Photo: White House Flickr
At a time when people are tweeting, blogging, emailing, and more 24/7, the best way to genuinely connect and make your voice heard, is through memorable, in-person presentations.”Great presentations are like magic,” says Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design, author of Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences.
“If people can easily recall, repeat, and transfer your message, you did a great job conveying it,” says Duarte. “To achieve this, you should have a handful of succinct, clear, and repeatable sound bites planted in your presentation that people can effortlessly remember. A thoroughly considered sound bite can create a Something They’ll Always Remember (S.T.A.R.) moment—not only for the people present in the audience but also for the ones who will encounter your presentation through broadcast or social media channels.”
Nancy Duarte is author of Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences and CEO of Duarte Design in Silicon Valley. This excerpt has been republished with permission.
Picture each person you speak to as a little radio tower empowered to repeat your key concepts over and over.
'Some of the most innocent-looking people have 50 thousand followers in their social networks,' says Duarte. 'When one sound bite is sent to their followers, it can get re-sent hundreds of thousands of times.'
Your rally cry will be a small, repeatable phrase that can become the slogan and rallying cry of the masses trying to promote your idea.
President Obama's campaign slogan, 'Yes We Can,' originated from a speech during the primary elections.
For presentations where the press is present, be sure to repeat critical messages verbatim from your press materials. 'Doing so ensures that the press will pick up the right sound bites,' explains Duarte.
'The same is true for any camera crews who might be filming your presentation. Make sure you have at least a fifteen- to 30-second message that is so salient it will be obvious to reporters that it should be featured in the broadcasts.'
Take time to carefully craft a few messages with catchy words. 'For example, Neil Armstrong used the six hours and 40 minutes between his moon landing and first step to craft his historic statement,' says Duarte.
'Phrases that have historical significance or become headlines don't just magically appear in the moment. They are mindfully planned.'
Once you've crafted the message, there are three ways to ensure the audience remembers it: First, repeating the phrase more than once.
Second, punctuating it with a pause that gives the audience time to write down exactly what you said. And finally, projecting the words on a slide so they receive the message visually as well as aurally.
Everyone knows the Golden Rule,' says Duarte. ''Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'
Well, an imitation of that famous phrase might be, 'Never give a presentation you wouldn't want to sit through yourself.''
'The future isn't just a place you'll go,' says Duarte. 'It's a place you will invent.'
'Your ability to shape your future depends on how well you communicate where you want to be when you get there. When ideas are communicated effectively, people follow and change.
Words that are carefully framed and spoken are the most powerful means of communication there is.'
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