Sunday, December 13, 2009
3...2...1 Lift Off!
My five-year old son is passionately interested in space shuttles.
As a near complete ignoramus on the subject, I am grateful to be learning new things from him each day.
Just recently, for instance, he opened my eyes to the wonder of the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs). I had no idea, for example, that two SRBs provide the main thrust to lift the shuttle off the launch pad. Once the shuttle has reached an altitude of 150,000, the rockets drop into the ocean and are subsequently recovered.
These enormous rockets' sole purpose is the get the shuttle on it's way.
Then it hit me.
This is what's missing from so many presentations.
So often, we begin a presentation with hesitation and self-deprecation, when what we really need is 2,800,000 pounds of force. Without a powerful lift-off, your presentation will never get off the ground.
What every presentation needs is a pair of Solid Rocket Boosters.
Let's call the first one the "Content Rocket Booster." Get right into the heart of your message. Don't waste time with pleasanteries. Demonstrate immediately that you have something significant to offer your listeners.
Let's call the second one the "Delivery Rocket Booster." This rocket takes off from the moment you walk up to the podium. Even your most powerful content will lose it's liftoff force if it is not supported by your delivery.
And the amazing thing about your SRBs? Like the space shuttle SRBs, you can reuse them again and again. Once you have developed one powerful opener, you can replicate much of the energy, structure, and delivery in subsequent presentations.
From the Green Room: Think of your opener as a space shuttle liftoff. You need extra power - in both content and delivery - to fully capture the audience's attention and get your speech off the ground.