Engaging Attendees by ‘Drawing’ Them a Story


In Show and Tell: How Everybody Can Make Extraordinary Presentations, Dan Roam is able to cover a good deal of ground — taking your audience into account, organizing your thoughts, building a coherent storyline, adding just the right amount of detail, and understanding the arc of a story — succinctly by using simple yet captivating drawings to convey his ideas. He boils down what most people find to be a daunting prospect — preparing a presentation — to a few essentials. After all, he writes, “All presentations are composed of just three elements: our idea, us, and our audience.”

Our July CMP series focused on the difference between a good presentation and an extraordinary one. “A good presentation,” Roam writes, “shares new data. A great presentation changes what we know. An extraordinary presentation changes what we believe.”

Roam shares his three rules of show and tell in Show and Tell:

1. When you tell the truth in a presentation, you connect with your
audience, your passion comes through, and you feel self-confident.

2. When you tell a story in a presentation, you make complex con- cepts clear and ideas unforgettable.

3. When you tell a story with pictures in a presentation, you captivate your audience and banish boredom.

While Roam doesn’t advocate particular presentation software, he describes the platform in terms of slides. From Show and Tell, here are his tips for organizing and creating them:
To keep our storyline tight, we stack it in a single deck. The deck is our complete presentation in a single stand-alone document. The deck contains our entire story and all details on a series of slides that flow smoothly in order from beginning to end.

The ideal slide contains:

› A headline

› A picture

› A brief caption

› Nothing else

“The only reason to make a presentation is to change people,” Roam told Convene.

“And what makes people change? Trust. If there is no trust, then there is nochange, and the presentation might as well never have happened.”

To learn more about Dan Roam and Show and Tell, visit danroam.com.

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