Why a Presentation is Different Than a Speech
What are the three parts of a presentation? Most people’s knee-jerk response is “Open, body, and conclusion”
That’s not correct. The open, body and conclusion are the three parts of the speech. The opening question asked about three parts of a presentation.
What’s the difference?
The answer to that question is the subject of the next three blog posts.
According to World Champion speaker Lance Miller, the three parts of a presentation are life force, material, and mechanics. His points out that a presentation is much more than the written text. By maximizing the impact of life force, material and mechanics, you enhance your chances of connecting with, and leaving a lasting impact on your audience.
What is life force? It’s the passion and enthusiasm with which you present. It’s the energy that grabs and maintains audience interest. Mr. Miller believes life force is at least half of the presentation. I can’t disagree… after all, he is a World Champion Speaker, and I’m not.
Imagine This Scenario
You’re sitting in an auditorium with 350 other people. You’re eagerly anticipating the featured speaker. He is an expert in his field. You’ve enjoyed reading his articles and books. He is introduced. As he walks onstage, you join the rest of the audience in welcoming him with enthusiastic applause. He settles behind the lectern, and…
He fumbles with his papers, and begins to speak (in a monotonous, barely audible voice)… “Um, good morning. I’m very happy to, err, be here this morning… I’m sorry, umm, this afternoon. Today, I’m going to discuss the, uh . . . . . .”
Excuse me?? You don’t sound, or look happy to be here, Mr. Speaker. As speaker Darren LaCroix has said, “If you’re SO happy to be here, why don’t you tell your body, your voice, and your face?” Ten seconds into the speech you’ve been so eager to hear, how did you feel?? Let down? Discouraged? Angry?
Perhaps you’re thinking “Here goes 45 minutes of my life I’ll never get back!” No matter how much knowledge the speaker has or how well the speech was structured, without life force, the presentation is completely forgettable. Unfortunately, the above scenario plays out every day.
Energy. The Difference Maker
If this presenter would’ve had some energy, the talk might have been a positive, even memorable event.
When I evaluate a speech, the first question I ask is, ‘Does this speaker care about what she is saying?’ If she doesn’t care, why should I?
When that person shows concern and passion for the subject, I’m pulled in. I might not like, or agree with everything she says, but if she is presenting with some level of passion, I’m much more inclined to listen to her point of view.
Note that energy does not mean the stereotypical standing up, yelling and leading a wildly enthusiastic crowd, a la Tony Robbins. There’s nothing wrong with this type of presentations, by the way, but not everybody is an ultra-extroverted ball of energy like Mr. Robbins. In fact, no one is like Tony.
It’s important to know your personality and how you best communicate. If you’re more analytical and introverted, jumping on chairs and encouraging high-fives in your audience will make you look ridiculous, because it’s not your style. However, you can bring a “quiet passion” to the front of the room that will engage your audience.
As an example, for the speaker mentioned above, your reaction would’ve been different if he had stepped to the lectern with a smile on his face and a confident voice, and said,“Quantum mechanics may not be the hot topic around your dinner table every night. Yet it impacts you in many ways. When you leave here tonight you’ll understand it’s importance in your day-to-day life. I should know, because the study of this fascinating topic has been my life’s work…”
That type of opening conveys an energy which the audience feels and compels them to want to hear more.
Life Force. It can make or break your presentation, as well as your reputation. When your present with life force, you are halfway to giving your audience a message that has impact and that they will long remember.
What are your experiences with speakers who present with great energy? Please share them below:
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