The Bland Leading the Bland!

Whilst running a series of Inspiring Action workshops for a leadership team recently, I was reminded of the power of Benjamin Zander and Nancy Duarte. Zander is the Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and an inspiring leader and speaker. For a clip of the splendid Zander see 

For those of you who haven’t come across Nancy’s presentation books, you are in for a treat (and not just because she echoes my familiar rant about powerpoint!). Resonate (my favourite) and Slide:ology are not only beautiful books to read, but also offer great practical advice for turning your presentations into an audience oriented fest. Here in a nutshell are her main ‘rules’:

#1 Get to know the Hero (segment the audience; truly understand their needs; create common ground)

#2 Define the Journey (prepare your presentation from the audience’s perspective, not yours; plan and map their journey; acknowledge the risk and address the resistance; make the reward worth it)

#3 Create meaningful content (more than just facts; where’s the emotion? dont be so cerebral; turn information into stories)

#4 Structure reveals insight (order your messages for impact; contrast your delivery; put your story on the silver screen)

#5 Deliver something they will always remember (create a star moment; repeatable sound bites; evocative visuals)

#6 There’s always room to improve (hop down from your tower; value brevity; wean yourself off the slides; get an honest critic).