by Sunil Bali, 16-09-12

Last week, I heard a presentation which could be marketed as a sleeping aid.

The presenter was certainly an expert, but suffered from digital diarrhoea. For over 40 minutes the audience was subjected to a steady stream of soporific facts and figures.

The doctor – a Ph.D. as the audience were reminded with alarming regularity – used data like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support rather than illumination.

So many presentations are conspicuous by the absence of any humanity – despite the fact that the audience are all humans! The best presentations involve humility and showing and sharing emotions.

Regardless of their politics, Messrs Clinton and Obama pack their presentations with emotional power which harness people’s imaginations, emotions and energy.

All the world’s great brands tell a great story. There’s no graph, there’s no spreadsheet, there’s no performance measure, which can communicate as effectively as a story.

So if you want your ideas to live and to transform your audience, you only have to remember your childhood when you were held in rapture by a fairy tale or a fable. But this time, tell your story.


It’s not about fame and wealth and power, it’s about how many shining eyes are around you – Benjamin Zander

Ignore emotion and reason slumbers; trigger emotion and reason comes rushing to help – Henry Boettinger

Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission – which is emotional connection - Seth Godin

Campfires have been replaced with projector bulbs, and the power of story has eluded presenters in the marketplace – Nancy Duarte, author of
resonate: it’s the only book you’ll ever need, on how to give a great presentation


The things children say…..

MARC (age 4) was engrossed in a young couple hugging and kissing in a restaurant. Without taking his eyes off them, he asked his dad: "Why is he whispering in her mouth?"

JACK (age 3) was watching his Mum breast-feeding his new baby sister. After a while he asked: "Mum why have you got two? Is one for hot and one for cold milk?"

MELANIE (age 5) asked her Granny how old she was. Granny replied she was so old she didn’t remember any more. Melanie said, "If you don’t remember you must look in the back of your panties. Mine say five to six."

STEVEN (age 3) hugged and kissed his Mum goodnight. "I love you so much, that when you die I’m going to bury you outside my bedroom window."

DI (age 4) stepped onto the bathroom scale and asked: "How much do I cost?"

JAMES (age 4) was listening to a Bible story. His dad read: "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt." Concerned, James asked: "What happened to the flea?"

TAMMY (age 4) was with her mother when they met an elderly, rather wrinkled woman her Mom knew. Tammy looked at her for awhile and then asked, "Why doesn’t your skin fit your face?

I think this Mum will never forget this particular Sunday sermon. "Dear Lord," the minister began, with arms extended toward heaven and a rapturous look on his upturned face. "Without you, we are but dust." He would have continued but at that moment my very obedient daughter (who was listening!) leaned over to me and asked quite audibly, "Mum, what is butt dust?"



To your success,