Advertising
Advertising

How To Visually Save Your Audience From Boredom

How To Visually Save Your Audience From Boredom

“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple” (Charles Mingus)

You don’t want me to do that, and I wouldn’t, if not out of necessity, believe me.

Once upon a time not long ago, you were requested to do something you wouldn’t do on purpose or even remotely willingly: “John, we need you at the next board meeting on Friday.” Your boss shouts at you, “Please prepare to present our status on the product-strategy, projects, risks and chances, suppliers, clients and so on, you know…”

Immediately, you feel that chill creeping down your spine. The one, unmistakably approaching at times, when something you fear for a reason is going to happen soon.

In front of your eye the following scene unfolds:

Board meetings are one of a kind. They’re lengthy, aiming at — what exactly? Everyone wants to be in the loop about what has happened recently, right? Many, I mean many PowerPoint slides are needed. Up to two hours presenting many numbers, complex correlations of business-processes, projects, suppliers and so on.

After a short while in any of that meetings, the audience, especially on Friday afternoons, tend to do the following:

Advertising

  • Being unable to follow up
  • Getting bored
  • Fall asleep

You wish more than anything at that point there would be a way out. Any easier approach, something doable at least would do just well.

Rest assured, there is a surprisingly helpful approach to the rescue.

  • You will calm your fears of presenting many slides on a Friday
  • Get back the control over your audience
  • Stop the audience from getting bored in the first place
  • Even better, make them remember your presentation and engage with you

Clear Storyline

    What’s happening?

    As Antonio Zamora, entrepreneur and founder of Wimz.ch puts it:

    “Take a pen, and the audience switches to the same level as you. Even accepting, you are being the teacher in the room now.”

    In 3 steps, I’m now going to tell you, how you can approach the audience visually and tackle a complex scenario. Creating an image to tell a story will help a lot to attract and engage the audience.

    1. Learn about your “story”

    Message, Content and Visuals are the three essential parts of any successful presentation. Make sure you invest all your knowledge and of course, your creativity to form a substantial body of your play.

    Advertising

    Do as much as you can, to become an expert about what you will present.

    Studies from Eyeful Presentations show that most presenters have either 1 to 2 hours or a day and more time to prepare for a presentation.

    One way or the other, the most crucial part will be the message. Invest slightly more to what is the central story you want to tell your audience. The other two go as equal parts to the content and visuals.

    2. Visualize your play

    In our example from the beginning, we have many topics to cover. Let’s do it:

    • Product-Strategy
    • Projects
    • Risks and chances
    • Suppliers
    • Clients

    Assuming, those being the main topics, you need to create an image with them as integral parts.

    Wow, I hear you say, how on earth should I do that.

    Well, the bad news is: there will be no golden rule for how doing it.
    On the positive side, you can always challenge yourself. In this example, I show you, there is no rocket science part in it either.

    Advertising

    Product-strategy can mean many things, mostly it’s something not razor sharp. Hopefully for most of you guys, it’s there, but could equally well exist in a cloud. So why not using that to visualize it?

    Who better than you know, that projects always are like a long road. They will have milestones in it and a beginning and an end.
    Well, scribble a path or road. Why not place any trees on its sides? How’s that, not too hard, right?

    Risks are always something, business professionals fear. For that reason it can be something like an animal that occasionally crosses your path, and you won’t be happy to spot it. A wolf? Yes, why not.

    Chances are what makes your day, they’re shiny and bright, like the sun sometimes.

    A supplier provides products or parts for your company, and the cute Little Red Riding Hood would be just great to visualize just that.

    The clients are nice people all your business is about. They mark the end, or as well the beginning of the road and may live in lovely little homes.

    3. Draw

    Advertising

    See what we did? We created pieces of scenery that even preschoolers could paint. My point is, in no case be too hard with yourself if you now paint that story.

    Take a piece of paper and combine those little parts in one image. Even better, grab your whiteboard for a spin and just do it.
    After a couple of times trying, you will feel it. The story and with it a remarkable start of your upcoming meeting will visualize in front of you.

    Of course you guessed it: In the end this would make a beautiful scene of the well known fairy-tail The Red Riding Hood.

    Example Visualization

    The following graphics show you even better that you don’t need to be an artist to visualize a great deal of information. Likewise, it’s doable even without being a creativity wizard to start using the drawing for business use-cases.

    Balance
      Symbols-Library
        Meeting

          Background

          Why does it all work that way? The scientific reasoning has a lot to do with how we perceive ourselves and the environment. How do we process and digest that information, learn and communicate with each other?

          Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP is that discipline of the cognitive and behavioral science, that deals with us being subjective humans.

          According to the Business Directory, it even provides the pattern, how words and symbols are used to create mental pictures that our senses use to process the according experience later stored in the brain.

          Please find out more here and here.

          More by this author

          Jochen Burkhard

          Owner Burkhard Consulting

          Step Aside Google: Qwant Is A Secure Beauty Why Apple Music Is Indispensable For Me Twitter Efficiency How to Become Insanely Efficient on Twitter With 1 Hour per Day How To Visually Save Your Audience From Boredom New York (Photo by me) A 5-minute Guide to Content Management on your Smartphone

          Trending in Communication

          1 10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life 2 How to Survive a Quarter Life Crisis (The Complete Guide) 3 What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities 4 Think Positive Mantras Help a Lot? Try Value Affirmation Instead 5 How to Survive a Midlife Crisis (The Definitive Guide for Men)

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on May 28, 2020

          10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

          10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

          Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

          You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

          Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

          You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

          Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

          1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

          If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

          Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

          When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

          Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

          So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

          Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

          Advertising

          2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

          Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

          Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

          • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
          • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
          • Answer a few Superpower Questions

          Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

          3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

          Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

          The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

          You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

          Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

          Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

          4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

          The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

          Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

          To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

          Advertising

          This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

          5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

          Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

          Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

          • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
          • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
          • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

          The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

          Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

          6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

          I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

          To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

          Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

          A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

          Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

          Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

          Advertising

          7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

          Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

          Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

          What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

          Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

          8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

          Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

          Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

          What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

          These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

          9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

          Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

          This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

          Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

          Advertising

          “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

          10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

          Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

          Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

          You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

          You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

          Final Thoughts

          Eleanor Roosevelt said,

          “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

          Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

          By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

          If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

          This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

          Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

          More About Success in Life

          Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

          Reference

          Read Next