This weekend, I decided to power off the laptop, ignore all emails, and push the cell phone away to take an actual vacation. Hooray! Feeling rested and a bit sunburned, I’ve spent the evening catching up on my reading. I learned about the power of a visual metaphor from Ethos3 and how to fascinate my audience from Conor Neill.
Ethos3’s blog contains some of my favorite posts on presentation and public speaking. What I like most about Ethos3’s blog is the length and writing style: they focus on short, concise posts that pack a punch. This week was no different, and “The Power of a Visual Metaphor” explains the importance of metaphor to explain complex ideas more simply. On Friday of last week, my students and I analyzed Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in class, and we all felt the “blank check” metaphor Dr. King used resonated with us. Have you ever listened to a speech and felt the power of an unexpected metaphor? If not, take another listen to “I Have a Dream” for the blank check metaphor along with many, many others. (Andrew Dlugan provides a great analysis of many of Dr. King’s metaphors here). What we learn from Ethos3 is that a strong metaphor “takes the technical concept and makes it digestible for a wider audience; the visual makes it stick” (Source). Learn more about the metaphor by reading Ethos3’s blog post.
Conor Neill’s “How to Get Attention: The 7 Triggers of Fascination” explains the importance of the introductory hook, the first impression, the punch. Neill references Sally Hogshead’s 7 triggers of fascination and her TEDx Talk, and I’ve been excited to read her book Fascinate for several months now. The idea that a presentation needs a powerful hook is not new; however, the way Hogshead approaches how to fascinate people or audiences is interesting. Neill’s article references Hogshead’s 7 approaches to fascination: 1) power, 2) passion, 3) mystique, 4) prestige, 5) alarm, 6) vice, and 7) trust. Have you read Hogshead’s book? Do you know which of these is your primary trigger? Which do you use the most in a presentation to captivate your audiences? Which do you think is least effective?
What great articles on public speaking and presentation did you stumble upon this week?