House MD as a Presentation Guide
I am a big fan of House MD, and have managed to see all episodes from season 1 through to season 5.
While watching these episodes I noticed that the show follows a format that we can all learn from when doing a presentation.
The show opens with a scenario that tells you how the illness first became obvious. This could be a scene with the patient doing their everyday thing, then suddenly collapsing and then the opening titles begin. What this does is set the scene. When we do a presentation we need to set the scene early on. Give your audience a sense of what the problem is, why we are talking or what difficulties we experience in our everyday life that your product can solve (but of course at this stage your audience does not know this)
Following the opening titles, we get to see Dr House talking with his junior doctors about the patient’s problem, the initial prognosis is given, and the first treatment is administered. As always, the first treatment does not work and the problem the patient has get gradually worse. When we do a presentation, we need show our audience what the problem is, in detail, set out what we can do to make that problem or difficulty better.
What we need to remember here is that a story is being told, it is unfolding before our eyes, and this is very important when we do our presentation.
During an episode of House we get to see the patient almost die, before the Sherlock Holmes like Dr House comes up with the answer to the illness. In a presentation, we need to build up to the main point. The main message we want our audience to go away with. – Starting with your best point is not going to make your presentation memorable. Revealing the main message towards the end of your presentation will make it much more memorable.
Below, you can see how this transfers into a flow diagram that you can use next time you start planning your presentation.
Finally, you have the happy ending. The happy ending gives your audience that wonderful warm feeling of being part of something special, and that it the most important part of your whole presentation.