Thursday Talk Tip – Ichi-go ichi-e with Christoph Spiessens
Ichi-go ichi-e is a Zen Buddhism concept. A principal that tells us that every moment spent with fellow human beings is unique. That moment is unique because it won’t come back because it cannot come back. So do something with it. Literally Ichi-go ichi-e means one time, one meeting. And the reason why I love it so much as a public speaker is because Ichi-go ichi-e keeps me grounded, keeps me calm, and it keeps a very good flow of energy between myself and the audience.
Because as much as I believe in preparation and being focused, we need to allow a certain degree of spontaneity in our interactions with an audience. All the jokes and the examples and the anecdotes that I use in yesterday’s speech may not work with todays crowd and everything that I’m creating and the rapport that I’m building with today’s audience, there is no guarantee that I will be able to replicate that with tomorrow’s audience.
So Ichi-go ichi-e helps me look through a filter of presence, being in the present moments, because that way I can keep everything that I’m talking about, irrelevant to today’s audience, do what they need, and you can tune in to your own intuition and feel where you can link your content to their world, where you can make it more relevant to what they’re really hoping to get from your talk. So yes, be prepared. Yes, be focused, but allow for some Ichi-go ichi-e, one time, one meeting. Today’s audience is all that matters.
I wish you all the best with Ichi-go ichi-e. It’s a powerful and very helpful principle, and therefore a tool for any public speaker. Thank you for watching.