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.
Awe is one of the most powerful experiential responses humans can have. You know when you feel awe. Because it actually takes your breath away. It fills your entire body with a surge of chemicals that can make you gasp, sharpens all of your senses, creates a feeling of humbleness, clears clutter from your thoughts and heightens focus. You feel at peace and excited simultaneously.
And scientists suggest that awe opens you up to even more information, more of what you are experiencing. Awe can be addictive! Put this into a presentation context. Can you create the same level of awe that viewing or touching a 2,000 year old tree can? Maybe not.
But should you aim for that? Absolutely.
Because if you can create awe, or something very close to it, your audience will be entranced. They’ll lean forward and hang on each word you deliver. They’ll listen attentively and want more of what you are giving. They’ll be with you right through your presentation and they’ll want you to win. (But don’t exceed 20 minutes; no matter how awesome you are, you’ll lose them after 20 minutes because their attention energy will be exhausted.)
The opposite is also true. Open your presentation with a graph or a list of 10 bullet–points or a safety message? That is the antithesis of creating awe and you’ll lose them, instantly. Tragically, we have all seen dozens of presentations that open with Safe. And we know how that made us feel. It's pointless. You have wasted your time and theirs. And worse, you have lost their respect and openness for your next presentation.
Humans create awe with humanity: Honesty. Story. Vulnerability. Truth. Humour. And information the audience has not seen or heard before. We create awe by showing people who we are and relaying something deeply personal and very exciting to support our message. It can be about us, the service we provide or the product we offer. But it must be delivered with truth and emotion to even begin to be awesome. The effort you put in to creating awe in the first 90 seconds of your presentation will be the difference between success or failure.
Stun creates presentations and videos designed to initiate an emotional response from your audience. We aim to get as close to awe as we can. And what our clients will allow us to!
Get in touch to discuss how we can help you create awe for the next presentation you must win.
This article was taken from our Book of Stun. For more on this and other cool stuff, order your free copy today.