Saturday, March 28, 2009

Telling a story

During the latter half of the week I attended the Aged Care Queensland conference at the Gold Coast. The final session of the three day conference was a talk by a young Australian, Matt McFadyen. Matt is only 27 and has already managed to fit in several life-changing adventures to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Apart from the inspirational aspects of his story, I was impressed by Matt's actual presentation style. Matt beautifully illustrated five very important considerations for giving a presentation, talk or telling a story. None of these things are rocket science, but they are worth reminding yourself about them from time to time.

Giving a presentation
  • I know I have said it before, but the way to engage people is NOT to use a series of boring PowerPoint slides with nothing but text. If you wish to use visual aids use images, video or other means of illustrating what you want to say.
  • Be passionate about what the topic. Passion is catching and will help the audience feel closer to you.
  • Have a structure to your story. Draw the picture, build the tension and lead the audience along with you. Don't be afraid to be a little bit of a showman.
  • Use personal stories to illustrate your point. Human stories make a talk so much more relevant to the audience.
  • Know your stuff. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will be in the delivery of your material. And the more confident you are, the more you will enjoy yourself - this enjoyment will rub off on your audience who will in turn enjoy themselves.
For all the digital entertainment that is available these days, I do not think you can beat listening to a good yarn. Who do you know tells a good story?

Image: 'Jan2009AntarticaSailTrip020'

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