Monday, 12 January 2009

All that jazz



I love Jazz, and when you think of freedom, spontaneity and creativity, then it doesn't get much better. But, when we think of activities that might stifle our creativity and openness, then I'm sure I'm not alone and too far away from this when I mention presentations (which is a skill I'm working on!).

Presentation Zen have recently posted a great blog on the similarities between Jazz and presentations, and highlight 21 points to take from it. Check out the Blog here http://www.presentationzen.com

1. In structure there is freedom and spontaneity.
2. Restraints and limitations can be great liberators.
3. Don't ever force it; be ever natural.
4. Good intentions are key. Sincerity is king, and yet...
5. It's not about you.
6. Listen more than speak.
7. Speak only when you have something to say, and then in the most economic way possible.
8. Your approach can be direct and subtle at the same time.
9. Fear is natural (and human), but work through it and past it. Don't let fear hold you back.
10. Mistakes are part of it (do not worrying about them).
11. Embrace the power of now, this moment.
12. Technique matters, but it's not the most important element.
13. Make no pretenses; put up no facades.
14. Laugh, smile if you feel like it — why not?
15. Share yourself with others; make a contribution.
16. Simplicity is supremely beautiful, yet difficult to obtain.
17. Emptiness and silence are powerful elements of expression.
18. Remove the clutter, strive for absolute clarity.
19. If you think you have mastered it, you've have already begun your descent.
20. Always be learning. Always be learning. Always be learning.
21. Curiosity is your greatest gift, nurture it (in yourself and in others)

Its tough to remember all of these, but the greats wouldn't be great without them.

Freddie Hubbard 1928 - 2008 (Pictured)

Some Jazz recommendations:

'Loud...Louder...Stop!' - The Neil Cowley Trio.
'Knee-deep in the North Sea' - Portico Quartet.

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