Secrets of Presentation Success (via Harvey Mackay)


Last week I heard Harvey Mackay speak at Austin Texchange. He was promoting his book, We Got Fired! …And It’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us. Looks to be a great book…I’ll read it soon.

Harvey delivered a great speech! I met him beforehand and he is a dynamic personality. While I was listening to the principles and ideas he shared, I thought about why his speech was successful.

From a content/structure perspective, here was his formula:

1)      Start with humorous story or joke. Engage the crowd

2)      Present idea / principle

3)      Share quips, anecdotes, stories and jokes related to that idea

4)      Repeat #2 & #3 several times.

5)      Close with great story and thank you.

That was it. The speech was one idea after another, each followed by examples and anecdotes that put color around idea. The ideas themselves were not new or awe-inspiring. They were universal truths, which if told in a conversation anyone would nod their head to in agreement. Yet the speech was funny, engaging and memorable. The way Harvey Mackay presented, packaged and delivered each idea warranted a standing ovation in the end. He made each idea more ‘true’.

Presentation ability aside, note that this is a formula proven for success.

  • Great books use extensive examples and stories.
  • Jesus taught in parables.
  • Great leaders following him were also great storytellers.

Action: Start capturing and using stories, jokes and anecdotes to get across your ideas.

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