Newsletter July 09
What is a 'Dead Snake' Presentation?
…. and how do we avoid giving one?
If we look at the structure of a presentation it will comprise three parts, a short opening, a longer body and a short ending.
A Dead Snake Presentation is lifeless. If it were a colour, would be gray. There would be no variety to it, nothing to inspire the audience to listen to the speaker, and the ending would just fade away.
An example of a DSP would be where a speaker reads word for word from a thick wad of notes in a monotone voice with no enthusiasm; has little or no eye contact with the audience; includes no variety of any kind; is a 'low energy' speaker who delivers his or her talk standing motionless throughout, and tails off to a no-impact finish.
At the other end of the scale is what I call a Hungry Rattlesnake Presentation (HRP). An example of this would be where a speaker gives a high energy impact opening which 'eats up' the audience and makes them want to hear more. The body of the talk is lively, interesting, varied and colourful. The speaker may use visuals, props, tell stories, involve the audience. They are full of enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, their topic. They have animated speech, and controlled yet animated gestures and movement. They have good eye contact with the audience and are passionate about what they are doing. They finish off with a 'rattle', leaving the audience uplifted, energised and keen to carry out any action steps suggested.
These are two ends of a continuum, and there are many different kinds of presentation in between. As with most things, the continuum falls into the normal distribution curve, where few people are found at the ends of the continuum and most people fall in the middle.
Bear in mind that you will have your own natural speaking style and, for example, it may not be the 'Hungry Rattlesnake' style that will suit you. You may be better being a more 'gentle' speaker somewhere in the middle. However, in order to deliver your message effectively, avoiding the Dead Snake Presentation end of the continuum is something I would advise.
How do we do this? There are many tips suggested in previous newsletters, though I will point you towards a couple to read, or re-read. Go to:http://www.successfulspeaking.biz/newsletters/ and read 'Energy' from October 04, and 'Keeping your audience interested' from April 04.
Copyright Kim Chamberlain 2009