In light of the training that I just went to last week, which still bothers me, I want to write a little bit about holding a room. I think the Tao speaks to that in Chapter LXV, insofar as we need to be able to make our presentations and lessons more meaningful.
One thing I do is to always create an atmosphere where it becomes the audience’s natural inclination to pay attention to me. I practice to make sure I am not boring. I always show the audience why they are here. Furthermore, it’s important to hit them all visually, audibly, and physically. If you are able to devise ways to keep your audience occupied with what you want them to see and hear, then you have them. At that point, you can give them a light bulb moment (hopefully) and get your point across.
I think that’s what Lao Tsu means here: don’t just tell people things, let them know it for themselves. Keep them engaged and they will know what you need them to.
The ancient Masters
didn’t try to educate the people,
but kindly taught them to not-know.
When they think that they know the answers,
people are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don’t know,
people can find their own way.
If you want to learn how to govern,
avoid being clever or rich.
The simplest pattern is the clearest.
Content with an ordinary life,
you can show all people the way
back to their own true nature.