A Priority For Personal Development
We start early doing it.
As babies, we cried to get what we wanted.
As toddlers, we cried sometimes but developed other skills like whining, being annoying or being cute to get our way.
As adolescents, a whole new set of skills were required as the things we wanted seemed contrary to what our parents were ready for… dating, driving, sleepovers, going to the mall, etc.
As adults, “making our case” is huge. It determines if we get a job, get a spouse, get a promotion, get a raise, make a sale, get a deal, and further our cause.
So much of our success, our happiness, our reputation, our standing, and our acceptance depend on making our case.
I got to thinking about this when I was reading Derek Halpern’s blog, How to Create Great Presentations. It occurred to me that what it takes to make a great presentation is the same as what it takes to make your case in any number of settings. Those starting a home business will readily find several such settings.
Whether we are making a presentation, making a sale, writing a blog, or trying to convince our spouse what a better place the world would be if we just had the latest new gadget we crave; it’s all the same methodology.
It’s learning “how to make your case.”
Is Your Kingly Content Enough?
As bloggers, we tend to think that making your case is all about content. After all, we hear it over and over that “content is king.”
But there is more to it than that.
Derek got onto this because his reputation for creating great content began to attract offers of speaking engagements.
Here’s how Derek explains it in his blog …
What’s the difference between a great and bad presentation?
You might think it’s all about the content, and while that may “sound” right, it’s false.
I know this because I learned it the hard way. Back when I started speaking, I was a smart guy with a mic on a stage. And while my information was solid, people rated my first ever presentation as “average.”
Derek was not going to settle for “average.”
I bought LOADS of books about giving great presentations, watched all of the most popular TED talks, and practiced so much that my neighbors probably thought I was crazy.
All this effort took Derek from “average” to “good” but then…
My presentation skills “tipped” from good to great after I stumbled on Nancy Duarte’s work.
Nancy Duarte is CEO of Duarte Design, a leading presentation design firm which she founded and she authored two best-selling books on the subject, Slide:ology and Resonate.
Derek interviewed Nancy recently and you can listen to the audio (MP3) on his blog post, How to Create Great Presentations (tips from the CEO of the top presentation design firm).
In the interview, Derek asks her to talk about some of the things from her book that were most helpful to him in improving his presentation skills.
I’ll just mention a few that resonated with me but I recommend you read Derek’s blog and listen to the audio to get full benefit. You may even be inclined to buy her book.
Contrast “what is” with “what could be.” In other words in your presentation (or blog, story, pitch, etc.) draw a contrast of what things are like without your product, service or cause and “what could be” if they had what you have to offer.
She also talks about the classic Aristotle model of a good speech with a beginning, a middle and an end but says the beginning should be about 10%, the middle about 80% and the end about 10%. But more importantly the transitions from one to the other should be distinctive where the audience knows when beginning is over and the middle begins and when the middle is over and the end begins. OK, you have to be there and hear her explain it to appreciate this.
Every presentation should have a STAR moment… this is an acronym for something they’ll always remember. She uses the example of Steve Jobs introducing the Macbook Air computer with a STAR moment of pulling the super-thin computer from an interoffice envelope. You don’t forget moments like that.
There’s more on Derek's blog for your personal development… just keep in mind that what you learn here has application to more than just speaking and making presentations.
Go to Derek’s blog, read about his journey from average to great, listen to the audio, and if you are really serious, buy Nancy’s book at our affiliate link.
Here’s to you “making your case,”
P.S. Please join in the “starting a home business” conversation by liking, sharing, and leaving a comment.
P.P.S. If you are inspired to learn about how to build your business successfully, work with us by joining our team.