Creative Presentations | Presentation Skills
While presenting, give the audience the authentic you. And guess what? You’re not perfect. Showing your human side can feel unnatural because it requires vulnerability with people you don’t know all that well. So tell a story that shows your humanness and people in the audience will connect with you. Personal stories are daunting to tell because the great stories have a conflict or complication to them that exposes humanness and flaws. But those are the stories that carry the most inherent power to change others. People enjoy following a leader who has survived personal hardship and shares the victory comfortably. It’s comforting to follow someone who’s already learned life’s hard lessons.
You can learn how to be different by examining the opposite, camouflage. The purpose of camouflage is to reduce the odds that someone will notice you as you try to blend into an environment. When is being an obscure communicator appropriate? Never! The more you want your idea to be adopted, the less camouflaged and concealed it should be. To stand out, instead of blending with the environment, you need to clash with it. Be uniquely different. That’s what will draw attention to your ideas.
At some point in your life, you’ve had your emotions aroused. When something emotionally resonates, you can physically feel it, like a “chill down your spine” or the heaviness of a “pit in your stomach.” Emotion tangibly links from one person’s heart into another. If you intentionally connect those emotions with your idea, the audience will accept your perspective more readily. Including emotion doesn’t mean audiences need boxes of tissue under each seat, it simply means that you get them to feel in some way. Some presenters feel uncomfortable employing emotional appeal because they think it comes across as manipulation. But it only comes across as manipulation if it is not sincere, honest, or used with restraint. Aristotle said that the man who is in command of persuasion must be able “to understand the emotions—that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited.” And that “persuasion may come through the listeners, when the speech stirs their emotions.”
When a presenter is in a room face-to-face, being authentic, it creates the deepest form of connection possible.
Learn how to do this with training and guidance from John Mulvey.
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