Jumat, 13 Januari 2012

Article and Polling: Why was AA Gym a star and what happened?



The first time I heard AA Gym on TV, I was just flipping through the channels. I stopped to listen to his preaching and was very impressed. Then, Kathy my daughter came home from school and announced: “Mom, on Friday AA Gym will be at our SMA to speak to us, all parents are invited too.” “Yeah, yeah,” said my son Tom,” I will be meeting with my friends!” “Tom, I will be there too and expect you to listen for only a few minutes, and then you are free to do what you want!” I answered.

We were all sitting under the tent in the courtyard waiting, when He arrived. The girls were screaming and the mothers tried to get a glimpse of Him. “He is quite short, isn’t he,” was the general comment.

AA Gym started with his sermon that was not a sermon at all. He had a talk, a discussion, with us. He told us stories of every day life, how families drift apart and can get close together again. He taught wives and husbands how to respect each other and children how to resist peer pressure and temptations in easy, simple language. We laughed a lot with AA Gym, as he uncovered human faults that happen to us all and how to shake them off and do it better.

I saw Tom sit down in the back…… and he never left. He was enthralled like so many people in Indonesia by this friendly, human and natural speaker. We have seen the meteoric rise of AA Gym. Within a few years, he was the no one speaker and preacher in Indonesia. Everybody new him, listened and watched his sermons, he was a star!

What was or is the most important reason for his incredible success? We can analyze his presentations and determine what is the most important skill that made him a star? If we wanted to be an esteemed speaker just like him, what would be the one skill to learn and practice?  

I firmly believe it is his competence to tell easy to understand, simple, every day stories. We all have multiple experiences every day, some good and some bad. We also see and hear our family members, neighbors and friends facing their own challenges and tribulations. There are stories abound around us. AA Gym uses these happenings and packages them into entertaining, humbling, dramatic accounts that everybody can understand and follow.

Could we regular people, office workers, managers, directors, speakers and trainers learn this skill of effective storytelling?



Poll: Do you think you could be able to tell stories just like AA Gym?

(Thank you for your kind answer I appreciate your participation very much)


What happened then? Why has AA Gym disappeared? Why have the masses that followed his every move abandoned him? Why is it that people do not flock to his sermons and retreats anymore?

What according to you is the reason for his downfall? What happened?

(Thank you for your kind answer I appreciate your participation very much)

Awaiting an interesting discussion here!

--
Happy to serve
Monika Sugiarto
Rabu, 11 Januari, 2012 22:15

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DISCUSSION:


don4friends:


I have similar experiences as well, didn't pay attention to him at the beginning, I think, if I am not mistaken, alm. Zainuddin MZ was very popular at that time.
Many ustadz were following Alm. Zainuddin MZ style, and Aa' Gym was 'against' the main stream in regards to his speech. He managed to create a kind of 'personal experience' style. He didn't act like he was mr.know it all. And I think he just came at the right time, while many other speakers using similar approach, he came with different method.

I am sure everybody can learn such storytelling style, we have seen many ustadz even creates many more styles recently, from the one who try to touch the people thru emotional sermon to the one who use more jokes and funny story. But the most important thing is to learn the effectiveness of aa' Gym speech style and combine it with our own way. Those who copied aa' Gym, have never succeeded. Those who took him as inspiration and wrapped it up with their own personal approach have became the next stars.

Why aa' gym are not as famous as he used to be. I don't think people abandon him, no. But I think, as a product, his speech style have reached the peak of its popularity, now it's the declining period, because there are other products that stepped into the peak at the moment. It's the same situation that happened to Alm. Zainuddin MZ. However, there are always some loyal customers that will always enjoy aa' Gym speech. I know that he still delivers his speech in many events, but of course not many media would cover it, the news value of aa' Gym is not that strong anymore.

Just a thought
Don
Rabu, 11 Januari, 2012 23:29

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Monika Sugiarto:


Thank you very much Bapak Don for your answer,
Can you pleas clarify something you write in your email? You say: "Those who took him as inspiration and wrapped it up with their own personal approach have became the next stars."
Who exactly are those stars? I am not aware of anybody 'taking AA Gym's place' or coming close to his star status. My kids, my friends and I are not following nobody as we did AA Gym.
You make a very interesting observation: 'I don't think people abandon him, no. But I think, as a product, his speech style have reached the peak of its popularity, now it's the declining period, because there are other products that stepped into the peak at the moment'.
I believe his downfall has to do with the fact that he preached something and did the opposite. He married a second wife in secret. Once the public was aware of it, and realized that he was not truthful, his stardom was over. Especially women were very disappointed in his behaviour. Some time ago I wrote about the abilities a professional speaker needs to possess. The last but not least of them is ETHICS. A speaker as a leader in society needs to do what he preaches and be honest and reliable. This is what AA Gym missed.
I believe that his speaking style, his storytelling is still very relevant and will help speakers succeed if they are willing to learn and practice this skill.
This is a very interesting discussion, hopefully more members will join and give us their opinion.
Thanks a lot!
Happy to serve
Monika Sugiarto
Kamis, 12 Januari, 2012 01:21

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Ibu monika
in my opinion, before Aa' Gym era, most ustadz follow Alm. Zainuddin MZ style, strong, tough, and sharp. Aa' Gym promoted the new style of what I would call 'personal experience', he used low tone, more funny stories, personal experiences, and he talked like he is just the person next door. Right after he became famous, I noticed that some ustadz did try to copy his style, but copies will never defeat the original. Some ustadz are very smart, they followed his way but creatively put their own style, UJe is one of them I think. Low tone, personal approach, but UJe is using much more emotional approach. UJe is phenomenon just like Aa' Gym, as I said some loyal customers would stick with the original flavour, I think you probably are the loyal customers for Aa' Gym style, so you may not enjoy UJe style, but we have to admit UJe style is more similar to Aa' Gym than to Alm. Zainuddin MZ. UJe has became phenomenon and created new style, not only the speech, even the fashion hehehe today we have even many other variations, some use a lot of jokes (even slapstick), some use more emotional approach. But in my opinion, many of them used Aa' Gym approach as inspiration.

About Aa' gym second marriage. In my opinion, many indonesian people are more emotional in nature, which means 'react very quick but also forget in no time', so I am sure Aa' Gym popularity was declining not because of such 'issue', he might be hit for a while but people will forgive and forget very soon. See soeharto case, luna maya and cut tari cases, all DPR member cases, It's just there were new stars stepping into the area, brought new fresh style.

Just a thought
Don 
Kamis, 12 Januari, 2012 03:30
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Managers
I find this posting very interesting, as you are discussing about the popular Muslim religious teacher Aa Gym. As a Muslim, I indeed respect him. He has a charisma touch that can embrace beyond fellow Muslims, or simply said, it that can reach the inter-faith audience. However, things have changed following his announcement of marrying a second wife. We must admit that for some Indonesians it is rather difficult to accept polygamy. But Aa Gym has his choice, and he has the right to do so based on his belief. Despite of criticism here and there, I still believe Aa Gym is a true leader. Why? When he was popular he was able to communicate with people from all walks of life. I still have high sympathy in him.
Thank you for sharing.
Cheers       
Nugroho S
PR consultant, translator, English teacher & observer
Kamis, 12 Januari, 2012 05:30



Wida:
 
Dear Bpk Don and Ibu Monika,

Another view as a woman, I am also disappointed with what he has done in his life, but I never 'hate' him, as I always remember his wordings in his "song" : Jagalah hati jangan kau kotori.....
Thanks for discussions about the style of Aa Gym's speaking.

Best regards,
Wida
Jumat, 13 Januari, 2012 15:54
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don4friends:

You are welcome ibu, and I think we should not hate him for having second marriage. It's his decision and eventhough there is a controversy whether his first wife accepted it or not, it is actually their own situation and they should figure it out by themselves. There are nothing wrong to what he delivered on his speech. He didn't cost us anything, he didn't steal people money and he wasn't involved to any corruption cases, so I don't find any reasons to hate him.

For me, personally, ustadz is another human being, who happened to have more knowledge (than me) on what it is written in Al-Qur'an and Hadits. That's all. That doesn't mean they have better "understanding" though. So when I listened to them, I just want to know their opinion on certain thing, what is the ideal situation based on their knowledge, and being the ideal situation, they probably find similar challenges (as we do) to comply to it.
I respect the ustadz as much as I respect my friends, I do not worship them cause they are just other human being whom probably made as many mistakes as I do in this life.

Just a thought
Don
Jumat, 13 Januari, 2012 20:27
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