Sunday, 28 March 2010

Storytelling - Words, Song and Dance

When you are getting ready to deliver a workshop, a lecture or a presentation, what do you spend the most time preparing?

Chances are you spend the most time preparing what you are going to say. In fact, apart from your slides and handouts, which are just notes to enhance or supplement what you are going to say, many of us spend 100% of our time on this aspect of our presentations.

Yet a huge percentage of our message and our impact comes from not WHAT we say, but HOW we say it - our body language, and our tone.

Great storytellers practice their delivery in detail:
* where and how long to pause
* words to stress
* phrases or elements that are whispered, shouted, or just said
* when it is appropriate to add physical movements or acting to draw the audience in
* when to use facial expressions to enhance the story

Not only that, but a story teller is acutely aware of their audience and uses feedback to modify their story telling. So why not think like a storyteller for your next presentation and spend a little more time on HOW you deliver it, as well as WHAT you will say?

Monday, 22 March 2010

Curiosity Might Have Killed the Cat....

But it is without doubt one of the most important states that you can create in your audience before any sort of training, meeting, presentation or event.

How do you create curiosity?
I'll tell you in my next post............

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Do the Opposite of What They Expect!

Today I saw a wonderful article on a children's art programme - all about Green Graffiti - where an artist sandblasts a dirty wall (in this case at Brighton's marina) using some templates to create a work of art. The shapes are formed from "clean wall" against the lichen, moss and dirt of the wall.

What a genuinely novel idea - a wonderful example of reversing ideas and coming up with something better..... Burnley has also reversed ideas about art - by creating works of art called Invisible that magically comes alive in the dark, as it is painted in UV paint.

It is the same for presenters and trainers - the very people you wish to engage and inspire have probably seen and been to dozens of presentations and training events. It all becomes rather predictable - been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

So how do you get their attention?
How do you make them curious?

Simple - do something different.

I can remember the excitement and curiosity when I brought a room full of trainers into a room that was pitch dark, using torches to light their way. It was eight o'clock in the evening after a full day's work and they were at an evening class - tired and just dying to go home. But the dark signalled that something different was about to happen and they perked up brilliantly.

Think of the "norms" and turn them upsidedown:
* If they are expecting 127 PowerPoint slides, give them none.
* Instead of sending them an invite - send them a puzzle to solve
* Instead of starting off with an energiser - give them a really difficult task to solve
* Instead of giving out handouts - get them to write they key points on a credit card sized piece of paper and laminate it as a ready reminder
* Instead of using a happy sheet - get them to design a quiz to test their own knowledge at the end of the day and use a "runaround" quiz to explore what they are thinking and feeling

Today - think of just one thing that you "normally do" during your presentation or training, and then think of the opposite. Then work out how that might work to grab your audience's attention and engage their hearts and minds.