The Dynamic Duo and the Wardrobe Malfunction
My partner Oud and I walked into a client's studio. She greeted us with,
"Wow, you two look great. Do you know that show on TLC called "What Not to Wear
"? Well, you two should be on it!"
Oud and I were not familiar with the show. So we simply stared at her, startled at how frank she was about her disapproval of our attire. And yet she had also said we looked great...
Judging our puzzled looks, our beloved client re-thought what she said and looked mortified. She stammered,
"Oh, no. Oh, geez, I mean, you two should host the show, because you always look so nice."Meet the Non-Dynamic Duo.
We all shared a laugh as our client explained that the show's hosts were fashion experts who advised others how to dress. I said something self-deprecating like, "Nice save! Next time, we'll dress more appropriately!"
Oud was wearing a dark suit. I was business-casual in a sweater and slacks. While we both dressed aptly for a meeting with our client, we were nonetheless a little mismatched
You see, Oud and I had both come from different meetings, and were subsequently leaving to go to different business engagements. Oud was a smidge more formal because he was going to a loftier appointment afterward. I was dressed for several meetings with established clients on a very cold, snowy day in February. Had either of us showed up independently, our attire would have escaped notice.
We both dressed for our most business-formal meeting of the day. And in sub-zero Michigan weather, slipping into different suits as you four-wheel it from office to office isn't feasible.
Our client sympathized. Michigan folks know that weather profoundly impacts fashion choices. Oud and I were a bit off, but not far out.
Lesson learned. Co-presenters need to match dress styles. As a dynamic duo, we blew it.
To complement Oud's style, I should have dressed more formally.
But as wardrobe malfunctions go, this was not my worst! Lee Potts covers my most heinous presentation wardrobe mistake in "The World's Worst Wet T-Shirt Contest.
But tell me - what do you think? Do you make sure to coordinate wardrobes when you co-present?
And what's YOUR worst wardrobe malfunction?
The Presentation Grand Finale: 3 Ways to Close with a Bang!
Most fireworks presentations feature a super-explosive Grand Finale. After 45 minutes or so of eliciting audience oooohs and ahhhhs, a fabulous fireworks show
ends with an overwhelming sensory display that excites and mobilizes the crowd.
The masses rise, stamp their feet, cheer wildly -- and go home feeling invigorated.
And maybe even a little hard-of-hearing!
photo credit: empressofdirtWhat do you do for your own presentation grand finale?
Let's say your presentation has achieved the equivalent of garnering ooohs and aaahs. Your audience may not have actually said "oooh" or "aaaah" during your talk, but you recognize other emotional cues:
You can tell.
- You see nodding. And smiles.
- You recognize eyebrows raised in that "aha" moment.
- You witness furious note-taking.
- And yeah, maybe you've actually heard ooohs or ahhhs!
Your talk has sparked a synapse or two. You've inspired interest and attention. All the signs are there...You've made an emotional connection.
Now what do you do to bring it on home? Close with a whimper or a bang
? (Link & credit to "The Hollow Men" by TS Eliot.)Whimper!
Too many presentations end without a grand finale. Some wander off-topic with a closing statement that has nothing to do with the content of the presentation. And quite a few end with these stinkers:No fireworks are necessary for your grand finale!
Ending a presentation with a call to action, summary, or final story are three of my favorite ways to end a presentation with a bang.
A powerful close lets your message linger longer.
- Bang! Call to Action! "In a few minutes, you're going back to your offices. Here's the first thing I want you to do when you get back to your desks..."
- Bang! Summarize! "When you leave here today, remember these three main points..."
- Bang! The Final Story..."Let me share one final story with you..."
Each "bang" technique signals the end of the presentation, yet it also leaves a powerful emotional imprint on your audience. A grand finale does double duty -- it cues the audience that time is almost up, and it makes a longer lasting, more exciting emotional connection.
How else do you close your presentations with a bang? And let's dish -- what are some of the worst closings you've ever witnessed?