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The Future Of Presenting
“Trying to predict the future of the Art of Presenting in short will make you look like a fool for even longer.”
What Is Considered State Of The Art In The Art of Presenting Today?
What I witness whenever I meet with the best of the best in our profession is the fact that hard, factual, testosterone driven presenting is giving way to a softer, more creative and at the same time much more meaningful presentation style.
Why? Mainly for two reasons. The first is that today we know much better how our brain works, how memories are constituted and above all, how important our limbic brain – our emotions – are for our thinking and for our choices. Our brain’s emotional centre is basically deaf to data and abstract language, but receptive to images, sound and – stories.
The second reason for a more emotional approach towards business communication is Steve Jobs and the people he influenced like Garr Reynolds and Guy Kawasaki. Jobs realised early that in the future firms wouldn’t be able to differentiate from their competitors through the quality and features of their product any longer. Today people do not buy a computer or phone mainly because of it’s technical qualities, they expect more. The same way people are not buying in your presentation because of the data anymore but because of the values, meaning and emotions – the story – you offer to them.
Consequently in a world of alike products, storytelling will become more and more the main Unique Selling Proposition. That is why you should engage also the heart and soul of your audience whenever you go on stage.
Please read: “Presentation Zen” by Garr Reynolds.
Please read: “Resonate” by Nancy Duarte.
Pleas read: “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs” by Carmine Gallo.
What Will The Art Of Presenting Look Like in The Future?
I think that there will be two interlaced and yet partly opposed tendencies in the future of the Art of Presenting: One will be a technical revolution, the other a spiritual one.
The Technical Revolution Of The Art Of Presenting
Let’s start with the technical revolution ahead. I think it will have three interconnected dimensions: The first is Big Data/ Profiling, the second is Augmented Reality and the third is Virtual Reality.
Big Data/ Profiling
In the near future the volume of data we will have to consider while preparing our pitch will skyrocket to the point that we will use algorithms programmed to recognise information within our own documents as well as the internet. Special apps will only need the working title of our presentation in order to create charts, pictures and headlines and all. But that will only be the first step. The data mining by firms like Cambridge Analytica will allow every presenter to get an almost complete scan of the audience well ahead of the pitch.
The presenter of the future will wear special glasses or contact to get a general idea of what the audience is feeling in real time via the scan of their facial expressions, movements and body temperatures. Moreover PowerPoint and Keynote will become full scale 3D- and Hologram-presentation tools: Audiences will regularly wear glasses or lens that will allow them to see pictures, prototypes and plans in the air in front of them or all around them.
VR will bring the classic, thousands of years old setting of a presentation to an end: No more speaker and audience in one physical room, instead speaker and audience in a virtual space with its own almost limitless physical laws. Wearing a sensorial suit, we will visit cities and museums and production plants, flow in a stream of touchable data that will communicate with us and see the heart of our patient from inside before and during the surgery.
But of course there will be a partly opposed tendency to this brave new world of Ar- and VR-Presentations: The Spiritual Revolution.
The Spiritual Revolution Of The Art Of Presenting
Today in most universities and firms the courses offered to improve our presentation skills are named “Presentation Techniques for …”. I think that in the future we will see more and more presentation courses and trainings build around all four relevant areas of human intelligence and with a long term focus:
Our Body – Our Physical Intelligence
Our Emotions – Our Emotional Intelligence
Our Mind – Our Analytical Intelligence
Our Soul – Our Transcendental Intelligence
I am convinced that in the future Energy Management will be an important part of every presentation training. Learning to switch from periods of pure focus and activity to periods of pure relaxation will be a key skill in life, at work and on stage.
Please read: “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working” by Tony Schwartz.
Please read: “Be Excellent At Anything” by Tony Schwartz.
Please read: “The Power Of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz.
The importance of being able to feel and express our own emotions through our gestures, facial expressions and our voice but also the capability to manage and restrain them in certain situations will grow in the future.
Please read: “The Road Less Traveled” by Dr. M. Scott Peck.
Please read all the quotes and poems by Gialal al-Din Rumi.
Please read: “EQ” and “Destructive Emotions” by Daniel Goleman.
Albert Einstein once said that “every blockhead can know things, the real challenge is to understand them.” Probably there will be creativity enhancing drugs and computer extensions for our brains available in the future, but I think that the problem will persist. That is why I presume that many people will continue to “sculpture” their mind through learning a second and third language, playing an instrument, reading, travelling and discussing complex ideas with real people.
In the field of business presentations it’s highly probable that we will have lots of very short, very analytical, AR- and VR-backed presentations on the one hand and a few extended vision quests of groups of people sitting around fireplaces somewhere in the mountains on the other.
Please read: “Mind Sculpture” by Ian Robertson.
Please read: “The Back Of The Napkin” by Dan Roam.
Please read: “Beyond Religion” by The Dalai Lama.
In a world with interchangeable technology, standards and features, new global corporate giants will be build around shared myths and stories, thus “loading” every product, every service and every business presentation with emotions, status and myth.
A constantly growing group of people eventually will oppose this “Made in China-spirituality”, turn back to the non augmented, non virtual reality and meet under trees and among flowers to meditate, discuss – and present ideas to each other.
Please read: “The Wise Heart” by Jack Kornfield.
Please read: “The Leadership Challenge” by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.
Please read: “The Kaizen Way” by Robert Maurer.
*The quote at the beginning of this page is, of course, not an original one 😉