Your brain is like a surfer on the waves.
When the surfer sees a big wave coming, he rides that wave.
And then he zigs and zags to keep his balance, as the wave rushes madly to shore.
But right after the ‘surfer's wave' is another wave.
And dozens of others.
But the surfer can only ride one wave, right?
Right. And that's why your presentation is so confusing.
That's why you put your audience to sleep. That's why your audience can't sum up in one word or phrase what you just said.
You're getting the audience to ride too many waves
You know what I'm talking about. Because you've experienced a pathetic presentation before.
You've sat in the audience, while some super-dope has about two hundred and fifty seven points on his PowerPoint slide.
Then that super-dope proceeds to explain all those points.
Forcing you to ride two hundred and fifty seven waves.
Two hundred and fifty seven waves make your brain very, very tired. As in, ‘you are feeling sleepy. You are falling asleep.'
But you don't have to be a super-dope. Just being a dope will do.
Just five points in a presentation are like trying to get an audience to ride five waves back to back.
Just five points can make the brains in your audience go into shutdown mode.
So what's the secret to keeping audiences awake?
If you're going to talk about a topic like marketing, you're covering too many waves. If you're going to talk about a topic like house-building, you're covering too many waves. If you're going to talk about the state of the economy, you're covering pretty much the ocean.
Instead talk about a sub-section of marketing, house-building, and the economy.
Talk about a narrower topic such as: Attracting customers.
Then slash that topic down even further, to say: Attracting Customers by Creating Brochures.
And go slash, choppity-chop even further down, to say: Attracting Customers With Powerful Brochure Headlines.
Then ride that wave to the shore.
Attack that ‘wave' from different angles, as a surfer would zig and zag.
Learn from your newspaper, magazine and TV News
If you switch on your TV to the 6pm news, you’ll notice the ‘One Wave’ concept. The anchor newsreader will announce the topic: e.g. The price of petrol. From that moment on, the story about the price of petrol is driven home from all possible angles in a space of about 3-5 minutes.
And notice how the wave stays on topic. Because when the price of petrol goes up, so does jet fuel. And diesel.
But no, the TV report will cover those topics in another segment; on another day; maybe next month. They don’t try to cover every industry that’s affected by petrol. They’ll only cover one angle like how the price of petrol is affecting families. Or taxi cab owners.
And then once they’ve completed that wave, they move onto the next big story. And of course, this is where your presentation is slightly different. You see, the news needs to consist of various segments as it chugs along. You don’t need to do the same.
You can take one itty-bitty topic, and drive it home from various angles. And leave the rest of the related topics for another presentation; another day.
This single wave presentation isn’t solely beneficial for the audience
It’s good for you as well. If you try to cram too much into a topic, you’re often scattered; unfocused and frustrated. But when you’ve got to cover a narrow angle, you know exactly what to look for, and where to find it. You can go deep instead of wide.
And thereby save yourself a lot of time, effort and hassle.
Just like I did with this article…
Notice how the article started out with just one concept of how the brain assimilates (and rejects information). Notice how it used just one analogy—that of waves. Notice how the article brought in angles like super-dope, and narrowing down your topic, and how newspapers, magazines, and the 6pm news covers just one wave at a time.
The focus and clarity of the wave concept enabled me to put this article together in an extremely short time. If it were a presentation, I’d be able to explain the same points with little or no hassle. And of course, the audience (that’s you) would get the wave concept, as you have already done so.
So, if you want to get your audience to remember what you've said. If you really want to get your point across. If you don't want the wonderful, memorable title of super-dope…
Ride one wave.
Next Step: Want to learn more about Presentation Techniques? Find the entire presentation series in text, audio with cartoons!
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