“We are in an age of unprecedented change, it’s a ‘revolutionary’ time to be alive! The question we need to be asking ourselves is - ‘Am I leading that change?’ I believe we all have a choice to step up into personal, professional and social leadership. We have a choice to become agents for change, amplifiers, thought leaders to upgrade our thinking and lead our very own revolutions.”

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Entries in presentation slides (2)


Paint your words with pictures

When you are giving a speech or a presentation, it makes it easier for the audience to connect with and understand your message if you consider a visual element and show them your point while you tell it to them.

Any picture representation of your idea will increase audience engagement dramatically. The use of a "big picture" visual allows people to wander on purpose. We cannot speak fast enough for the human brain, so it is natural that some of your audience will not be listening to your words. Allow them to think about your point ahead of you by giving them a visual framework – a map to guide their thoughts.

Here are some different visual elements that you could use:

  1. Models, based on geometric shapes like circles triangles and squares
  2. Metaphors and analogies, based on every day life examples that people would know – e.g. the role of a compass or learning to drive
  3. Icons and symbols that convey meaning without the need for explanation – e.g. a stop sign or crucifix
  4. An actual picture of your point
  5. A graph, but not with too much detail
Paint your words with pictures.



More unplugged please

I love images in presentations. I love the Keynote (Apple's power point) software. I love high quality carefully selected, conceptual images, as a picture does paint a thousand words.

AND...try presenting without any!

In a high tech world, a low-tech approach could make the difference.

Try this next time you present, pitch or attempt to engage a group...

  1. Put up one big slide with either a montage of images or a series of statements, graffiti style on the screen. Don't look at it, don't refer to it just let it be a backdrop to your fabulous presentation.
  2. Draw a diagram with your body. If you have an X Y graph or a 4-box quadrant model, animate it with your physicality as you move across the stage.
  3. Tell more stories.
I have a friend, Peter Sheahan who is a world class presenter and he uses a graphic tablet to draw his models so that they have an unplugged vibe, but work in large audience environments.

Unplug your technology to plug in your audience. You might be surprised with the results!

Matt Church

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