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How to Ensure Your Presentations Will Inspire and Change The World

15 takeaways from this talk:

00:00:29 Ideas are the most powerful devices known to man because one single idea can become the foundation for a movement that completely reshapes the future. But for an idea to have the possibility of reshaping the future, it must be:

  • Communicated
  • Communicated effectively, persuasively, and in a way that stirs humans to action

Storytelling is one of the most powerful means of communicating a story because they provoke physical reactions within the audience, and it can be easily remembered and its key points recited.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For lessons on how to build characters that help make your storytelling more powerful, watch the video How to Tell Stories That Motivate, Inspire, Move, and Change People

However, recall in Tyler Cowen’s TED Talk Why You Should Be Suspicious of The Stories You Hear, he warns that stories act as an information filter allowing the storyteller to pack a lot of information and social power into a brief narrative by ignoring certain bits of information while highlighting others. And the more inspiring a story makes you feel, the more nervous you should become because the best stories are often the trickiest ones because when information is conveyed to us in the form of a story, we often place more importance on it, remembering it when perhaps we shouldn’t.]

How to mix presentations and stories:

00:03:54 Have three acts. The rule of three observes that people have a greater
chance of recalling information when grouped in three. Also, people will forget most of what you say, but they will NEVER forget how you inspired them and made them feel.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For strategies on introducing your presentations, watch my lecture How to Introduce Your Pitch so Investors Want to Invest.]

00:04:02 You are the presentation, not your powerpoint. BUT you aren’t the likeable hero in the presentation, your audience is the likeable hero. Your job as presenter is to move your audience from their current worldview, through roadblocks and problems that they are dealing with and into a new, hopefully better, worldview.

Nancy Duarte on Ted Talks about Persuasive Presentations by Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King, Jr
  1. Don’t sabotage your own efforts by believing the roadblocks, limitations and constraints that keep your idea down. Instead, figure out and focus on how they can be overcome.
  2. Establish the status quo and the current state of events.
  3. Compare status quo with what ‘could be’ were the limitations and constraints removed. The wider the divide between what is and what could be, the better.
  4. Take advantage of word associations and common knowlege you and your audience share, rather than having to teach the audience new associations they aren’t familiar with. For example, nearly every culture understands that a pink piggy bank represents savings and teaching children how to manage their money. Take advantage of that in your presentation.
  5. Demonstrate the emotion and worldview you want your audience to adapt; lead, and they will follow.
  6. Compare/contrast steps 2 and 3 above, continually challenging identified limitations and constraints and overcoming resistance that prevents people from adopting what could be, thus making the status quo less appealing and ‘what could be’ more attainable.
  7. Repeat yourself, using the same key words and phrases to ensure your audience remembers and then can accurately communicate your key message and phrases after they have left your presentation.
  8. At some point in your presentation, create an ‘AHA!’ moment that leaves your audience breathless; a moment they will always remember.
  9. Invite your audience to participate and invest in your idea by making them laugh, making them applaud, and supplementing your presentation with multiple supports like video, photos, documents, and other speakers.
  10. Call to action. Provide easy-to-understand and execute instructions that the audience can do now and in the future to make ‘what could be,’ be.
  11. Continually edit and improve your presentation, even up to the very last second.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For strategies on overcoming roadblocks, limitations and constraints mentioned in step 3 above, watch the lectures 20 Tips to Better Negotiate Your Job Offer & Compensation Package and Common Negotiation Mistakes, Underhanded Techniques & How to Improve. Lastly, check out the book Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury.

Recall in Adam Grant’s TED Talk What Makes Successful People Successful & How to Copy Them that Martin Luther King, Jr. was up until the early morning rewriting his ‘I have a dream’ speech the day of his speech, and even made last minute modifications while sitting on stage. The iconic words “I have a dream” weren’t even in his planned speech; he added them on the spot.]

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