Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Story Telling from the Podium

I attended a great speaker event this evening hosted by the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Corporate Growth featuring renowned football coach and ABC sports analyst Terry Bowden. This gentleman knows how to tell a story to reinforce a bullet point. Granted, he has led an extraordinary life so far and has a deep well to pull from, and yet he reinforces the ideal that great presentations are based on entertaining an audience.

Terry can state the bullet point, "Be a team player", then tell a story about being the rear partner in a cow costume with his brother trapped in a pasture with a amorous bull, and make it fun and relevant to the audience (you'll have hear Terry first hand to get the rest of that story).

The lesson is that if you are putting together a presentation about any topic to instruct people about choices they could make, most slides point to one outcome -- "You should or this could or might happen." The "you should" part is easy -- state the fact, or rule, or hard point you need to make. It is the "or this could or will happen" part that is tougher and where you have the opportunity to entertain.

Take the time to convert your dry presentations of facts and data into relevant and engaging stories and you will leap forward in popularity.

And there is something else to consider. In professional services we make presentations as part of promoting ourselves to current and potential clients. Entertainment as a priority objective in your presentation will go much further in strengthening your personal brand than any fact filled dissertation of data and expertise.

Think like Terry. Entertain, entertain, entertain.