The *great* Presentation…

Creating and giving a great presentation…to clients, employees, students, investors, juries, the list goes on.  Chances are, if you are a professional, entrepreneur, or business owner at some point you will likely have to tell your STORY. Maybe it will be about an exciting new idea or opportunity. Or creating or managing a change on the horizon. Maybe you will be helping others learn and grow.  Or maybe you will simply want to change the world.

Your World, or The World. Perhaps both.

This was the exact topic of Nancy Duarte’s recent TEDx East presentation. Inspired presenter and educator, Nancy is also the CEO of Duarte, the preeminent presentation company in the world. Her fascinating research on the shape of the *great* presentation reveals a thrilling journey that the presenter as ‘mentor’, guides the audience to experience. In particular, it is a back and forth flow between “what is” (the current state) and “what could be” (the ideal future state), and the greater the gap between the two, the greater the power of the speech.

She continues to say that the resistance of the audience to one’s message always exists to some extent. It is a given not only to be accepted, but to be anticipated and addressed in the actual design and delivery of the presentation. Doing so actually pulls your audience more strongly to your message in the end…an end which she calls the “New Bliss”…referring to a strong call to action inspired by a vision of how this new world will look if achieved.

Through some clever modeling, she maps two famous presentations to her shape, that of Steve Jobs’ iPhone launch in 2007 and of course, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Not only do they both match Nancy’s model, but she further demonstrates how Steve Jobs managed to physically invigorate his audience through his own passion in his product…and how MLK’s reference to scripture and song throughout his speech – so familiar and important to his audience at the time – allowed him to reach directly into their hearts and effect powerful change.

Nancy Duarte’s observations resonate because they directly relate to important concepts in marketing, change management, and leadership:

  • Making your message clear, simple, and understandable to your audience will maximize their ability to listen and engage with your STORY.
  • Anticipating the resistance and addressing the concerns of your audience can pull them more strongly and deeply to your message.
  • Relating to the world of your audience – their perspectives, beliefs, customs, hopes and dreams – will resonate with them on a personal, emotional level greatly impacting the power of change.
  • Clear calls to action – not just ideas – are fundamental for empowering and triggering action.

So what does this mean for you?

An idea is powerless by itself if you never pull that idea out for others to contend with.” – Nancy Duarte

I will leave you to watch the presentation (below) for the full breadth of Nancy’s own story.

But I will say this: we all have a *story*.  About something we believe in, something we want to make happen. In our own worlds or in the world as a whole, and discovering that story, shaping it, then spreading it to the world, is the first part of getting to where we want to go.

But how do you create your story?  Click here to read more…

For more great presentations, go to www.TED.com.

And if you would like us to help you develop *your story*, please never hesitate to contact us.

Nancy Duarte’s talk at TEDx East from Duarte Design on Vimeo.

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