30 million presentations are given every day.
That’s a lot.
A lot of time. A lot of money. A lot of effort.
So why? In a world of instant messaging, group chats, online marketing, podcasts and webinars why do we put so much effort in to creating, delivering and stressing out about presentations?
For me the key is in the thing that presentation does a million times more effectively than other forms of communication – emotional personal engagement.
This is something I talk about a lot.
Think about a film or piece of theatre you saw in the last month. Can you remember every line? Every scene? Every character? Of course not. But you do remember if you liked it, if it was happy, sad, exciting. You remember how it made you feel.
And that is what we tend to take away from presentations. You get maybe a couple of key points, no more, and an emotional memory. Did you enjoy it? was it terrible? Inspiring? Thought provoking.
This emotional memory bit is key.
When they are strong they last, we carry them around, sometimes for years. More so when they are particularly positive or negative; can you remember an especially good or bad presentation you saw? How long ago was it?
I remember my very first high school physics lesson where the teacher put a jar on a bench at the front. Throughout the lesson it randomly changed colour; I couldn’t tell you what the lesson was about but I remember feeling amazed by the science, impressed with the teacher and generally excited about physics (maybe that’s why I went on to study engineering who knows).
Memories attached to emotional experiences last a long time; And in doing an emotionally engaged presentation which connects our audience to, not only the content, but to us as people we can create those memories.
Memories which in 6 months time might result in a referral or repeat work. Memories which cause people to say nice things about us on social media, and to their friends.
Memories which last long after the audience has forgotten everything else.
But more that, the reason that we continue to stand up, grab a clicker and talk to people… is that person to person is the best way connect with others. Its not an avatar or profile pic you’re talking to, they don’t take ages to reply or ignore your messages, their approval is not reduced to an unthinking impulse to “like”.
Human to human, person to person, that is our best chance to engage, inspire, and communicate meaningfully.
Business is often cold, lonely, and soulless, but everyday 30 million people stand in front of some other people…
Say “hello”…and try to connect.
I think there is something wonderful in that.
Get in touch if you do to.