The conference season is upon us. For me, it kicks off this weekend at SXSW where I'm participating on three sessions, including the first ever poetry slam. Next month will include NTEN's NTC. I love doing presentations, the preparation, creating the content, and the performance. Many of my presentations are training, so it is also thinking through the instructional delivery.
Rashmi Sinha asked me if I would do a session on how to present for nonprofits at the upcoming presentation camp. When I asked her what did you think would be most useful, she urged me to "open source my creative process." I thought it would be a great oppotunity to reflect on process and help others.
I've taught webinars and workshops on how to design and deliver effective training sessions and have written a few blog posts on training and presentation techniques. But I haven't focused on it in much depth recently. So, this is my excuse to devote some brain time to the topic.
Earlier this week, I was inspired by my good colleague, Alan Levine (aka Cogdog), I visited Save the Words. It's an interactive flash site that lets users find and adopt words that are in danger of being removed from the dictionary.
I adopted the word archiloquy. It's the first part of a speech or presentation. That's the most important part of your presentation because you need to grab the audiences' attention. I use a variety of techniques to do this, but one of my favorites is to create a story. I learned this from Andy Goodman -- I've taken his workshops and read his books.
Andy is a master at storytelling. In his workshops, he offers the following formula for a storytelling based on Hollywood script writing:
- Introduce the central character
- Inciting moment: something bad happens to the character that will prevent them from achieving a goal related to the goal of your presentation
- Barrier to resolution #1: Character tries to solve the problem, but can't
- Barrier to resolution #2: Characater tries to solve the problem, but can't
- Resolution: What you're going to share in your presentation
- Widen the Lens: The bigger picture
If you are working for a nonprofit and have an upcoming presentation, what do you think are the barriers to creating and delivering a fantastic presentation? How have you resolved those issues?