Presentation Skills Tip

The Unexpected with Lloyd!

People spend more time sitting on the toilet each week than exercising. Moreover, we end up with 1.4 years on the toilet during a lifetime.
How do you react when you are surprised? Your eyes open wide, your jaw drops, you breathe in and your hands open up. Why? Your whole system is trying to take in as much of the moment as possible whilst staying alert in case of any danger. Your eyes open to see as much as possible. You breathe in to overdose your brain with oxygen. Your arms are ready to catch.

The same reaction is what you get when you deliver an unexpected element in your presentation. That “twist” or sudden shift from the expected is the most lethal trap for capturing your audience’s attention. For example if I say, the good, the bad and the …. You are probably thinking the ugly is coming next, right. That creates a perfect opportunity for the unexpected. Pretty much anything that replaces “the ugly” is bound to grab attention.
You have probably been told to tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them and tell them what you told them… mmmm, that for me is like telling your sister, “we are planning a surprise party for you.” Good luck with that.

So if your speech title is “Goal setting for success” and the guy next door is delivering “Goal setting is for dummies,” no prizes for guessing which audience you will find me with.

So much for grabbing attention using the unexpected. What is the most effective way to retain that attention? Precisely that. A question. Just as nature cannot tolerate a vacuum, the brain cannot tolerate a question. The moment you ask a question, no matter how silly or unconsequential, the brain will want to know the answer.
All the best with your next, unexpected presentation. By the way, do you know the Shut Up system for creating compelling content?

Lloyd Mugabe

2018 Southern African Champion of Public Speaking