Platform vs Pedestal by Heather Sheehan
I read an article online this week that had some interesting ideas. It was written by Holley Gerth who is a life-coach and speaker, and here is part of what she had to say:
“Platforms are for sharing.
Pedestals only have room for one.
Platforms are for reaching out and giving back.
Pedestals demand that we hunker down and guard our territory.
Platforms come with space to grow and find freedom.
Pedestals trap us into a life where we can never make a wrong move.
Platforms build us (and others) up.
Pedestals eventually bring us down.”
Platforms and Pedestals –
PLATFORM: A place, means, or opportunity for public expression of opinion
PEDESTAL: A position in which one is greatly or uncritically admired
As you know, The Mission of the Institute for Cultural Communicators is to
equip Christians to shape the future through authentic leadership and cultural communication.
Our mission is not to make you a great speaker who can win speaking tournaments, but
a compassionate speaker who can win hearts. Our mission is not to make you a great speaker who will be rich or well-known because of your own abilities, but to make you a speaker who will give glory to God in all you do.
So that is why we speak on a platform, not a pedestal.
As you work through this public speaking training, you will be tempted to put yourself on a pedestal. You will grow and get better and you will be proud of what you have accomplished, and then you might feel like you are on a pedestal, being admired for what you have done. But remember the difference between and platform and a pedestal: “pedestals only have room for one…pedestals trap us into a life where we can never make a wrong move”. Setting yourself up on a pedestal is lonely and scary and removes you from your audience. Our goal in speaking is to impact the people that we are speaking to, to hopefully help them in some way. So we speak from the attitude of the platform – “Platforms are for reaching out and giving back…. Platforms come with space to grow and find freedom”
Public speaking is scary because we too often have the ‘pedestal’ attitude – we say: what will they think of me?, what if they laugh at me?, what if they don’t put me on a pedestal? But if we can approach it with a platform attitude, it becomes a little less scary because it’s not about us anymore – we ask: what does my audience need?, how can I help them?, what has God given to me that I can share? Then we are focused on the giving to our audience instead of receiving accolades from them, and we all know that Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. So you will be blessed when you give what you have been given.
In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul says, “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” So I ask you to renew your mind in how you think about public speaking. Don’t set yourself up on a pedestal, but use your platform to give what you have to share.