One of my all time favourite films is ‘The Prestige’. I especially love the opening sequence where the voice-over shares how every magic trick has three parts – ‘the pledge’, ‘the turn’ and finally ‘the prestige’ –
I recently attended a couple of conferences and did find some of the great speakers unravel their talk like a magic act. They started with ‘an obvious/known fact’ (pledge), metamorphosed that fact into a deep insight (“the turn”) and brought it alive through hard evidence – success story/case study (the prestige).
So while some speaker sessions were blockbusters, some turned out to be duds.
I had put out some tweets on my learnings on who makes for an engaging speaker. Thought some of you may enjoy and like to extrapolate –
The single biggest quality common is – they catch the pulse of their audience. That they value the time and respect the intelligence of the audience, is reflected in their preparation.
Great speakers only acknowledge and don’t dissect ‘the obvious’. Instead they logically and craftily build upon the ‘little known or little understood’.
As the magician asks in the opening sequence of the movie, “Are you looking closely?”
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