I recently volunteered to help at a high school’s “Self-Worth Seminar” by hosting and contributing. Obviously, I’m not exactly the poster child for high self-worth, but I think this gives me a more versatile and experienced opinion on the matter. I’m not an expert by any means, but they sent out a short survey about the topic and this was my response.

>Name:… Will Hightower

> Organization/ Relation to Subject Matter: Teaching Artist, Student Mentor, and Member of Society

> 1. When engaging with an audience, what tactics have proved to be most successful in encouraging the participants to disclose his or her personal feelings and information? (for the purpose of creating an intimate atmosphere)

The most important aspect of engaging an audience is to create a safe place for expression. A welcoming attitude, conversational tone, and a reminder that everyone is there to help them, not judge them. To aid in creating this “safe environment” it might help if I, or the presenter, disclose my/their own personal feelings first to show the safety of the room or accommodate in others ways to as to not single them out (work with an anonymous group, writing things down, or having them disclose the information privately first).

> 2. What type of audience response indicates an increase in his or her self worth?

Possible short-term indicators of an increase in self-worth might be:
-A revitalized vigor or passion for the material/event/presentation
-An increased willingness to participate again
-A change in body language, such as sitting up straight as opposed to slouching or leaning forward with interest

Long-term indicators may include:
-An initiative in personal hygiene and/or diet
-Increased motivation or passion
-Increased confidence and decision-making skills
-Increased investment in personal, business, and social relationships

> 3. What are the benefits of implementing a process that aims at helping others?

The most apparent benefit of this process is that other people are being helped and society continues to grow and bolster itself. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be in a position to help others are able to benefit from the increased self-worth that comes with being selfless.

> 4. If you were to give one tip to have a successful seminar on self worth, what would it be?

Try not to demonize or victimize people with low self-worth as it will alienate them–causing them to shut down and become unresponsive. Instead, empower them with options such as strategies, information, support, and empathy.

Also, try not to inadvertently glorify the negative by presenting it on stage in a sort of “anti-campaign”. Example: An anti-bullying campaign shouldn’t show bullying at all, but instead it should showcase and reward the correct way to handle the situations.

____________________________

Now, how they are going to create an event/seminar that helps raise the self-worth of a bunch of lost, stressed, and hormonal teens, I do not know!

This is just another attempt for me to give something to others that I wish was given to me. Whether it is about self-worth, depression, suicide, or anything else, I am always looking for ways to give back however I can.

Best of luck to them! They’ll need it!

-Will

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