What does “performance” actually mean within the context of storytelling and communication? “My presentation is on Monday, and I haven’t had time to even write the draft.” It’s an SOS call, a leader based in Vietnam, working in a large industrial manufacturer. Internal summit next week. My first impulse: this “haven’t written the draft” comment catches my attention. She doesn’t have time to do that. Moreover, she doesn’t need it. It'll actually be counter-productive. She has the focus points, a general sense of where she wants to go. "Now is the time to get on your feet and live this thing out. It’s time to PERFORM, in order to accelerate yourself toward completion." Performance? It’s an intersection. It’s where content, stored in our mind, meets the potential of the human being to actually TRANSMIT it, using our total instrument: impulse, heart, body, voice, feeling. This leader was thinking of performance only as the Final Act in this process, the moment on stage in front of that audience. Performance opens the aperture for us, connecting us to what’s alive, enabling us to discover what’s truly meaningful… and what can and must
be jettisoned. This widened aperture and discovery actually saves us time. “You are LIVING in this topic,” I told her. “You have your focus points. Now you need to tap into two human ingredients: Trust and courage. Trust your instincts and impulses, in real time, on your feet. They’ll guide you and be your best coach and editor. And when you want to quit, when you get scared like we all do, when you crave distraction, call on courage and don’t quit. Remind yourself that in this room, in this moment, there’s a human willing to be vulnerable, believe in her topic, and express herself. Not many people are doing what she’s doing right now. It’s a reason to stand tall and journey on.” Performance is the intersection between the content and our human expressive potential. It's always available, right there for us. SOS call from Hanoi over, a leader ready to move.