It takes a tenth of a second to form an impression. So imagine how difficult it is to hold their interest for five minutes. That’s a short time for you and a looooooong time to them. For practice in being memorably brief, find or start an Ignite group. They are popping up all over, including in my hometown of Portland where an early social media mentor of mine spoke – Adam DuVander. Baltimore, Phoenix, Philly and Seattle are hosting them too. As in Pecha Kucha gatherings you are limited to 20 slides, advancing automatically every 15 seconds.
But that’s in a meeting room where you can rely on Powerpoint. The next stage in communicate-to-connect prowess is to start an Ignite group where slides and PowerPoint aren’t allowed. In fact, ban technology beyond a microphone, if needed.
Yes, images help, but use them to warm people up to your idea before you are with them – or to reinforce it afterwards. Use precious face time to connect. Anyway, in most everyday situations where you want to ignite a fire under your idea, you won’t have technology on hand, except, perhaps your cell phone. Besides, the most authentic messages happen when we see you saying them – and come to believe in both.
At your association’s annual conference imagine having two sessions each day where ten (pre-conference sign-ups ) attendees present their message, one after the other, Ignite-style.
Add a Wisdom of the Crowds feature: Video the sessions and post them on your association’s site or blog. Then all members could sign in for the first month after the conference and view and vote for their top five favorites. That might provide meaty insights into what most matters to members. Plus it’s a palpable way to motivate and honor members for their best and succinctly-presented advice.
Update: Yet if you must use PowerPoint then get Nancy Duarte’s groundbreaking book Slide:ology and turn the pages in awe at the beauty and practicality of her approach. Like presentation zen guru, Garr Reynolds I am so delighted by her approach – and her generosity in including free videos of some of the presentations in the book.