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How to Use Stories When Giving TECHNICAL Presentations

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There are three main types of icontact. When it comes to public speaking, there's the bottom point, oh 1%, those people are staring at their notes the whole time on the floor or they're looking at the clock over everyone's head. They're the worst. And then there is the next sort of 99.01% of speakers. They're doing some version of the windshield wiper. They're looking at the whole room the whole time, but they're never really looking at you.

And it may be fast, like a water sprinkler. It may be slow, but you can just tell they're focused inward. They may be looking out, but they're not really looking at any one individual. They're just looking at an audience. That's not what the best speakers in the world do. That's not what the best point oh 1% of speakers do.

Have any of you ever seen Bill Clinton speak in person by the way, I'll occasionally give political references across the spectrum. I'm not pushing anyone's politics today. So you may like or dislike anyone politician I reference, I'm not talking about their policies. Most fair minded people would say that the last 35 years, Reagan and Clinton are two of the top English speaking public speakers in the world. So that's my starting assumption. Well, one of my trainers used to work with Bill Clinton as a low level campaign aide.

One day it was reelection time, laid out, then out campaigning, President Clinton and given a big speech from the 10,000 people. End of the day, they're sitting around at a table, sleeves rolled up, having a beer playing poker. And my guy Andy turns to him and says, Wow, Mr. President, you nailed that speech was just finished tastico you just did a fantastic speech to 10,000 people it was great. President Clinton turn says Andy, No, I didn't. I didn't speak to 10,000 people today. I spoke to one person and I had a private one on one conversation with that person for a full thought.

Then I went to another person in the audience, and I locked eyes, only for a couple of sentences like four or five seconds. And then I went to another person in the audience and locked eyes. And Andy, what this does is it makes the person really feel a personal connection for me. And it's frankly, more relaxing to me because I'm now looking at one person. And that's part of what makes me sound conversational. And here's the thing, Andy, even when I'm up on a stage, bright lights, dark audience and I can't see anything.

It still works. I just look 200 feet out that area 20 people in that area, we all feel like I'm looking at them. The key is really holding it for four or five sentences. Now you're not doing it for a minute or two minutes or three minutes, you're just doing it for, say, six seconds or less four or five, six seconds. And it's consistent in that it's not consistent, like a machine gun or a water sprinkler. There's variety, but it's consistent that everyone gets some personal attention and it really stands out.

It makes the audience feel so much more connected. And that sound the top point oh 1% of speakers use their eyes. Now, let me step back for a minute. Let's analyze that. What did I just do? I just gave you a technical presentation.

I could have put up a slide That said, three types of eye contact bottom point 1% reading 99.9% windshield wiper top point 1% hold eye contact for two sentences or more purely technical information. But if I did it that way you would have forgotten so I illustrated it with a story. Is the story true? Smart as I know Yes. In this case, it was told to me secondhand so I wasn't even there. It still works.

All things being equal. It's better when it's personal and you're the first person there but secondhand story is perfectly fine.

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