Presenting with Passion

Posted 02.11.2011

Book-nakedpresenter On my way to Atlanta this week for a series of meetings, I read a new book by presentation expert, Garr Reynolds called The Naked Presenter  (Reynolds lives in Japan and uses the public baths where everyone gets equal by getting naked as the main metaphor for his book.  Definitely an attention grabber!)

Reynolds mentions lots of speakers who he believes are great presenters.  One of his heroes is Swedish public health expert Hans Rosling. Since public health is a topic that involves lots of statistics and scientific studies one might conclude that it would be a tough challenge to present that information in a passionate and engaging way.  If that’s what you’re thinking, think again.

Last night, a colleague of mine shared a video of Rosling presenting that the BBC has posted to YouTube. In it, Rosling is visually demonstrating that the world is getting healthier and wealthier over time.  It’s only a few minutes long and I encourage you to take a look at it for two reasons – What he’s saying and How he’s saying it.

One of the big opportunities I frequently see for leaders I work with is to work more on their How.  They’re usually solid on the What, but because they present what they’re doing in a boring way they don’t make a connection. Apart from the snazzy graphics, what did you notice about how Rosling presents his information?   What did you pick up from his energy level, body language, facial expressions, tone of voice?  Did you believe him?  If you did, was it the data or the passion that swayed you?  What did you see Rosling doing that you might want to model in your next presentation?