Today, I was going to write about Chris Anderson’s presentation at TED, but Garr Reynolds over at Presentation Zen beat me too it and posted a post about the presentation to which I entirely agree. In particular I agree with the way Chris delivered the presentation, in a passionate, but not over the top way.
So, instead I want to write about another TED presentation I saw today. This talk was a 6 minute talk given by intellectual property expert Jay Walker. This talk is about “English Mania” and how learning the English language is growing rapidly throughout the world.
The first thing I noticed about the talk was the way that Jay Walker spoke. He spoke slowly and clearly, and this made it very easy to listen to. Quite often great presentations are spoilt because the speaker speaks too fast. They allow their passion to drive their speed of speech and this often means that an audience are struggling to keep up with the speaker.
The second thing I observed was the way images were used. Jay did not put any words on the slides. All he used was images and sound effects. However, his message got through for two reasons.
1. Because the speed of Jay’s speech was slow he was able to stress the words he wanted remembered. I still know that 2 billion people around the world are learning English and that 80 million Chinese students have taken the three day test.
2. The sound effects used were fantastic. They created the atmosphere that allowed his audience to ‘feel’ the situation he was talking about. Often we forget that we can create the appropriate image in our audience’s mind by using senses other than visual senses. We have the chance to use sound with static images as Jay did. If you remember the clips of Chinese people learning English – these were not video. These were static images with a soundtrack running over the images. It was powerful because it captured the emotion on the faces of the students.
Finally, Jay tells stories. He tells stories about Chinese people learning English by shouting and chanting the phrases, he tells stories of third graders doing a three day exam, 25% of which is in English and he tells the stories of those two billion people around the world learning English so they can have a better life. Stories really do make a difference when you present. It is stories that make your presentation memorable.
And the third presentation…
You probably thought I had forgotten the third presentation. Well, no. I didn’t.
Many of my regular readers will know by now that I am a big fan of Seth Godin. Seth Godin is an author and business guru and is an amazing presenter with his own unique style. In this 2006 talk, Seth asks the question “why are so many things broken?” watch the presentation to find his answer.
Seth Godin’s style is captivating and humorous. It is his own style and it is unique. The thing is – it works.