In yesterday’s post we saw a hilarious demonstration of how NOT to use PowerPoint or give presentations. Maybe you recognize some of yourself or your own presentations in there? What if you could learn from the masters–not just of PowerPoint presentations, but of the best epic tales and speeches in history? Your audience may not realize what secret techniques and powers you are using. But they will feel its powerful effects. And your career as a rocket scientist or aerospace professional will take positive leaps forward with every presentation you make.
Nancy Duarte is a communication expert with credits and insights that are respected across the globe. What I learned from her books and videos transformed my presentations from boring, predictable engineer-style reports into engaging presentations that resonated with audiences and moved them into positive action.
I used this structure to sell others in my company on some major changes and innovations, such as 3-d printing and dedicated innovation spaces for employees. How exactly? By making my audience the hero. By starting with our current situation and revealing a threat to it. By painting a vivid mental picture of the future state. By acknowledging and addressing challenges that will need to be overcome, and doing it in a confident and optimistic manner. And by ending with a clear, simple, and direct call to action.
Duarte’s book Resonate (her books on Amazon) is an in-depth crash course from a master on this topic. Here other book Slide:ology is more specifically about how to design your presentation slides for a dramatically effective results. These techniques work with engineers and on engineering topics too. In fact, using some of these techniques is so unusual compared to the normal I-could-have-written-a-report-and-sent-it-for-you-to-read-by-yourself-but-instead-I’m-going-to-stand-up-here-and-read-it-for-you presentations that you will quickly stand out as a remarkable rocket scientist or engineer.
If you prefer a video, here she is in one of her TED talks:
This topic resonates again with me (ha ha) because I just watched Star Wars episode IV (yet again) with the family last night. Think about each Star Wars movie plot line and characterization, and you’ll see this classic epic structure used. In fact, once you understand this technique, I bet you’re going to see it appear all over in our culture. Especially in TV, movies and marketing.
By the way, go back and read the first paragraph again. Do you see what I did there? I put YOU in the position of our epic hero. I bet that got you motivated and inspired to keep reading and take action, didn’t it?
Within the world of rocket science, we have many difficult, urgent, and vitally important problems to solve. Bringing human settlements beyond Earth…making space flight affordable…solving air transportation bottlenecks…opening UAVs for commercial and civilian uses…mining the moon and asteroids for minerals…
These are epic challenges and opportunities. The people who work toward these goals are on their own epic career journeys. We need you to join us and encourage others so we can arrive successfully into this bold future. Now go forth and learn how to give epic presentations.