I have sat through more boring meetings than I care to remember and its not the content. It's the presenter, the atmosphere and more that is to blame. I know you're right there with me people. The meeting starts and you get this feeling down deep inside that it's going to be horrible. I'm an entertainer and maybe that's why I seek to be entertained during a presentation. Business leaders and meeting presenters shouldn't have to drag folks through a boring meeting to get their information across. It can be fun. Lets take a lesson from a well crafted magic show shall we? Here are five lessons to learn from a performer that can be applied to the presenter of any organization.
1. The performer is POLISHED!
When you begin a meeting, the audience is judging you from the very second you walk out or open your mouth. Make that first impression outstanding. Have a really great opening line and display confidence. If you have slides or handouts, know the material. Have it down and be as polished as possible. Nothing say's boring like a presenter pausing or fumbling through notes.
2. The performer has great POSTURE.
This should really be a given, but I have seen it over and over. If your posture stinks you don't command attention. It gives off that "don't look at me...I would rather be hiding in the corner" vibe. As the speaker or presenter you are the most important person in the room at that time. Act like it.
3. The performer is PRETTY.
Ok, let me explain. You've got to look like a million bucks. That doesn't start when you stand up in front of your group. Look at your materials. Do they scream professionalism. Is the room set up nice and is the stage or platform pleasing to the eye. From the decor in the room, lighting, color of the backdrop, organization of materials...it all counts. These are things that (as a magician) I look at. I want a certain response during my "presentation" so the atmosphere is vital. If every detail is PRETTY then the audience has little to distract them from your presentation.
4. The performer is POWERFUL
Not "wow his magic is powerful". My magic is all sleight of hand. I'm talking about stage presence. When I walk on stage, I want to command attention. Standing in the spotlight and speaking to a room full of people who are silently clinging to your every word....that's powerful. Do you command that kind of attention. Not in a demeaning way but a respectful way. When you lead a presentation, do you have a sense of power that translates competence in your subject? You should or you will quickly loose your audience.
5. The performer is POSITIVE
You can put a positive spin on anything. Even a boring subject can be made positive and fun for your listeners. No one enjoys a performance that makes them feel worse after they watch it. I can't imagine watching a magic show that should be fun and uplifting but instead is a complete downer. That my friends is what a boring meeting is like. The last thing you want is for your audience to say "Lord, when is it going to be over?" What you want is for them to say "Wow, over so soon!" Now you see the power of being positive.
In conclusion, I think there are many similarities between the performer and the presenter. These are simple solutions and easy things to make your next meeting memorable instead of boring. Just remember to think like a performer.
When that next meeting rolls around and you want to add a polished performer to your presentation remember Eric Tyree.