The audience for the window dressing has left the building.
The thing is, the audience for whom the window dressing was designed, was probably there against their will for most of the show anyway.
All the way from how teachers present school assignments to how carnival barkers work the crowd, the audience for the show has to buy into the window dressing that covers the content, and they have to have the patience and the desire to be there in the first place.
But at a certain point adults get tired of formalized schooling and audiences get tired of being yelled at by commercials that are louder than the show they are interrupting and all of us begin to make alternate choices.
Post-school age adults confuse the window dressing of the set-up of the classroom, the routine of the school day, and the frustration of navigating the daily school environment tension between what they would like to have done, rather than what they were supposed to do, with learning valuable information—and almost 45% of post-school age adults never read another book after high school.
Audiences confuse the window dressing of the loud voice, the annoying 30-second interruption, the lack of real relationship, and their desire to have the show come back on, with all advertising that annoys them—and they employ ad blockers online, cut the cord from cable and use on-demand, streaming services, or turn off the television altogether.
I’ve been getting some feedback lately that the window dressing over some of my training content has to go. That audiences are impatient, disengaged, and only willing to sit through bite sized content, delivered quickly, and entertainingly.
But the thing is, the audiences I talk with, who contain individuals in conflicts, disagreements, disputes, and “differences of opinion” at work, didn’t get to where they are before they walked into my facilitation space quickly. It was a slow, steady, build-up of sediment consisting of frustrations, expectations, false reassurances, and miscommunications that got them there.
I don’t specialize in keeping anybody around against their will. And if the audience wants the window-dressing to go, it can go.
But to confuse the mechanics of the learning, with the tools of how and why to learn, merely perpetuates a pattern of disengagement, disillusion, and disheartening outcomes that got the audience here listening in the first place.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: email@example.com