“Are ideas born interesting or made interesting?”
Chip and Dan Heath
During an Excellence in Training Course I ask people for a list of boring topics they suffered through in high school, college or training. I get answers like statistics, history, legal studies, policy, report writing and occupational healthy and safety.
The reason for asking the question is to begin the discussion that there is no such thing as a boring subject, there are only boring instructors. For every subject people list someone else took the same subject from a great instructor who brought the subject to life for the people in their class and made it a fun and memorable learning experience.
So, back to the Heath brothers’ question. I strongly believe the answer is “Ideas are made interesting.”
How do you make an idea interesting?
- Get excited about it yourself. If you think it is boring, you will communicate that in your voice and your body language.
- Educate yourself. Research the topic. Find ways to make it relevant to the audience. Determine:
- Why do they need to know the material?
- Why should they care?
- What is in it for them?
- Stop using PowerPoint as a teleprompter and just reading word for word from the slides. If you do not have any examples, stories or additional detail to what is on your PowerPoint slides then you are in trouble and your audience is in for a long and boring session.
- Albert Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge because knowledge is limited, but imagination encircles the world. So, tap into people’s imagination. Get them involved by having them imagine how they will use the material, how they will benefit from the knowledge, how they will use the skills, and how they will be better off because they attended the training session.
- Read Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds and take the time to redo all your old, crappy PowerPoint presentations. Dump the slides that are filled with tons of text. Use pictures, just a few words or a single quote on each slide rather than reams of text.
- Tell stories. Stories are how we have communicated throughout history. I am not talking about the endless droning war stories you heard from some of the trainers at the academy. I am talking about interesting, engaging and relevant stories that highlight the point you are making. Much like ideas, stories are not born interesting. You need to tell the story in a way that it brings the story to life and engages the audience.
Take time to reflect on the great presentations you have attended, the great classes you took and the great instructors you have experienced. Make a list of what made those presentations, classes and instructors memorable? That will give you a starting point for making your ideas interesting for your audiences.
If you want to experience interesting ideas presented in a dynamic and engaging manner then register NOW for the 2013 Legacy of Excellence Conference and take advantage of the early registration pricing.
Thought Leader, Speaker, Trainer, Author and president of Winning Mind Training Inc.
Training law enforcement professionals to W.I.N. through Life’s Most Powerful Question.
To book Brian to speak at your event contact him at email@example.com.