We’ve talked about that primal beast that lurks within us before in the ramblings of Stun Science, but it's something that comes up again and again as we continue to explore what makes presentations, pitches and performance so great. After all, we share almost 60% of our DNA with chickens... and bananas.
Whether it's by accident or on purpose, visiting a client to make a pitch removes control and power from the presenter. Coming to their place, waiting in their reception, looking at their six-month-old "Cost Accountancy Monthly" magazines and then waiting again while "Melissa just finishes an important call" takes control away from you. It makes you passive.
Alright, I mean in a practical context. Not in the thick of winter or during a storm or when the landscaping team are mowing the lawns. But there is a lot of research being discussed to support the theory that getting outside for meetings, town halls or simply for inspiration for your next presentation will immerse you and your audience in happiness, positive thinking and creativity. Here are two very personal examples.
When I see detail on an early slide in the deck, and a hint that much more detail is to come, I have a predictably uncomfortable reaction. My instinct is to flee, because my primitive brain is lazy and wants to conserve energy for survival and procreation, not try and understand or remember all of the bullet–points, data and graphs that are being unleashed.
Humans are pretty good at making ‘incredible’, but Nature is the ultimate when it comes to creating ‘awe’. Awe is what you feel when you break through a clearing and see a snow–covered mountain, or a violent storm creates lightning and thunder overhead, or you gaze down into a deep canyon from a dangerous ridge, or a whale breaches just metres from your boat.
Deep down humans are still animals. And understanding how animal survival instincts work gives you a real edge when you are creating presentations and selling your offer. The same basic responses and needs that helped our ancestors survive when they were primordial fish things still govern our behaviour today.