September 24, 2008

Learn from the kids



I got a great comment from Lance at The Jungle of Life blog in response to the post "Experts don't always know best." I wanted to share his perspective on the freedom kids have to express themselves in ways adults cringe to think about.

"My kids (especially my 11-year-old daughter) really like to mess around with PowerPoint. I didn't give them any instruction, they just ran with it. And what do they have when they're done - lots of pictures, big text, crazy transitions, lots of color. It speaks WOW! And, that's because they're kids, and kids like wow, not dull and boring.

Why, as adults, do we think dull and boring is acceptable - when did we start to like dull and boring?? We do it because it's safe? I've done it because it's safe in the past. And safe is not fun. It's like we get a case of "adultitis" (thanks for the term, Kim and Jason) when we do a presentation. I say, let's learn from the kids - be wild and audacious! And wow your audience!"

Then the other day, I read on Gavin Meikle's blog his belief that emotion is key to a presentation:

"I think that most business presenters think that emotions are left at the door when one walks into the office. People want facts right? Dispassionate, rational arguments supported by lots of data, right?

NO! No! No!

It is impossible for us to check our emotions in at the door. Human beings are by definition emotional and therefore no matter how logical we like to think we are, emotions are at the heart of our decision making strategies. If you want to 'motivate' your audience to do something as a result of your presentation then you have to engage their 'emotional brain' as well as their logical and analytical side."

Let's hear it for letting go of the stuffy, suffocating, overly-serious style of business presenting. Let's punch our audiences in the gut or tickle their funny bones and instead of putting them to sleep, wake them up with a wildly engaging presentation.

Will they get the same data and facts? Yes! Will they be bored out of their minds? No!

Please. Just consider it. Just toy with the idea. Just get out of your cage, take off the corset and let down your hair. Have some fun. You might enjoy it. Your audience will enjoy it more.

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3 comments. Please add yours! :

Gavin Meikle, Trainer, Speaker & Coach said...

Congratulations Lisa - Another stonkingly good post .

Lance said...

Right on the money! And thanks for the mention!

I also really like what Gavin has to say about emotion - let's bring it in with us!

Just yesterday at work, we had a couple of employees who had been at our company 30 years (I know, that's like forever!). And there was a short presentation to honor them. With a small bit of Powerpoint. But done right! Pictures, flashy, light and fun! Was it because this wasn't a typical meeting or presentation? Sadly, I think so... I want more of this. It was fun. It set the mood.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for your input, Gavin and Lance!

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