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Chapter 6. The Presentation Hand > SUCCESS CARD 24: Be Unique & Look Globally

SUCCESS CARD 24: Be Unique & Look Globally

Be Unique

Audiences get tired of speakers and speeches that all sound the same. You've probably sat through plenty of speeches that could have easily been phoned in by the presenter: speakers stuck behind lecterns, heads popping up from reading notes only long enough to check that the next slide has appeared. No one likes to listen to a talking head. You need to find ways to be unique in this sea of presentation sameness. Being distinctive will set you apart and make both you and your message memorable.

Training workshops are different from speeches. Interaction and group activities are expected during training to ensure that learning has taken place. Be careful about adding unnecessary, gimmicky activities to formal presentations, especially if the audience is composed of high-level types. They're usually not interested in “icebreakers” or other types of frivolous exercises. They want solid content delivered by a knowledgeable speaker. That's not to say, however, that there can't be some creativity to the presentation. Audience participation can be part of your speech without asking anyone to move out of his or her seat. Asking questions, rhetorical or otherwise, can be a great way to involve the audience. One speaker during a post-September 11 presentation on home security asked for all firefighters and police in the audience to stand to be thanked publicly. Another presentation on twentieth-century military history asked audience members to call out their draft numbers. Simply asking for a show of hands can be an easy way to keep the audience involved and the juices flowing.


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