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What did I learned:

A number of people around me know that when it comes to presentations I religiously follow this concept of minimal text and maximum impact.  I’ve always thought of this approach as a means to an end–get rid of the words so you’ll actually have the audience’s attention. It wasn’t until recently that I realized it was much more than that. To put on a successful presentation is an art in which you are fully prepared to “connect, contribute, and change”–a concept highlighted in one of Garr Reynolds blogposts.

Just a bit of context…Reynolds is known to help people create “naked presentations”, where he strips out the text (like newlyweds on their wedding night) and adds in dialogue, story telling, and connection. By using this approach the presenter puts an end to mindless (though it doesn’t seem this way to the person on stage) regurgitation of text and examples, thereby projecting much stronger ideas to the audience. If you’re a left brainer, think of it this way…a text heavy, non graphic presentation is one way…you(1)+your audience(1)=2. But a presentation set to tell stories, share experiences, and exchange dialogue goes beyond the time allotted for you to strut your stuff on stage. Instead your message gets amplified…(probably because the audience was actually awake this time) and you(1)+your audience(1) yields a much greater number.

Why you should care:

You don’t have to be a prominent figure to put on important presentations but you do have to be a creative thinker, an empathetic artist almost, to put on a meaningful presentation. Next time you present for your club, organization, or company, make sure you’re presenting dialogue instead of text and stories instead of numbers. Send your audience on a journey of discovery, realization, connections, and change, rather than a trip down a one way street because they’ll just make an illegal u-turn and show themselves out…or worse, fall asleep.

Reading material if you’re further interested:

Nancy Duarte’s Resonate and Slideology
Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen and Presentation Zen Design…oh and his blog is pretty awesome too

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One thought on “1+1=??? A note on the art of presentation

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