Change me, or else stay home!

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“Every presentation worth doing has just one purpose. To make a change happen.”

Seth Godin

In my courses I use a lot of icons and this is the one that is most dear to me.

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It’s a square that is transformed into a circle. And in its simplicity it represents 100% of the journey of a presentation.

Right now you might be saying: wait a second, my presentation is not about a transformation, it’s about the Q2 budget forecast, it’s about workplace safety, it’s about how to carve a pumpkin.

Well, you’re correct: budget is the topic of your presentation. But at the core of your presentation there is something else.

Let’s dive in with a few questions.

– How do you aim to transform the hearts and brains of your audience through the subject of “Q2 budget forecast?”

– How will the data, information and opinions in your presentation affect your audience?

– How do you wish to move their point of view, their emotional state with your presentation?

By answering these questions you will get to what I call the “core transformation” of your presentation. And yes, it is necessary even when discussing the Q2 budget.

This one, main, transformation is what changes between the beginning and the end of your presentation. If in between the start and the grand finale of your presentation nothing changes, I hate to break it to you, but you’ve got an issue.

If your audience doesn’t have a new consciousness, a new feeling, or at least a new compelling thought at the end of your presentation, then you need to rethink your presentation project.

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I recently ran a workshop during the Milan Social Media Week in the 2015 Expo spaces. There I had 50 people work on their core transformation. I asked them to express the question “how will my presentation transform my audience?” in the form of “I want my audience to go from X to Y in regards to Z” and to write that down in such a form that it would fit a small sticky note.

This one single question sparked a waterfall of other related questions about the audience, the content, the objective of the presentation.

The conversation started by this one question is the most important you can have before you start any presentation.

This is the one thing that I wish you to take away from Presentation Hero: each time you’re tasked with a presentation, focus on this core transformation.

To do so, switch off your computer, put your phone on silent, stand up, take a bunch of sticky notes and use a wall around you. You will get your blood pumping and your creativity flowing, and you will start the presentation process by asking the single most important question.

I can assure you: it will make all your presentations better.

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Credits: Icon created by Daniel Hug from The Noun Project