Points of Articulation

The best toys have lots of possibilities. An expensive, amazingly detailed figurine of Iron Man which you can’t put into different poses is just a cool statue. A smaller, cheaper action figure with movable joints, however, can be put into lots of cool positions which makes it more fun. So which is best? You already know the answer.

I love a range of possibilities; I want to be able to set my cool action figure up so that it looks like he’s interacting with the environment on my desk. Toys where you can freestyle different scenarios, customise them and generally do things that the designer may not have anticipated (the holy trail of game design, by the way) are easily the best, because they invite creativity.

Guess what? The same is true for your communication. Most audiences expect to be passive; a rhetorical question might be unusual, a direct one even more so. This is because interaction is seen by a lot of speakers as too risky to do. The perceived danger of this scenario, of course, is a proportional indicator of the size of the possible reward. Deep, eh?

Interact with your audience, take risks, surprise them, have fun. Above all, show them that your presentation is a living, breathing thing that they can be part of. This takes preparation and experience, but believe me, it’s worth it.

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