Being Present: A Two Minute Video Exercise

My guess is that everyone reading this blog post right now owns a cell phone. I am also guessing that many of you spend a significant amount of time on that device โ€“ checking email, participating on social media platforms, watching videos, etc. After all, mobile phones are ideal for keeping us connected to our businesses while we are on the go and to those we do not see every day. But how does it affect our being present – aware of what, and whoย is around us?

We know that we need to be present when we are in front of our audiences. ย Are we possibly missing opportunities to connect with prospects, clients, mentors, and other human beings in general? After you leave the stage and you head into the lobby or onto the elevator, is your face buried in your phone versus looking to see who is around you that you can connect with? Stop and think for a minute about how many opportunities to connect with someone in our present are missed because we are connecting with someone else on our mobile device.

How Present Are You?

I recently came across a video that got me thinking about this. It made me take an in-depth look at how often I am on my own cell phone and when and what opportunities to connect with those around me I am missing.

So, I would love to do an experiment with my community, just to see how many of you are paying attention. Take 2 minutes to watch the video clip below. I am not going to tell you what it is about โ€“ simply watch:

What do you think? Does this video resonate with you and awaken the realization that you may be missing great opportunities that arise daily in your presence?

Please share your thoughts and comments below and let me know how you think we might connect more readily to our friends, family, co-workers, clients and audiences by using the idea from this video. Perhaps you are already doing some of this. If so, could it be expanded?

Thanks for playing along!

We’ll see you soon Wealthy Speakers!

Jane Atkinson

  • Lisa R

    I find I get worse and worse with being present as I get older. Even on things that I don’t really need to be “present” for……like watching TV. Sometimes I have to rewind several times because even though I’m staring at the TV, my mind is somewhere else and I completely missed what just happened.

    I loved this video. Reminds me of the human connection that we miss because we are moving too fast and too electronically. Thank you for a reminder on this day of love! <3

    • speakerlauncher

      Lisa, I know exactly what you are talking about. I can’t tell you how often I’m watching something live and wish I had the rewind button because I wasn’t paying close enough attention! Thanks for sharing.

      • Charlene

        I find that when I am listening live – it’s not necessarily that I am not paying attention, but rather that something they have said strikes a chord and takes my mind down that path. Not necessarily a bad thing – but it does mean missing other parts of a meaningful presentation. So it is always helpful to have a recorded version when/if possible – because it happens more often than not!

        • speakerlauncher

          Well said, that happens to me all of the time. Our minds have a way of moving us down rabbit holes. But sometimes there’s gold in those holes!

  • Catharine Harned

    Great video. I’m a strong proponent of sharing food together at the table as a way of bringing people together. Let’s put our technology aside for a time and enjoy fellowship with one another.

    • speakerlauncher

      Agreed Catharine, what do you think are some ways that we speakers can do this more in business?

  • Sandy Weaver

    LOVELOVELOVE that, Jane – thank you for sharing. That’s how my brothers and I grew up – dinner together wasn’t optional, and we all benefited from the daily ritual. This is the best way to truly connect.

    • speakerlauncher

      Love that Sandy. Would love to hear how this might translate to your speaking business. Any ideas?

      • Sandy Weaver

        Especially before and after a presentation, I look for opportunities to connect. When I do a presentation my phone goes into a difficult-to-access place in my purse once I’ve silenced it. I make it hard to get to, so that I’ll be more focused on the people around me. I’m more introvert than extrovert, so anything I can do to make myself connect is good. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • speakerlauncher

          It’s funny, Sandy, how many speakers really are introverted at heart – when on stage people might not know it. Good idea with the phone, love that!

  • Scott Klososky

    Being present in the moment is a skill. It is also a choice. Technology is just the latest excuse to not be present, there have been many others for centuries. My fault is living in the future, some people live in the past. I work to focus on the present moment and appreciate the glory of it. Be that in speaking, or in my daily life. The video is a wonderful statement of somebody taking action to help others find balance. We need more people like her…

    • speakerlauncher

      Thanks Scott. I also struggle with being so oriented towards the future. You have an excuse since the future (and technology) is your business! But I agree, there will always be something. It’s the human condition.

  • Eric Atwood

    Beautiful video and powerful reminder for all of us! I use and teach a practice called “Relational Presence” (part of my Speaking Circles training) in my interactions and public speaking efforts. It’s a simple yet powerful way to “be with” people that can enhance engagement and connection among individuals and groups. Being present and in the moment is, in my experience, the best way to communicate in any setting. And despite the technology that seems to consume much of our lives, I’m heartened to know that nothing can replace the intimacy and authenticity that comes with face-to-face community. Happy Love Day to all!

    • speakerlauncher

      Thanks Eric, beautiful sentiments! Relational Presence sounds like something we should all learn.

  • Anne Speckhard

    I’m all for human connection but I don’t see it as either/or. Electronic communication makes it easy for me to see friends when I’m traveling and speaking internationally and I’m often reliant on all the good social media that let’s me make those connections, so I don’t see all those people looking at their phones as disconnected, they are connecting, and maybe making plans to see people like me–in person! And yes take a look around yourself and connect with strangers, but also use your phone to help you keep in contact with the people that you can connect with in person. Re high tech and social media, one can enhance or detract from the other depending on how you use it. I think it’s hilarious by the way that this post encourages us to post it to social media ๐Ÿ™‚ so what’s that about? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • speakerlauncher

      Good point! I don’t see it as either/or either. Just an exercise to get the juices flowing on how we might connect. Certainly not advocating that people drop their social media strategies as you can see, it’s a great way to share ideas.

  • Craig Gauvreau

    Excellent blog & video Jane. Some work places, don’t t allow phones in meetings. Awesome idea. One fellow that I’m working with has a bowl in the entryway at home and that’s where the phones stay. If you need it you go to the entryway. House Rules.

    But like some of the comments – being in the moment is a practice. As Ryan Estes says “Decide how you want to show up”. When it comes to face to face, If we consciously work to make that other person feel like the most important person in the moment or influence will grow.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    • speakerlauncher

      Exactly Craig! It’s an “awareness practice”. I love the bowl in the front hallway idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • I’m a professional running coach. One of my pet peeves is runners who wear headphones/earbuds. It’s unsafe and doesn’t allow for the flow state, of being in the moment.

    Another reason not to wear them (and this resonates with the video) is that running can be both a solitary sport and a group or buddy sport. It’s nice to be able to chat with someone while running, even if it’s just for a few sentences here and there. I’m always baffled by runners who wear headphones in marathons or any race. You can’t hear the spectators cheering. You can’t hear the bands playing. You can’t hear race officials. You can’t hear other runners.

    My motto is, “Runners should tune into their bodies, not out.”

  • Charlene

    I absolutely loved this video! I try to be present whenever I am in someone’s presence. I am always ribbed about NOT using my cellphone. I do not have data and I rarely text … I use it for emergencies – or the times when I might have forgotten something or need to check in. I am more determined than ever not to be caught up in it as I see a lot of missed opportunities; and sometimes outright rudeness that the other person doesn’t even realize. For instance when we are having a discussion and they look down at their phone when it dings (and not just once … but continually) – my pet peeve! So when I am about to have an engaged conversation with someone – I ask them to put away their phone – otherwise I am not interested because you can’t have a fully engaged conversation when you are distracted – at least I cannot. Most of the time – is there really anything so urgent that it cannot wait until you have finished a conversation? Perhaps the opening of 5 social media platforms at once and answering messages in them all leads people to believe it’s okay when face to face as well. I am not sure of the answer – but for me, I am happy to get on my computer at my leisure and answer or scroll when I wish to … not because I am beckoned by a notice. It’s a great conversation to have. And no – I am not against responsible social media use, but I am against it’s overuse both for personal courtesy and physical and/or mental health reasons. It has become one of the new addiction issues that families and businesses are facing.

    • speakerlauncher

      I think we are all a work in progress on this one. Our little “ding” goes off and shoots a drug through our body that keeps us coming back for more. Agreed, phones away.