I'm enjoying the second day at MarketingProfs Finders, Keepers workshop and I've noticed something important...
The best presentations have lots of "lumps" in them. Instead of proceeding smoothly from point to point or slide to slide, the presentations that hold my interest -- and build real excitement in the audience -- are broken up with active spontaneous conversations that emerge from audience questions. These sudden eruptions often prove more valuable and instructive than the intended presentation material itself.
That gets me thinking: As speakers, perhaps we should spend less time agonizing over a "perfect" presentation (and rolling it out flawlessly) and instead, think of our material as a starting point. Let the content be catalysts for engaging our audiences in active give-and-takes that illuminate the subject at hand on the terms that matter most, the pressing needs and cumulative experiences of the audience itself.
Just a few minutes ago, Jim Lenskold finished a terrific talk on measuring marketing ROI. While his slides were excellent, the best moments came when Jim responded to audience questions that in turn led to open discussions, based on our experiences, about the strengths and weaknesses of various measurement models. No slides and few articles or books could have captured all the wealth of insight that emerged spontaneously within that room.
Real learning can be a little messy. But creativity always makes a mess. And the opportunity for creative mess is the real beauty of a live presentation.
Take the first step (it's free).
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