•Stories: World-renowned marketer Seth Godin argues in this presentation that businesses face the latest incarnation of the industrial revolution in the form of social media, like YouTube, Twitter, and FaceBook. As in revolutions of the past, business leaders who embrace change will survive and flourish. Those who scorn it will soon disappear.
It’s a conceptual point about change that others have made countless times. However, Godin illustrates the point with a great story and makes himself memorable by doing so.
Josiah Wedgewood (featured in Slide 1) and his brother Thomas were potters. Like all potters in the early 1700s, they were poor. Josiah and his brother took two different paths.
Josiah saw the industrial revolution happening around him and joined it. He opened the first china factory in England. He ran the first direct mail campaign, shipping $2 million of pottery to royalty across Europe (featured in Slide 2). He opened the first ever showroom in London (featured in Slide 3). Thomas took after their father. He continued working the old-fashioned way, making one ware at a time.
Thomas died penniless. Josiah—having embraced the revolution—lived to become a billionaire in his day.
The story is compelling, as are the slides—no text, just pictures. Godin succeeds in makes his point powerfully.
Your Assignment: Adults, like kids, love stories. Which stories from outside your profession, culture, or time period, can you tell in your presentation? What images can you use in your slides to make the story more compelling and to keep the audience’s attention? Recall or research some. Attendees, like me, will remember it years later.
•Riddles and Puzzles: Attendees tend to arrive five minutes early for a webinar to make sure their technology works. The presenter has five minutes to warm up the audience! Most webinars display a title slide beforehand. The audience sits idle or whiles away the time.
Mark Levy, author of Accidental Genius, did something different. He chose to put up a riddle before his webinar went live (as shown in Slide 4).
Inappropriate for a professional setting? Hardly. Accountants, lawyers, and consultants watched this presentation and gave it "excellent" reviews. The slide set the stage for a fun and interactive presentation, which it went on to be.
(Levy also tastefully marketed himself in this slide by rewarding whoever gave the best answer with free content, his book.)
Your Assignment: Adults, like kids, love games. What riddle or puzzle can you ask the audience beforehand? It could be something as irreverent as Levy’s or something surprising from your research or a business myth most attendees haven’t debunked. Regardless of what you select, you will have the audience curious and eager to hear your first words.
•Worksheets and Leave-Behinds: Many presenters go about explaining a concept or a tactic for the length of their webinar. The presentation ends up being academic: Interesting to know, but not practical to attendees' needs.
In this presentation, Levy discussed how to create insight-based case studies. He made the presentation actionable by listing questions attendees could ask themselves (in Slide 5). In the context of the entire presentation, these questions offered businesspeople a starting point for writing their own case study.
The questions are particularly helpful because starting a writing assignment is the most difficult part for writers and non-writers alike. These questions push them through the inertia and give them momentum.
Your Assignment: Change your perspective from presenter to participant. What actions must a participant take to implement or practice what you say? What questions might they to ask to start brainstorming? What templates might be helpful? Worksheets, questions, templates and the like are ideal leave-behinds for an audience. Create some for yours and they will remember it, share it, and give you credit for what you contributed.