A while ago, I was asked to participate with a snippet on what I think is an important lesson on preparing and delivering presentations. I did, and now it appeared in an electronic book together with contributions from 79 other co-authors.
Here is my contribution:
Facts are boring. Stories make them interesting.
It’s one thing to expose the facts about climate changing, and another one to tell a story about it. One leaves the audience indifferent, and one gets it excited. Al Gore tried the first one for decades. He had all the right data, but it took him to dress it in a story to get noticed. Yet, what truly brought it to life was him climbing on a stage crane to show what an off-the-charts-value truly means. That’s the power of a demo.
We crave concreteness. We want to sense. Our imagination thrives on examples. Tap that opportunity. Get the audience to experience your story. Don’t just talk about it. Demo it.
A good demo materializes your story and puts energies in motion. But, demoing is more than just marketing. It’s a design tool, too: When you demo, you cannot get away with big words. You have to show your story’s worth. It’s the best feedback mechanism you have available.
Demoing is a skill, and like any skill, it can be trained. Regardless of the subject, there always is an exciting demo lurking underneath. It just takes you to find it. And to do it.
And the full book is available on slideshare.