Presenting the humble ukulele: Jake Shimabukuro wows TEDxTokyo
Asymmetry and emptiness: lessons from the tearoom

We are the stories we tell ourselves

Roz_savage I wanted to point you to this short TED talk below for two reasons: (1) It's a pretty good example of delivery while displaying visuals on a monitor, and more importantly, (2) the content will be inspiring to many of you, and especially to those who may be stuck or looking to make a change in their life (but are a bit scared). In many ways, this presentation by Roz Savage is a good follow-up to the last post. Jake Shimabukuro (see below) excels by far surpassing other people's expectations for his instrument. And Roz Savage speaks to the idea (among other things) of pushing through our fears to far surpass our (old) expectations for ourselves.

Presenting with a flat panel display
Roz_preso The monitor behind Roz Savage was not very large, but big enough for smaller venues. It's been common for quite some time for some schools and corporations to install large flat panel displays in presentation/meeting rooms. Even 7-8 years ago I was using monitors like this mounted on walls to project images and video in Japan. The advantage is you can keep the lights on in the room as the ambient light does not washout the screen as much as when using a projector. Also, you can (and should) stand very close to the screen without having to worry about blocking the light from a projector. I would have liked Roz to use more visuals when she was covering her FAQ section as actual photos of the food she ate on board, her bed and how she slept, etc. would have been informative. On the other hand, her point in this talk was more about the meaning of the journey rather than the nitty-gritty of the daily routine of of her rowing. What I especially liked was how she kept her shoulders facing the audience and hardly ever took her eyes off the crowd seated around her.

Roz does an excellent job of keeping her eyes on the audience while also displaying images at times in sync with her talk.
This image clearly shows how big the Pacific actually is.

You can change your story
In many ways, we are what we believe ourselves to be. There is a lot of truth in the notion that "we are the stories we tell ourselves." Sometimes the story — that inner dialog — is not always a positive one. For many of us, the story is in fact a limiting one, a story of "playing it safe" or of accepting "mediocrity" out of fear of something even worse: unemployment for example. For others the story is even less inspiring, a story of self-doubt, insecurity, and low expectations. But we need not be married to our stories. Our past need not dictate our present or our future. Now, the point is not that we all should drop what we're doing and row across the oceans of the world. I look at Roz's example as more of a metaphor for the rest of us. Some people you know — maybe even you — are having thoughts similar to this: "I feel like there is a purpose in this life — I do not know what it is, but I'm pretty sure it's not ________ (current job, school, etc.)! If so, maybe Roz's story can inspire you to make a change, to create a new life rather than waiting for it to come to you.

A lesson from the Samurai
As I mentioned before, last week I was at TEDxTokyo. One talk I really enjoyed was this 8-minute talk by actor, comedian and host of "I survived a Japanese Game Show" Rome Kanda. This clip below comes at the end after his joking around where he makes a very serious point about taking a lesson from the code of the samurai. Again, here the point is not to take the way of the samuri literally. What Rome is talking about is finding a purpose that is greater than yourself, one that you can dedicate your life to. Of course, our families and especially our children give us some sense of purpose, but going beyond that, it is a lucky man or woman indeed who can work at something that is not just a job but a cause. Not just a paycheck but a calling.



Thank you. I think we all need to ear that kind of mantras again and again, real people, real stories that we can identify with. At least I do. I am facing that "make(made) a decision" hurricane with all its ups and downs. And yes, I'm supported by the ones who love me and care about me, but also by all these stories. She's right and this is one more mantra for me that goes in the same direction of inner determination : We need to create our own future, we can't wait passively for hapiness to come and find us.


Thank you very much for posting this talks!

"this 8-minutes talks" links doesn't work...
but I saw the short version and it's really inspiring,
it's remins me the "Ikigai" word:
"the reason for wich you wake up every morning"
(by the way, that post was also very good" )

thank you again!

Jonathan Thomas


You're absolutely right about how we perceive ourselves to be and how it need not dictate what our future holds.

It was your blog/book/presentations that changed my life, motivating me to embrace the art of presentation design, from authoring a blog to eventually starting my own consultancy and meeting you in person at Presentation//Reboot. It also started me down the road of social media and into my current (full-time) job.

I didn't know exactly where my career was going, but I knew I was talented enough to take it somewhere, and when I found that "somewhere" I embraced it wholeheartedly.

It's actually crazy to think that 18-year old children are asked to decide what their "major" should be, and ultimately what they think their career will be. Usually you only find out what you DON'T want to do. But I digress...

I have yet to watch the videos but I certainly will. Thanks for everything Garr.

PS - You have a lot of spam comments going here. Hopefully you can sift through the mess.

Jon Thomas
Presentation Advisors

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