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Something Worth Revealing

mystery Mar 01, 2023

We’re all susceptible to the wonder, power, and awe of intrigue. With this understanding, as presenters, we must be good stewards of this powerful tool, and use it purposefully, intentionally, and with care. I share this with experience because “Mystery” is one of our core Game On principals that helps drive our curriculum. What we’ve discovered over 25 years of using this game dynamic to engage our audience with purpose, is that without that timely reveal, our audiences will move from intrigue to ambiguity. And if we hold the reveal back for too long, that ambiguity pivots quickly to frustration…and frustration is not an ideal place you want your audience to go.

To avoid that frustration, let’s bring our message, deliver our presentations, lead our audiences in the right direction, and embed some healthy mystery into all that we do. During that journey, let’s honor the reveal, or else it’s just a secret and not a surprise. People appreciate the mystery, they enjoy the surprise, but we all cherish the reveal.

That reveal is not only powerful for public speaking and in work related presentations, it can also work beautifully at home. Early one morning, I casually mentioned to my daughters Blake and Bailey that mom and I had an exciting little something to share with them later that day. I didn’t go into too much detail, and intentionally didn’t call it a “surprise”. I know the power of that word, and I didn’t want to exceed their expectations and make it a bigger deal than it was. I just referred to it as a positive thing to discuss later that evening.

When we picked the girls up from school at the end of the day, they both ran towards us and the first thing they asked - not surprisingly - was about this amazing surprise. Just to be clear, I never referred to it as a surprise. It was a just little something. But with some anticipation, intrigue, and a bit of time, this little something took on a life of its own, stayed with them all day, and clearly captured their minds.

Mind you, these two wonderful, spirited, and precocious young girls (8 and 11 respectively), have serious trouble recollecting where they left their backpacks on the daily, are never quite sure who tossed the oversized beach towel in the middle of the living room, and, for the life of me (and our pet Finley), cannot remember whose turn it is to feed the dog! However, if you tell them there’s a positive something on the horizon, you’ll have the most locked in, focused, and attentive audience in the house. With that level of engagement and trust, it’s our awesome responsibility as leaders, parents, coaches, teachers, presenters, to honor our audience and share that little something – reveal that surprise – in a respectful and timely manner…before the sun sets.

So, that reveal, that little something my wife and I wanted to share with my girls later that day was…wait for it…they were getting bunkbeds. That may not be a big deal to you all, but let me tell you, for my audience - the most important audience I have – they cherished it. And while they waited in anticipation, excitement, and trust, they located those backpacks, picked up the oversized beach towels, and fed the dog, because, at the end of that day, before the sun set, we had…something worth revealing.

Ambiguity Off. Frustration Off.

Mystery On. Reveal On. Game On.

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