President’s Column: May 2015
Presenting… the art of the presentation!
Last meeting we were treated to an excellent presentation by comic historian Paul Tumey. I was not only impressed with the content of the material he presented, but with the actual presentation itself. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. It ties in to a personal journey I am currently on to fulfill a lifetime goal of mine. More on that in later articles. But for now, I’ll say this. In order to achieve my goal I need to make a great impression to a group of people who have the power to make important decisions that could greatly effect my future. To make this great impression requires a great presentation. To this end, I’d like to share some thoughts about what it takes to give a successful presentation.
It starts with an idea. What do you want to convey to the group you’re presenting to? What is the driving force that compels you to express your idea. Why is it important and what effect will it have on the world? These are lofty statements, but nonetheless very important. Once you solidify the main concept of what you want to present, it’s time to organize your thoughts. Tell a story. Put things in order from beginning, middle, and end. Replay your own personal journey of discovery as you formulated the ideas you are presenting. Make your audience experience your vision as you did. Share the inspiration you felt and the moments of joy as you discovered new and exciting ideas. Have fun telling your story. When you are enjoying yourself, others will enjoy listening to you. Positive emotions are contagious. Share the wonder and excitement that compelled you in the first place.
While ideas are important, execution is key. You’ve got to sell your ideas by presenting them in a smoothly flowing narrative that flows naturally as the concepts are introduced. Build suspense as you reveal concepts and make important points. Introduce a problem and then follow up with the solution. Engage the audience to play along as you raise a question and then proceed to build a case confirming your conclusions. You know you are on the right track when members of the audience shout out answers to your questions before you have a chance to give them. They are so excited they can’t contain their enthusiasm! Keep them wanting more as you bring up more points of interest. Then finally end it was a conclusion that calls back to all the points you’ve been making and neatly wraps it up in a nice bow.
Communication is key. Organize your thoughts and be passionate about your subject. Execute it with confidence and optimism, but never forget to just have fun. Got it? Good. Now get going and write your own inspirational ideas and share them with the world.