, I could go on for pages. But I believe you take my point – that this workshop is something I highly recommend for a new “slant” (thank you Emily Dickinson) on what speaking and presenting is and how to approach it authentically.
As a woman seeking her ever-changing voice I am left with a sense of strength and trust in my own process, peppered with relief from the constant battle to conform.
And for that, I am most grateful.
Note: I am crossing all my bits that this, or something like it, be offered again later this year. If you would like me to keep you in the loop please connect with me in the comments below.
Crystal Davis, travel loving writer & entrepreneur, busy turning dreams into stories.