Will that be FACT or FICTION?
by Trish Green
How did it happen?
Another pointless presentation. The presenter was a gifted storyteller.
She had wonderful stories, spoke dramatically, told endless jokes, which
she laughed at uproariously, and never got to her point. Certainly, we
were entertained but that feeling of what to do next lingered on.
Her mistake was
having no structure. She admitted she didn’t know where she was going,
and certainly we didn’t either. A missed opportunity — perhaps. She
saw it more as an opportunity to learn more about building structure into
her next presentation. And she did.
I explained to her there are two basic approaches to presenting – both work – both require structure. You can create a dramatic structure by Telling a Story or you can create a straightforward structure by Telling the Facts.
Why Tell Stories —
facts come to life
a memory aid
Tell Just the Facts — they provide information
Order the facts
Include your POV
The two approaches to structuring a presentation are critically intertwined. An informative presentation that does not inspire is as ineffective as an inspiring one that lacks meaningful content.
All in all, it's
perfectly OK to speak without notes or an outline and see where
inspiration takes you—but then it's a good idea to analyze your
structure and decide, will it be fact or fiction.
©2001 Trish Green www.trishgreen.com Toronto-based presentation skills specialist, public speaker, trainer, columnist and publisher t'greetings, an electronic newsletter for business presenters.