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Add Originality To Your Presentations

Lesson 3 of 7

Practice Your Point of View Share Your Sense Of Humor

Kimberly MacLean, Sammy Wegent

Add Originality To Your Presentations

Kimberly MacLean, Sammy Wegent

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Lesson Info

3. Practice Your Point of View Share Your Sense Of Humor

Lesson Info

Practice Your Point of View Share Your Sense Of Humor

This one is all about sharing your sense of humor. So, not all the time does someone want to put humor or comedy into a presentation, but it helps, it obviously gets people on your side if it's effective, and this is just an exercise that allows you to practice that. It's called I miss you-logy. It's a wonderful exercise that basically allows you to eulogize an object that you either lost or broke or whatever happened to it, it's not with you anymore. And what we're gonna get at here with this particular exercise is that there is a lot of humor in emotion, in stakes. So the stakes being high for something that's maybe insignificant to the audience, but really significant to you, is quite funny. Especially if we can really believe that you feel the way you do about that, and I'm sure we all have examples. As you probably think about your examples of things that you've lost and or broken, or had stolen, whatever it may be, Kimberly's gonna be nice enough to demo this for you so you can k...

inda see how it goes. So without further ado. Okay. Here is her I miss you-logy. I sort of hope my mom's not watching. As this relates to her. So thank you, I wanna thank you all for coming here today as we remember the turquoise ring that my mom gave me when I went to college. It was important to me, of course, because it was hers, she'd had it since she was in high school, I have my grandmother's turquoise ring. And this ring of hers was a green turquoise that had this beautiful line down the middle of it, and it was set in a silver setting like a flower. And I had it for many many years, I wore it almost every day just like I wear this one. And unfortunately, I made the mistake of going to a communal hot tub. No, you can laugh, it's alright. And I took the ring off, I wrapped it in a towel, and I set it beside the hot tub. And we don't know how, Sammy, we don't know where, but that ring went missing. And it's impacted me in many ways. I feel guilty about it, I feel sad that I lost it, but also my mom now 20 something years after the fact still remembers that I had that ring and that I lost it, and continues to ask about it and has reminded me of the loss several times. So there's that sort of disappointment that I've left with her of course. So what I'd like you to remember about that ring is that it was in our family for a really long time, that it was beautiful, it looked fantastic on my hand, it was just the perfect size. I also want you to remember that it had a dent in it, and that I had broken one of the other pieces off, so it wasn't in mint condition, so really, whoever now has it, I'm sure it's living a life somewhere that is equally good, and I hope that they love it as much myself and my family loved that ring, thank you. Thank you. (Applause) Do you need a hug or anything? Yeah. (pretending to cry) The ring's gone, you guys. I looked everywhere. So that was a fantastic job of showing this point that if you change the stakes on something, add emotion, definitely add detail. So if you're kind of taking note of what we've been doing so far in this originality class, specific details about you, just give us information, be as specific as possible about, you know, using all five of your senses, whatever may have been there during the experience. But this is a great exercise for you to try to kind of give us a little bit of a glimpse into you, and your life, based on something that you held near and dear that you apparently didn't hold it near and dear enough to keep on to it. Or hold on to it. You went to a hot tub. So is there anybody that has an example that they would like to share? Anyone besides, John, you're wonderful, but you just came up. Alva has one. Alva, let's have her up. Give her a round of applause. (clapping) So the wonderful thing about this, she knew the framework, it's right here, I don't know if you can see that but it's also behind you. But if you can read that, it has the different bullet points and I'll read them out for everyone. So, what the object was. What happened to the object. Why it was important to you. How the loss impacted you. And what do you want us to remember? And so, really, just give us as much detail as you possibly can, and tell us about this object. What's the object? Thank you all for being here with me today to witness my signifying of the loss of this coffee mug that I had. (laughter) In fact, it was a tea mug. And you know how your favorite mug is. The grasp doesn't slip, it fits your fingers. It's the right size of mug, this mug was a perfect size. It was just big enough to give me lots of tea before it got cold. And I loved this mug. Not only that, I think I bought it at Cost Plus, it was many years ago, but it had the words "Cross Roads" on it. And this mug signified the fact that I had to make a decision about a relationship. And it was a cross roads, so this was something that signified this period in my life where I was leaving something behind and opening up to a different life, but in the meantime, this cross roads place, was one of uncertainty, loss, but also a little bit of hopefulness. Unfortunately, and I had this mug for several years, I was so happy with this mug, it fit just right in my hand. (sighs) I dropped it. I dropped it on the tile floor of my kitchen. And it split into, I don't know, it seemed like thousands of pieces. (laughter) It's okay if you laugh. It seemed like thousands of pieces, it was probably only six or seven, but honestly, it was really hard to clean it up. And then, I had to search for another coffee mug, one that would mean as much for me, and that was a real challenge, it took a long long time, I was on the internet, you know, Amazon has crummy mugs. (laughter) They really do. I was able to find one. And it was one with my initial, A, and on the back lip of the mug said, "I am grateful for." So, I would really appreciate it if you helped me remember that the crossroads are behind me, that now there's so much in life to really just be grateful for. Thank you. (applause) Thank you. Can I give you a hug now? That was a good memory. That was beautiful. That was fantastic. I can't believe you didn't plan that, Alva. That was beautiful. Right? So what's great about this exercise to me is that this clearly does mean something to you, just like your object did as well. Really does, yeah. But we get so much joy in hearing the specific details, when she said Cost Plus, I almost lost it laughing. That's where you would buy something like that. But I wasn't expecting it for some reason. So think about that when you're saying, okay, well how does this apply at a presenting? There's many different ways it does, but a couple you can think of or use, is one, just the emotion, like she used pauses and she had us in the palm of her hand about a mug she dropped. Which I'm not in any way downplaying its significance, but it was wonderful. And also the details. So when do you not go into enough detail about, not just a topic, but about you? Like I think that's a huge part of people's missed opportunities in presentations. When they go, they do the deep dive of a subject matter. But it's completely on the surface about the person. And we always like to say at Speechless, if you didn't have to go there and give this talk, then we could just watch the PowerPoint deck on our computer screen, which sometimes does happen, but like, think about somebody in the context of a big conference or like a TED type event. There's a reason you're there. You are an important integral part of that experience. We need you. You're physically there, you're on stage, you're a person, you're speaking. So you know what? We actually want to know more about you. We want to know more about you than you actually think. So give us more, and find those opportunities to pepper in any presentation, a little bit about yourself. Whether it's what we've heard already, someone telling us the origin of their name, or a translation on what their name means, to giving us a little anecdote like these stories. But we want to know more about you, we're just curious about each other. What were some of the details in Alva's story, or mine, but I'm most interested in Alva's, that stand out for you, or even things that resonated or like that connected you? For me it was the hand. The mug, the hand fitting on the mug. What were you gonna say? The hand, as a small hander. It's really difficult to find a mug that like fits, so I felt it, I understood. Yeah, so that was something that connected you, so by giving us that detail about yourself, now we are connecting with you in a very personal way. Yes? There was, the mug the right size thing, and also which was large enough to keep the enough amount of tea that I would be able to drink without it getting cold. And you phrased it in such a beautiful way, but it was just like, yes, that's what's important for me. Have tea but not getting it cold. So the tea drinkers or the coffee drinkers are like, we don't want it to get cold, so there's something again, that detail about you that tells us what she appreciates. And you become more universal the more you share, so now you know that the two of you, to use your phrase, are small handers, which I love. And the two of you share a unique desire for particular volume and temperature of tea. And you'll find that the more you share with everybody, you're not gonna get this validation or verbal feedback in the room, but a lot of times this is the kind of stuff people come up to you after you give a talk and tell you, and you're like, yeah, it was just a mug, small hander, I've never heard anyone say that. And that person may wanna know more, they may wanna go to your next presentation if you're someone that gives talks, or they may be more on board with a project at work, just because, it could be your like, arch nemesis at work, and you just think, or maybe there is some sort of validity to you not getting along with them, or not being able to collaborate as efficiently as you'd like, but sharing something about yourself and boom, you're on the same page. And all the sudden you two are working better together. And it's just because they know you a little bit better. Because if you don't share anything, there's no way to know. Yeah, that's fun. We all connected over tea. Like a mug, that's an amazing universal thing, that's really cool. Yeah, I have a mug like that, so I got a little upset. What it would be like to lose it? I stole a mug from a Waffle House years ago, and it's just the perfect weight. It's so good. It's perfect. And if, I almost break it every time I wash it, 'cause it's very slick ceramic and I'm just clumsy, and I have like a panic attack and then I catch it almost every single time. And so, I'm not there yet, but if I drop that mug I know who to go to. Yeah, that's right.

Class Description

Have you ever sat through an excruciatingly mind-numbing speech, one that you seem to have heard a thousand times before? If you don’t want to be that presenter who bores people to tears, you’ll need to find a way to inject some originality into your presentations. But how?

The key to making your presentations interesting is to amplify and embrace your unique self. This course is all about developing your point of view, cultivating your individual humor and honing your distinctive voice. By using improvisational and theater-based exercises, we’ll tap into your extraordinary individuality.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build confidence and embrace authenticity.
  • Apply your unique perspective to storytelling and creation.
  • Discover what is distinctive about your point of view.
  • Cultivate your sense of humor in an authentic way.
  • Conquer your stage fright.
  • Avoid being boring, too technical, or too bland.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Add Originality to Your Presentations

Speechless - Add Originality to Your Presentations - Super You Sheet

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Adobe Stock - Get Started

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Student Work

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