Presentations and public speaking are complex arts, but I was fortunate to see three of the fundamental principles beautifully demonstrated this week.
If this looks like no ordinary venue for talking about your fledgling business proposal, you would be right.
I’ve had the pleasure of teaching communications to another excellent cohort of students at Cambridge Judge Business School, but for a change this time…
Instead of hearing their presentations in one of the lecture theatres, we moved over the road to the imperious Fitzwilliam Museum.
The students made full use of the space available, starting their talks on the imposing upper level, projecting down at their audience.
That part was broad principle, just a couple of lines from each, giving us quotations which have inspired them.
Then it was down to ground level to do a brief pitch about their business proposal.
It worked brilliantly as an evening, and, yet again, I came away buzzing with the energy, enterprise, and endeavour of the aspiring entrepreneurs.
Why was it so very effective? Three principles, as promised -
The drama, the detail, and the depth.
Initially, the drama of presenting from on high, in the gallery.
It was a striking start, pure theatre, made full use of the available space, and really got us, the audience, interested and involved.
But! Drama alone is never enough to really hit home.
Think of your favourite plays, books, or TV series.
Yes, they have their share of drama, but there's always an important message in there somewhere, something to make you think.
So next we had the depth and the detail, all cleverly and concisely contained in just a couple of minutes of narration.
In this case, the available market for the idea, the competition, how to develop the product, all those business essentials.
In just one evening, many times over, those three fundamental principles of powerful presentations were on show time and again.
Drama, detail, and depth.
And what a memorable evening they made for.