Presentations have become the common language of business activity because no other communication tool is as effective for transforming an audience—yet many presentations are boring. Most fail dreadfully as communication tools, and the rest are just not interesting. How could these corpses be resuscitated to the point that they not only show signs of life, but actually engage audiences and evoke rapt attention?

If you’ve been trapped in a bad presentation, you recognize the feeling almost immediately. You can tell within minutes that it’s just not good; it doesn’t take long to recognize a corpse! To make matters worse, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep an audience’s attention as global cultures become media- rich environments.

So why then, if presentations are so bad, are they scheduled? People inherently know that connecting in person can yield powerful outcomes. We crave human connection. Throughout history, presenter-to-audience exchanges have rallied revolutions, spread innovation, and spawned movements. Presentations create a catalyst for meaningful change by using human contact in a way that no other medium can.

Many times it isn’t until you speak with people in person that you can establish a visceral connection that motivates them to adopt your idea. That connection is why average ideas sometimes get traction and brilliant ideas die—it all comes down to how the ideas are presented.

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