Push Technology: How to Make an Enchanting Presentation

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We slipped out the doors at the back of the conference room—striving for invisibility. The door snapped closed behind us and I could breathe again. The presentation we fled was hopelessly boring and more than once I had found my head nodding. My colleague suffered the same, so--in hushed tones--we had arranged our escape. Now, we were surprised to find that we weren’t the only deserters: a small band of workshop fugitives were gathered on the couches in the lobby. We sidled up to this group of weary attendees. A man greeted us.

Would someone please save me? I mean, if I ever need a Physical Therapist she’s the one I want but this reading of countless slides is maddening.

The gentleman voiced all of our thoughts. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the situation was that we all knew this particular therapist as one of the best—she knows the latest research and techniques. But her presentation consisted of reading an endless seam of slides word-for-word in a relatively monotone voice. No case presentations. No personal stories. No pictures. Not even a joke.

Just the facts, sister.

It was painful.

What could our friend have done differently to improve her presentation? This is one of topics Guy Kawasaki covers in our weekly reading from Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. This week we read chapter seven: How to Make Enchantment Endure and chapter eight: How to Use Push Technology.

Push technology refers to the means of communicating in which information is delivered directly to the consumer. Presentations, email, and Twitter are examples of push technology. As a victim of bad presentations, I felt a pull to evangelize Guy’s suggestions for a more enchanting presentation. The key to a great presentation, says Guy, is a great cause. So don’t forget your passion when implementing the following keys to an enchanting presentation:

  • Customize the introduction. According to Guy Kawasaki, this is the one part of your presentation that should change each time you give it. In fact, Guy says that he will guarantee that you will enchant your audience, at least for the first five minutes, by customizing your introductory remarks. Guy suggests using pictures to customize your introduction. He likes to arrive at his destination a day early and snap some shots of himself touring around town. If he doesn’t have time to tour the city, he arrives at the speaking venue early enough to photograph members of his audience and insert them in his intro slides.
  • Sell your dream. Enchanters sell their dreams for a better future…This perspective is the foundation for a presentation that transforms people. It makes them think of what could be, not what is. It enables enchanters to draw energy from the audience and then send it back at an even higher level. In other words, don’t forget the passion.
  • Think screenplay, not speech. Guy promotes the three act model of Nancy Duarte of Duarte Designs: Act 1 sets up the story. Act 2 presents an idea of what could be. Act 3 ties up the story and tells how to make the dream happen. Thinking of your presentation in terms of a screenplay adds excitement and drama.
  • Dramatize. Did someone say drama? Using evocative visuals and exciting demos will enchant your audience. Text rarely inspires, says Guy, so the fewer words on the screen, the more enchanting.
  • Shorten. Guy poses the 10-20-30 rule: ten-slides, twenty minutes, with no font smaller than thirty points. How’s that for specific?
  • Practice. It makes perfect. Right? Enough said.
  • Warm up the audience. Guy lists two benefits of arriving early to mingle with the audience: your confidence will get a boost and the audience will support you and want you to succeed.
  • Speak a lot. Repetition improves the rhetorician. There is always one more person still to be enchanted by your message.

So there you have it. Now, your next presentation will attract more followers than a 99 cent song offer from Lady Gaga on Amazon. No more workshop fugitives.

How about you? Share your thoughts on these chapters with us in the comment section or link up below to your thoughts at your blog.

This is the fourth week of our book club discussion on Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hears, Minds, and Actions. Join us next week for a discussion on chapters nine and ten: How to Use Pull Technology and How to Enchant Your Employees. See you there!

Image by Roy Prasad, used with permission via Flickr. Post by Laura J. Boggess, author of The Wings of Klaio Series.


How to Change the World: A Book Club Introduction

Achieving Likability: Crows Feet and the Perfect Handshake (week one)

Don't Menschion It: How Trust Enchants (week two)

Telling Stories: How to Launch and Overcome Resistance (week three)