February 22, 2013

How have you pushed the boundaries of your presentations?



Photo Credit: evansrobinson // Armchair Photography via Compfight cc
A common concern of inexperienced speakers (and even sometimes for experienced speakers) is the fear of doing something "different" and standing out from the crowd.

They fear that audience engagement activities will be perceived as "not serious," or presentation slides with images will be perceived as "fluff." 

They sit instead of stand at the conference table because "that's just how it's done." 

They wear suits when they don't want to wear suits, or neutral tones even though they like bright colors. They give self-introductions of lengthy credentials and thank yous for no good reason except that everyone else does it that way.

And so on...

So here's my question for you:

What have you done successfully -- in your presentations -- that was considered "different" or "unusual" or "outside the box" for your particular company or industry? 

Have you done one or some of the above? Have you taken a risk and done something else that generally "isn't done" in your field -- and had great results? Please share in the comments!

I want my readers and clients to see examples of successfully challenging the status quo (stick to the realm of public speaking, please), and the positive results that can be achieved by standing out instead of blending in.

Thanks!


2 comments. Please add yours! :

Emma Sutton said...

Here are some of the risks I've taken:
1) Did a session on communication skills where the room was totally dark - if people wanted to speak they used a torch to illuminate their face. We explored how images and music can be matched to create an emotional response and the darkness helped people concentrate on what they were feeling...
2) Created a Cluedo / Snap/ Kids Games-based session for lawyers to teach them about construction law contracts - the presenters were really nervous about it since lawyers don't typically experience that type of learning, but they loved it and laughed (said it was the best workshop they had ever been on)
3) I also present frequently using the Pecha Kucha format - which helps me to refine my own skills in being concise - I wish all conference organisers used it, it would save a lot of wasted time and energy!

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Love these ideas, Emma! Getting out of your comfort zone -- and getting the *audience* out of their comfort zone -- is a great way to enhance learning and retention. And to have fun!

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