Yesterday, my son and I accepted a gracious invitation to sail on the good ship Asterix
. (If you were not aware, Asterix
is the spirited animated Gaul who defied the Roman Empire). The Captain and owner is a good friend and is generous enough to let landlubbers share his passion. We sail on the Long Island Sound which is protected water with just enough wind to give us a feel of the sailing life.
Are you a sailor, or a wannabe sailor? If so, then start recording your stories because people in your audiences are also sailors, wannabe sailors, or wives of sailors (Which may be able to lead into memorable discussions.)
As a neophyte sailor, I am always impressed with our Captain's skill. We were out on the water and I still cannot understand how the wind coming from the front of the boat pulls us forward. Then just when I think I understand the physics of air particles hitting the main sail and the resistance of the keel resulting in forward motion the captain orders us to "Tack". After changing direction and fiddling with the "Jib", we travel at an angle. But the wind is still the same which further confuses my misunderstanding of how sailing works.
Our Captain feels the wind and the tack. With forty years of sailing experience he is in tune with nature on the water. I ask apparently dumb questions while we are sailing, such as "Which way is the wind coming from". I can't see the wind which apparently can be seen when you look at the waves. Maybe it comes with experience - I don't know.
It is always a fabulous experience to go sailing for the day. Just being out in the sun with your only worry being the direction of the wind is pure relaxation.
At one point yesterday we had winds of over 30 knots. This is a lot more wind than Asterix
does fine on 10 to 20 knots of wind. Being a landlubber, my assumption is that more wind must be better. Would you not think so?
Our Captain ordered us to lower the mainsail a bit. Don't ask me the nautical term. It is something like "Short reef the main sail to broad reach the breeze". The result was that with less main sail exposed to the wind the boat went faster. I could feel how Asterix
sliced through the water with ease after we lowered a portion of the main sail.
This is exactly like our presentations. We sometimes have far too much information for our audience. Reduce the number of points you want to make in your presentation. We need to restrict the quantity of our information and we will communicate more effectively. Lower your mainsail a bit, to communicate more effectively with your audience.