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Compass of tourists on mountain at sunset sky.

This past week, while in Oahu for OneAmerica, we were fascinated by the roots of the Hawaiian culture. Ancient mariners made their way from Polynesia, and before that SE Asia and China. The sailors had sophisticated instruments, but also counted on close observation of winds, waves, and the flight patterns of birds. They memorized the location of islands through oral tradition, using the lyrics of songs and stories. Interestingly enough, they were far more skilled than European sailors.

As we watched bathers on Waikiki beach, we wondered if they knew that Tokyo is 3,861 miles to the West, or San Francisco is 2,396 miles to the East-- and what it took to get here before airline travel.

Speakers also have to navigate through a variety of audiences. It behooves us to map a plan before we 'set sail', based on careful consideration of where we want to end up. We also need to observe how audiences respond, so if necessary, we can change course in the middle of a presentation. Like the Hawaiians, sing or dance your talk to rehearse. It will make you smile. And if you include stories, you and the audience will most likely remember your presentation. Mahalo.

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