Power Presentations Tip 37: Start with the Right Picture

Start with the right picture

The phone rings. You answer. It's your best friend. You probably smile and have an enjoyable conversation. But before you smiled you did something else - you saw their face in your mind. That image grabbed your attention, engaged you and triggered your emotions.

Compare that to what happens when a stranger calls you. You see nothing. So you are not interested or emotionally engaged.

Which way would you prefer to start your presentation?

Start with a picture

Start your presentation by planting a picture in the minds of your audience. That helps you grab their attention and emotionally engage them from the beginning. That image can help explain your message. And it helps retain the message.

Important point

The image that counts is the one in the minds of your listeners - not necessarily what they see with their eyes. In a contest between what the eyes see and the mind sees - the mind wins every time.

Here are two types of pictures that you might use.

The goal

Plant the picture of the goal. Travel ads show you pictures of the beach. Get rich-programs tell you to imagine the mansion, car and extravagant possessions that you crave.

Before and after image

Show the pain or problem. You might later show the after picture but it's not always necessary. Cosmetic surgery and weight loss is sold this way. You could also use this method to sell the benefit of change.

There are three ways that you might plant that picture:

1. Tell a colorful story

This is the most powerful way. Nothing beats a colorful story for planting strong images in the minds of listeners. That's why the best speakers are great story tellers.

2. Display a prop

The prop might be a sample or model of your product. The prop could be a part of your clothing or costume. It could also be an object that symbolizes your message.

3. Project an image on the screen

This is the most common attempt to plant an image. It is also the technique most poorly done. Your logo on the screen is not the right first image. It's not the goal nor the before image.

The other common error is to project words on the screen. Text is not an image; even if you project it on the screen it's still not an image - it's just text. Photos, diagrams and charts plant images.

Start with the right picture and you've got a powerful start to your presentation.

George Torok
PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.

Sign up for presentation skills tips
Click here to register
For more frequent short tips follow me on Twitter

Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.Share/Save/Bookmark

No comments: