from Dean Meyers

Curiosity is the glue to a good story

istock_000004387778xsmall“What’s coming next?”

That’s the question you want every listener and every viewer to ask. You want edge-of-the-seat, gripping-the-chair attention. You want silence in the room as every eye is on you. If you’re using a whiteboard to make a presentation, you want everyone to get excited as you go to the board to draw the next chart, write the next big keyword, flip the page to make a point.

Beyond interest lies curiosity. That’s what drove humans to find better ways to hunt, explore new lands,  create art.

Examining your presentation, your graphic design, your next blog post, what evokes curiosity? Here are some tips:

1) Build the story. Give a setup: “here’s the situation, the problem”.

2) Describe the outcome that is hoped for.

3) Describe how you propose to make that happen.

Simple, right? So why do so many presentation go down the rabbit hole of too much detail and no end in sight? Good stories are about action. Create energy with action…what are the actions that will make your outcome happen?

Visual tips: cut down the bullet points and write action words. Use a picture instead of a word if you can find one.

And, perhaps my favorite suggestion, when you’re giving a talk or presenting with slides:

Take a breath and pause after you’ve hit a key point. Give it time to sink in. Create suspense by not rushing from slide to slide, from point to point, spewing out facts or running down a list.

Control the pace of your story, and you’ll create a lot of interest not only in the story you’re telling but in you, the storyteller. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Presentation Skills, social media, Storytelling, , ,

An irresistible urge to communicate

A poster found on a newsstand wall in NYC

A poster found on a newsstand wall in NYC

Here is a visual perfect storm: the convergence of strong graphic design, a message that evoked an emotional reaction and a simple interface (mounting the poster on the side of a wall at common eye level and within easy physical reach) which created an irresistible call to action. It’s not my design or my concept, but it inspires me to ask myself: Is my design about me or about my message? Have I created emotional impact, the kind that stirs a response, triggers and/or plants a memory, satisfies the need to be touched somehow? Do I provide a place for feedback or a call to action? These questions are based on old principles, but when it works, it really works.

Ultimately, inviting participation or dialog is where Web 2.0-Web 3.0 (the read/write web, or collaborative, social media-focussed web), will make the old advertising model feel distant or quaint.

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Filed under: social media, Visual Expression

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August 2021