Inspiration, not information

At every presentation, the level of understanding of the subject matter by the audience varies widely.

If you’re giving a presentation on social media, some people are well educated and understand it’s place in business (and it’s not always the people live-tweeting your thoughts). There are others who know a little but are less familiar than the first group. Still others may know little to nothing.

The audience’s knowledge and experience lies along a wide spectrum.

So what is a good presenter to do? How do you make sure that the experts aren’t bored and the others aren’t left behind?

Use inspiration, not information.

Use the information to illustrate a key point or concept. Tell a story. Take them to a place.

Sir Ken Robinson presented to a room full of TED folks who knew (in varying degrees) that our current education system is sub-optimal.

Steve Jobs presents to hundreds of thousands of people, in person and online, who have literally been predicting and prototyping what he’s going to tell them.

Don’t give information. Give inspiration.

Then, you’ll have the whole room.

Comments

  1. Tim Sanchez says:

    Why didn't you post this five years ago and then force me to read it?

    It took me a long time to realize that people don't want to know all the details. They don't care about all the ins and outs of how something works.

    Like you said, they want inspiration and confidence; they want to feel your passion for something and get excited. Being bogged down in details is not exciting.

    I've also learned that the people who actually want the nitty gritty details get a great deal of pleasure out of asking you those questions in a one-on-one setting.

  2. This is good advice. I've given presentations on social media for business to rooms as big as 30 and, you're right, keeping the attention of the entire room is not an easy task given the inevitably varying skill set. Keep it simple, and inspire them is good advice.

  3. This is just what I needed to hear – I'll be doing many presentations in the coming months – using my passion for the project already inspires people. I'm glad Steffan A introduced me to you Clay – and thanks for Fear.less – inspiring itself…

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