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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, , ,

A High-resolution super graphic — thank you Edward Tufte!

viznotes - a High-resolution Super Graphic

viznotes - a High-resolution Super Graphic

Following the advice of Edward Tufte, Yale professor emeritus and graphic/presentation/statistical genius and visionary, I created a “High-resolution Super Graphic” at the seminar I attended yesterday. Please feel free to download it [large PDF version]. Relish my misspellings, and note that he spoke of “multivariate” displays/analysis (read his: Envisioning Information, p15, Visual Explanations, p.110, and most extensively, Beautiful Evidence, pp. 129-130, not “multivariable problems”, which is how I heard it.

Hi-tech tools used: Unruled spiral sketchbook, Pelikan fountain pen, Aurora fountain pen, Flair pen (when the Pelikan ran out of Aurora black ink).

Filed under: Presentation Skills, Visual Problem-Solving, , , , ,

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