Change the World

Imagine walking into an empty boardroom, and it looks like this…

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You’re the first person to arrive at a meeting, and a projector is set up, so you know there is going to be a presentation. You can sit wherever you want, but you’ll have to wait for the others to arrive.

At this moment… how do you feel?

I posed this question to a group of public servants in one of my recent presentations. The responses I got were not at all surprising:

Dread

Annoyed

Bored (and the presentation hadn’t even begun!)

And of course, “Why am I here?”

I was quick to say that I feel the same way, almost every time. I’ve sat through countless presentations wishing someone would stab me in the throat, and that’s time I’ll never get back. And that’s sad.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

The presentation I was giving that day was a call to action, a dramatically expressed idea that we can change the world we live in, one presentation at a time. Each and every presentation is an opportunity to inspire and to incite change — to convince a willing audience that things do not have to remain the way they are, they can get better. All we need do is invest a little time… and a little passion.

I now see a blank screen as an empty stage where, with a touch of imagination, wondrous things can happen. And, yes, some people are gifted public speakers while others practically faint when in front of three people. But the great thing is, when presenting your own material, it doesn’t matter because the best presentations are suited to our own personal styles. Taking the time to create visually persuasive slides, and rehearsing the delivery of your presentation, can make the difference between an inspired audience and a group of conspirators plotting your murder.

One of the world’s greatest presenters and teachers, Nancy Duarte, says:

Passion for your idea should drive you to invest in its communication.

This is the main reason I’ve started this blog, so that I can share my passion for presentations that pop, that resonate, that inspire, and to do what I can to help others think beyond the bullets and the text-ridden slides and create presentations that change the world.

Bring those blank screens and those empty boardrooms to life — and make your space — any space — pop.

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