In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath point out that bad ideas often keep circulating, while good ideas often have a hard time succeeding.
Why is that?
That’s the question their book — which most have probably heard of by now — answers.
To make an impact, your idea has to stick. A “sticky” idea is one that is understood and remembered, and has lasting impact. A sticky idea changes the audience’s opinions or behavior.
How do you make your ideas sticky? They give six points. Here they are, from my notes on the book:
- Simple. This gets people to understand.
- Unexpected. This gets people to pay attention and maintain interest.
- Concrete. This gets people to understand so they remember.
- Credible. This helps show that your idea is true.
- Emotions. This gets people to care.
- Stories. This gets people to act.
The rest of the book unpacks each of those ideas. It is well worth a read if you haven’t already.
Also from my notes on Chip and Dan Heath’s article:
- Before the audience will value the info you’re giving, they have to want it. Demand has to come before supply.
- Therefore tease, don’t simply tell, by opening knowledge gaps and filling them.
- “Great presentations are mysteries, not encyclopedic entries.”
- “Curiosity must come before content.”
- Don’t structure your presentation by asking “what’s the next point I should make” but “what’s the next question I want them to wrestle with.”
And, here are a few great points on using data well:
- Don’t lead with the data — that leaves it abstract, and doesn’t move people emotionally. Tell a story about an individual first, and then say “our research suggests that there are 900,000 stories like this, in Mumbai alone.”
- “Data are just summaries of thousands of stories — tell a few of those stories to help make the data meaningful.”
These are from the notes I took from an article by Chip and Dan Heath (authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die):
- Don’t preamble—parachute in.
- “The first mission of a presentation is to grab attention.”
- A preamble is a laborious overview of what’s going to be covered. Don’t start with this. Don’t follow the “tell them what you’re gonna tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.” Steve Jobs doesn’t present this way. Ronald Reagan didn’t present this way.
- Example: Rebecca Fuller presenting on tactile museum exhibits. She parachuted in by shutting off the lights and saying “this is what it’s like for a blind person in most museums.” It wouldn’t have improved here presentation to say “today I’m going to give you an overview of the challenges faced by the visually impaired in most museums.”
- “If you bring us face to face with the problem, we don’t need a lot of upfront hand-holding.”
The most important point: parachute it. “Telling them what you’re going to tell them” usually reduces interest.
“Questions attract thoughts and new ideas. Asking questions creates a learning mindset.”
Plus, it’s the right thing to do. Being interested in others — reflected in asking questions — is part of treating people well.
Alex Chediak wrote an excellent article on Christians and negotiation about a year ago that remains relevant today and always will.
I haven’t written up anything on negotiation, but if I ever do it will be very close to what Alex wrote. He covers some of the key principles, which include:
- Separate the people from the problem
- Focus on interests instead of positions
- Base things on objective criteria, not subjective preferences
- Think win-win rather than win-lose (or, as some people actually do, lose-win)
- Brainstorm creatively to identify mutually beneficial solutions
- Know your best alternative to a negotiated agreement
This approach is called principled negotiation, as opposed to positional negotiation, and was perhaps most clearly set forth by Roger Fisher and William Ury years ago in their book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.
In positional negotiation, each side states a more extreme position than it really has, planning on progressively giving up some ground until they meet in the middle. This is a poor approach to negotiation and is based on win-lose (or lose-lose) principles. It often causes people to become entrenched in their position, blinding them to better solutions that satisfy both parties and interests. And it often harms relationships. Yet it is what most people think of when they think of negotiation.
Principled negotiation is a more human approach, while also being more effective. It separates what each side really wants (their interest) from the specific way they currently have in mind of getting there (their positions), and seeks to create solutions to problems that benefit everyone in some way. This is possible because there is often more than one position that will solve someone’s ultimate interest. Yet often times we come into a negotiation unable to see these because we aren’t distinguishing the ultimate aim (interest) from the specific way we have in mind of getting there (position).
Principled negotiation also proceeds on the basis of objective criteria, rather than subjective judgments about “the way things should be” and what each party simply wants in the abstract.
And instead of each side coming with their positions defined ahead of time and progressively giving up ground, both sides brainstorm options for mutual gain together, with the aim of identifying options which satisfy both interests (remember here the distinction between position and interest). Each side is not progressively giving up their positions to meet in the middle; they are stepping up to a higher horizon and brainstorming options that will meet the underlying interests of both.
The outcomes of principled negotiation are:
- Building of the relationship (rather than harming it, as is often the case in positional negotiation)
- Satisfaction of the reasonable interests of both sides
- Reasonable resolution of genuine conflicts of interest
I think that positional negotiation is very much in line with the fact that as Christians, we should be about the interests of others all the time, not just sometimes.
So even when negotiating with others, we don’t set aside the biblical commands to be pursuing the welfare of others. Yet, when others see things differently, pursuing the interests of others does not necessarily mean setting aside the legitimate interests that we want to see accomplished. The way to reconcile both of these realities is not to give up on what we think should be done, but to proceed in a win-win fashion, aiming to come up with a solution that satisfies the interest of both sides, on the basis of objective criteria.
Chip and Dan Heath have a good article in Fast Company on what makes messages go viral.
“Making an idea contagious isn’t a mysterious marketing art. It boils down to a couple of simple rules.”
Edward Tufte’s The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within is a fantastic — and humorous — article on the abuse of PowerPoint. I highly recommend checking it out.
In it he talks about how PowerPoint is commonly misused, how to use PowerPoint right, how to avoid the boring use of bullet points, and how bad PowerPoint deserves part of the blame for the Challenger space shuttle disaster back in 1985.
The one problem is that the article is not available online for free. However, an abbreviated version called PowerPoint is Evil appeared in Wired a few years ago. It’s worth checking out; and if you’re interested, you can obtain the entire article at Amazon.
From a recent book by Harvard Business Press:
The conclusion [in a presentation] should not summarize your arguments; rather, it should appeal to the audience for its understanding, its action, and its approval — whatever it is you want the audience to do or think.
So don’t fall into the trap of telling your audience what you’ve already said. Summing it up is a surefire way to kill any enthusiasm your presentation may have generated. So forget about a summary; instead, tell your audience what it should think or do.
Good advice from Scott Williams. Here’s the gist:
Consider using the GAP filter for your tweets. That doesn’t mean put on GAP clothing before you tweet, but rather ask this question: “Is my tweet Genuine, Accurate and Positive?” The bottom line is Be Careful What Tweet, it may end up on the front page of a newspaper or worse.
Scott Berkun has a good article on how describing your idea or product is as important as conceiving it. Here’s are a few excerpts:
Just about anyone in the professional world is, in effect, a professional speaker. Every single idea in the history of the business world had to be explained to at least one other person before it got approved, funded or purchased by anyone else. Call it what you like–sales, marketing, pitching or presenting–but I know the history. Despite dreams of a world in which the best ideas win simply because they should, we live in a world where the fate of ideas hinges on how well you talk about what you’ve made, or what you want to make.
From my studies of innovation history (which led to my best-seller, The Myths of Innovation), I know that the difference between relatively uncommon names like Tesla, Grey and Englebart, and household ones like Edison, Bell and Jobs, has more to do with their ability to persuade, convince and inspire than their ability to invent, create or innovate.
One potent thread in the fabric of reasons why some ideas take off and others don’t is the ability entrepreneurs have to explain to others why they should care. The bigger the idea, the more explaining the world demands. Yet these skills are constantly trivialized in many organizations, leading to dozens of great ideas being rejected, and their creators wondering why lesser rivals with weaker concepts are able to capture people’s imaginations and pocketbooks.
I see too many inventors and executives who see speaking about their work as the least important thing they do. And it shows. To the detriment of the quality of their ideas, their presentations are the spotty lens through which those ideas will be seen. Without dedicated effort, those lenses distort and betray what it is they truly have to offer.
Listening is not simply, or mainly, hearing what the other person is saying. It is thinking about what they are saying, and doing so from their point of view.
Implication: This includes a willingness to be influenced by others. If you are generally unaffected by what other people say, you aren’t listening.
Do you think you work well with people because you are able to talk well? Or do you think that you don’t work well with people because you aren’t able to talk well?
Peter Drucker points out that this has it backwards:
Too many think they are wonderful with people because they talk well. They don’t realize that being wonderful with people means listening well.
This is within the grasp of everyone. It is not easy, but everyone can do it.
A good article by Chip and Dan Heath.
While we’re on the subject of small talk, it’s worthwhile to say a few words about the biggest small talk cliche around — talking about the weather.
Oscar Wilde said that “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”
It turns out that Oscare Wilde was wrong. Talking about the weather is not lame. It’s actually a really good idea.
- The weather affects everybody.
- Talking about the weather leads into a whole lot of other subjects. But if you never get started with a “basic” topic like the weather, you might not get a conversation going at all — and thus you’ll never get to other more substantial topics at all.
I first came across this realization in a chapter from The Big Moo: Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable, edited by Seth Godin. The book is a collection of insights from 33 different minds. I’m not sure who wrote the chapter “Talking About the Weather,” but they said it well:
Until I was thirty-five years old I thought talking about the weather was for losers. A waste of time, insulting even. No one can do anything about the weather anyway. I believed that any comment that doesn’t offer new insight or otherwise advance the cause of humanity is just so much hot air….
Then something happened. Alone for the first time in a long time, living in challenging circumstances, experiencing a cold winter in New England, I noticed the weather. It affected me deeply and directly, every single day. Slowly it dawned on me that the weather affected everyone else, too. Maybe talking about it wasn’t totally vacuous after all.
I started with the cashier at a gas station….Years of cynicism made me almost laugh as I said, “Sure got a lot of snow this year so far.” “Yep,” was her reply. Then she said, “I could barely get my car out of the lot, be careful driving!”
Talking about the weather was easy, even effortless. An entree to at least one person on the planet who apparently cared about me, at least enough to share her small challenge and want me safe on the road. Wow.
Next I tried it at work. It turned out to be even more effective with people I already knew. Talking about the weather acted as a little bridge, sometimes to further conversation and sometimes just to the mutual acknowledgment of shared experience.
Whether it was rainy or snowy or sunny or damp for everyone, each had their own relationship with the weather. They might be achy, delighted, burdened, grumpy, relieved, or simply cold or hot. Like anything of personal importance, most were grateful for the opportunity to talk about it.
Then something else happened. As talking about the weather became more natural, I found myself talking about a whole lot more. Cashiers and clients and suppliers and colleagues all over opened up about all kinds of things. I found out about people’s families, their frustrations at work, their plans and aspirations.
Plus, I found out that the weather is not the same for everyone! And it’s only one of many factors dependent on location that you’ll never know about without engaging in casual conversations.
For a businessperson, there may be no better way to make a connection, continue a thread, or open a deeper dialogue. Honoring the simply reality of another person’s experience is an instant link to the bigger world outside one’s self. It’s the seed of empathy, and it’s free…. Talking about the weather is a baby step on your way to making change.
Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, has a good post on making small talk more effective (and authentic) that makes the simple point: be yourself. But to do this, you have to ignore conventional wisdom’s first rule of small talk:
Small talk experts claim that when you ﬁrst meet a person, you should avoid unpleasant, overly personal, and highly controversial issues.
Wrong! Don’t listen to these people! Nothing has contributed more to the development of boring chitchatters everywhere. The notion that everyone can be everything to everybody at all times is completely off the mark. Personally, I’d rather be interested in what someone was saying, even if I disagreed, than be catatonic any day.
There’s one guaranteed way to stand out in the professional world: Be yourself. I believe that vulnerability—yes, vulnerability—is one of the most underappreciated assets in business today. Too many people confuse secrecy with importance. Business schools teach us to keep everything close to our vest. But the world has changed. Power, today, comes from sharing information, not withholding it. More than ever, the lines demarcating the personal and the professional have blurred. We’re an open-source society, and that calls for open-source behavior. And as a rule, not many secrets are worth the energy required to keep them secret.
Chip and Dan Heath discuss how to make your data stand out by building people’s intuition about your numbers. The key is to drag your numbers into the everyday:
A good statistic is one that aids a decision or shapes an opinion. For a stat to do either of those, it must be dragged within the everyday. That’s your job — to do the dragging. In our world of billions and trillions, that can be a lot of manual labor. But it’s worth it: A number people can grasp is a number that can make a difference.
Here’s one example from the article of how to put a number in a day-to-day context. This is also a good example of the importance of looking beyond stage one in order to avoid being “penny wise and pound foolish”:
Years ago, Cisco Systems was contemplating whether to install a wireless network for its employees (a “duh” decision today but not at the time). The company had calculated that it would cost roughly $500 per year, per employee to maintain the network. Was that worth it? Hard to say since we don’t have much intuition about $500 yearly expenses.
One employee brought the number into daily life, computing that given what Cisco paid its average employee, if the wireless network could save that worker one to two minutes per day, it would be a good investment. Suddenly, our intuition is activated. Can we imagine a situation where the network might save someone two minutes? Almost certainly yes. (Whereas if the network had required 52 minutes of daily savings to pay off, that would have been a hard sell.)
Keith Ferrazi gives 6 tips for kick-starting thinking on raising kids that are great at online media but bad at in-person interaction. Here’s the first part:
Are we raising a nation of teenagers who r omg totally gr8 texters, but total dopes when it comes to managing face to face communication?
Your teenage child sends and receives 2,272 texts a month and spends 9 hours a week absorbed in social networking sites. According to this Wall Street Journal Online op-ed by an English professor at Emory, there’s major collateral damage: a rising generation who’s deaf and dumb when it comes to real-time interaction and the subtle language of nonverbal cues – tonality, facial expressions, posture, and the like. He’s concerned: His book is called The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future.
The professor’s both wrong and dead right.
Read the whole thing.
In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell discusses what linguists call “mitigated speech.” Mitigated speech is when we speak in a deferential way in order to be polite or show deference to authority.
For example, “If you want your boss to do you a favor, you don’t say, ‘I’ll need this by Monday.’ You mitigate. You say, ‘Don’t bother if it’s too much trouble, but if you have a chance to look at this over the weekend, that would be wonderful.’”
In most situations, mitigation is a very good and polite thing. But there are some situations where it creates a problem. The cockpit of an airplane on a stormy night is one such instance.
Gladwell points out that there are six ways for a first officer to persuade a captain to change course. These relfect the six levels of mitigation in speech:
1. Command: “Turn thirty degrees right.” That’s the most direct and explicit way of making a point imaginable. It’s zero mitigation.
2. Crew Obligation Statement: “I think we need to deviate right about now.” Notice the use of “we” and the fact that hte request is now much less specific. It’s a little softer.
3. Crew Suggestion: “Let’s go around the weather.” Implicit in that statement is “we’re in this together.”
4. Query: “Which direction would you like to deviate?” That’s even softer than a crew suggestion, because the speaker is conceding that he’s not in charge.
5. Preference: “I think it would be wise to turn left or right.”
6. Hint: “That return at twenty-five miles looks mean.” This is the most mitigated statement of all. (Outliers, p 195)
These six levels of mitigation are helpful. Mitigation is a good way to show courtesy and respect to others. Teaching mitigation is even a key part of raising kids. For example, we teach our children not to say to us “Give me some orange juice.” They need to say, “Please may I have some orange juice?”
So it is good manners to use mitigation in our communication, and this seems to come naturally to most people.
But sometimes this can get tricky. There are times to use less mitigation than others. For example, I don’t like it when people give me hints. As Gladwell says so well, “a hint is the hardest kind of request to decode and the easiest to refuse.” A lot of times, if someone is giving a hint about a course of action to take, it is too easy to interpret them as simply making an observation. Not until after the fact do I realize, “Oh, they really mean that I should have turned left there.”
The worst example of all comes in situations where lives are at risk and clear, decisive actions need to be taken. Those are instances where mitigation creates problems.
It is mitigation, in fact, which “explains one of the great anomalies of plane crashes.” The anomaly is this: crashes are far more likely to happen when the captain — that is, the more experienced pilot — is in the flying seat.
The reason is mitigation. The first officer wants to show deference to the authority of the pilot. So if the pilot is making a mistake, he mitigates. If things have gone wrong, the captain is low on sleep, and other complexities abound, the captain can fail to pick this up and decode the fact that the first officer is actually saying that a critical action needs to be taken. Gladwell gives several instances of how this became the decisive issue in commercial airline crashes. As a result, it is ironically the case that “planes are safer when the least experienced peson is flying, because it means the second pilot isn’t going to be afraid to speak up” (p. 197).
Fortunately, in recent years “combating mitigation has become one of the great crusades in commercial aviation in the past fifteen years.” Crew members are taught how to communicate clearly and assertively and a standardized procedure to challenge the pilot if it appears that he or she has overlooked something critical.
The result? “Aviation experts will tell you that it is the success of this war on mitigation as much as anything else that accounts for the extraordinary decline in airlie accidents in recent years.”
The lesson? The way we communicate matters. Be respectful and be polite. That is crucial to preserving the human element of our interactions. But know when times call for increased directness, and how to be tactful in spite of having to use less mitigation. And, above all, be clear.
Malcolm Gladwell has a highly fascinating discussion of plane crashes in his book Outliers.
It is not what you would expect! The reasons behind most plane crashes provide an excellent (and sobering) lesson in the role of communication and teamwork, and the accumulated significance of independently irrelevant, small things. Plus, it’s just plain interesting if you fly a lot (and, like me, every time you do, you think about crashing — even though you know that only 1 in 4 million commercial airliners are lost to an accident).
From Gladwell’s Outliers (pp. 183-185):
Plane crashes rarely happen in real life the same way they happen in the movies. Some engine part does not explode in a fiery bang. The rudder doesn’t suddenly snap under the force of takeoff. The captain doesn’t gasp as he’s thrown back against his seat.
The typical commercial jetliner — at this point in its stage of development — is about as dependable as a toaster. Plane crashes are much more likely to be the result of an accumulation of minor difficulties and seemingly trivial malfunctions [emphasis mine].
In a typical crash, for example, the weather is poor — not terrible, necessarily, but bad enough that the pilot feels a little bit more stressed than usual. In an overwhelming number of crashes, the plane is behind schedule, so the pilots are hurrying. In 52 percent of crashes, the pilot at the time of the accident has been awake for twelve hours or more, meaning that he is tired and not thinking sharply. And 44 percent of the time, the two pilots have never flown together before, so they’re not comfortable with each other.
Then the errors start — and it’s not just one error. The typical accident involves seven consecutive human errors. One of the pilots does something wrong that by itself is not a problem. Then one of them makes another error on top of that, which combined with the first error still does not amount to catastrophe. But then they make a third error on top of that, and then another and another and another and another , and it is the combination of all those errors that leads to disaster.
These seven errors, furthermore, are rarely problems of knowledge or flying skill. It’s not that the pilot has to negotiate some critical technical maneuver and fails. The kinds of errors that cause plane crashes are invariably errors of teamwork and communication [emphasis added]. One pilot knows something important and somehow doesn’t tell the other pilot. One pilot does something wrong, and the other pilot doesn’t catch the error. A tricky situation needs to be resolved through a complex series of steps — and somehow the pilots fail to coordinate and miss one of them.
“The whole flight-deck design is intended to be operated by two people, and that operation works best when you have one person checking the other, or both people willing to participate,” says Earl Weener, who was for many years chief engineer for safety at Boeing. “Airplanes are very unforgiving if you don’t do things right. And for a long time it’s been clear that if you have two people operating the airplane cooperatively, you will have a safer operation than if you have a single pilot flying the plane and another person who is simply there to take over if the pilot is incapacitated.”
Gladwell goes on to analyze several specific crashes and draw out the significance for communication patterns, team coordination and, more importantly to his point, the role of culturally absorbed mindsets in how we go about those things. As with the whole book, it is a very, very enjoyable and fruitful read.
If “this is NOT a public phone,” then why are there instructions on how to make outgoing calls (with a request to keep all calls under 3 minutes)?
I get what they mean. But, sending clear messages is a good idea…
From Seth Godin’s post yesterday, “It doesn’t hurt to ask“:
Actually, it does hurt. It does hurt to ask the wrong way, to ask without preparation, to ask without permission. It hurts because you never get another chance to ask right.
If you run into Elton John at the diner and say, “Hey Elton, will you sing at my daughter’s wedding?” it hurts any chance you have to get on Elton John’s radar. You’ve just trained him to say no, you’ve taught him you’re both selfish and unrealistic.
If a prospect walks into your dealership and you walk up and say, “Please pay me $200,000 right now for this Porsche,” you might close the sale. But I doubt it. More likely than not you’ve just pushed this prospect away, turned the sliver of permission you had into a wall of self-protection.
Every once in a while, of course, asking out of the blue pays off. So what? That is dwarfed by the extraordinary odds of failing. Instead, invest some time and earn the right to ask. Do your homework. Build connections. Make a reasonable request, something easy and mutually beneficial. Yes leads to yes which just maybe leads to the engagement you were actually seeking.
The talks given at the TED conferences are some of the best you will ever see. While the actual conference is open to only about 1,000 attendees by invitation only, most of the presentations are available free online.
I highly recommend checking out some of the TED talks. Two sentences on their website sum up what you are in for. The first is their site tagline: “Ideas worth spreading.” That’s what TED is about. The second is “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.” Fantastic.
One of the reasons the talks are so good is that the TED organizers provide the presenters with ten speaking guidelines (the “TED Commandments”). I admit that the concept of “TED Commandments” is a bit hokey, but they are nonetheless very helpful. Here they are:
- Thou Shalt Not Simply Trot Out thy Usual Shtick.
- Thou Shalt Dream a Great Dream, or Show Forth a Wondrous New Thing, Or Share Something Thou Hast Never Shared Before.
- Thou Shalt Reveal thy Curiosity and Thy Passion.
- Thou Shalt Tell a Story.
- Thou Shalt Freely Comment on the Utterances of Other Speakers for the Sake of Blessed Connection and Exquisite Controversy.
- Thou Shalt Not Flaunt thine Ego. Be Thou Vulnerable. Speak of thy Failure as well as thy Success.
- Thou Shalt Not Sell from the Stage: Neither thy Company, thy Goods, thy Writings, nor thy Desperate need for Funding; Lest Thou be Cast Aside into Outer Darkness.
- Thou Shalt Remember all the while: Laughter is Good.
- Thou Shalt Not Read thy Speech.
- Thou Shalt Not Steal the Time of Them that Follow Thee.
After you’ve given a presentation and want to make your slides available to people without having to email it as an attachment to lots of people, how do you do that? Slideshare.
Slideshare is an great place to upload and share the slides from your presentations. You can share them publicly or privately.
For example, I was recently at the Web 2.0 Expo, and a lot of the presenters put their slides up on Slideshare after their presentations. This was pretty handy.
You can also browse thousands of other presentations on the site. For more details, here is a helpful (slide) tour of the site. The most interesting 6 things it tells you about the site are that you can:
- Share your presentations with the world
- Find thousands of interesting presentations
- Create slidecasts (slides plus audio)
- Make professional contacts
- Join groups about interesting topics
- Check out slides from events you missed
Since we’re on the subject of PowerPoint (or Keynote) presentations, it’s worth giving a few words on quality.
First, here’s a helpful visual summary of how to present information in a way that is interesting and does not overwhelm the user.
Second, when creating a presentation, it’s worth checking out powerpointing.com for some useful designs.
Third, it’s worth checking out Edward Tufte’s essay The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint. He talks about the problem with PowerPoint, how to use PowerPoint right, how to avoid the boring use of bullet points, and basically blames the Challenger disaster on the incorrect use of PowerPoint.
Alex Chediak has written a very helpful article on negotiation which has just been posted at Boundless. Alex points out that the goal is to pursue a win-win agreement — that is, two winners, and no losers. This means that we should pursue principled negotiation rather than positional negotiation.
Here are his four main points:
- Separate the people from the problem.
- Negotiation on the basis of objective merits, not subjective preferences.
- Brainstorm creatively to identify mutually beneficial solutions.
- Know when to walk away.
A helpful source for the article was the book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, which I highly recommend. If you read one book on negotiation, that’s the book to read.
And, with this, remember that negotiation is not only a “big event” that happens only once in a while, such as when you buy a car or a house. These principles are relevant every day in many different ways. And we are often participating in “mini-negotiations” throughout the day without even knowing it.
BNET has a good 7-minute video on giving better presentations called Present Like Steve Jobs. “While most speakers merely convey information, Jobs inspires.”
Here are the main points:
- Unveil a single headline that sets the theme. For example, “Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”
- Provide the outline. For example, “I’ve got four things I’d like to talk to you about today. They are …”
- Open and close each section with a transition in between. Make it easy for listeners to follow your story, letting your outline serve as guideposts along the way.
- Don’t be stiff and formal. Have fun and be excited about your company, product, service.
- If you offer numbers and statistics, make them meaningful. For example, don’t just say “we’ve sold 4 million iPhones to date.” Say, “that’s 20,000 each day since it was released.”
- Make it visual. Don’t fill your slides with mind-numbing text and charts. Paint a picture for your audience without overwhelming them. Use video clips, demonstrations, and guests.
- Identify your memorable moment and build up to it.
- Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse some more.
- Give your audience an added bonus to walk away with. “One more thing …”