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What an amazing presentation!  Informative, Insightful and Inspiring

The other day I went to what I thought was going to be a small writing workshop of about six to twelve people.  When I arrived outside the Arnolfini in Bristol there must have been at least thirty people there waiting to get in.  There was a bit of a buzz in the air as I stood in the winter sunshine.

More and more people arrived and we all filed in to the theatre.  I am not sure how many of us were there, but it must have been over a hundred.  The organisation who held the event are called Wild Seed Studios who help creators develop “the purest most powerful version of their creative vision so that it connects as powerfully as it can with audiences.”

The main speaker leading the workshop or presentation was Laurie Hutzler, a Television, Film and Online Content Consultant who works internationally.  She led an exceptional workshop on the art of developing characters in stories, whether in film scripts, plays, television series or other medium.  Her premise is that character is absolutely fundamental in a story and one needs to create characters who people want to be or want to be with.  So, characters need to feel real to the audience and when they feel real the audience is entertained.  Laurie skillfully took us on a journey illustrating her concept of character mapping, using examples from members of the audience.

I left that day feeling inspired to write more.  As Laurie said great stories can change people.

We may not all aspire to be such a great story teller as Laurie, but I believe we can learn something from her to make our own presentations amazing or even more amazing!

I outline some key things which Laurie did in her presentation which you can do too :

  1. Speak relatively slowly and clearly.
  2. Repeat salient points two, three or even four times to help your audience remember them, as people can’t recall everything.
  3. Use stories in your presentation to illustrate key points, as people connect on an emotional level to good stories.
  4. Engage the audience by asking them questions. Even if your audience is a large and you can not hear everyone’s response ask them all to write down their answers.
  5. Use your whole body to illustrate points. At one point Laurie was talking about a tortoise and she walked across the room as if she was one.  This entertains the audience and helps them remember what you are saying.
  6. Finally, this is not so much something to do, but something to consider. Speak about something you are PASSIONATE about.  When you are planning your presentation, find an angle on the topic which you can get excited about.  When we speak with passion this comes across in the way we use our voice and our body.

I hope you find these things helpful to use in your presentations.  I would love to hear how you get on! Thank you for reading, Julia.