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Battle with light sabersLike many people I went to see the new Star Wars movie recently. Actually I probably waited a little long than most to see it. I absolutely loved it. And I’ve just booked it again for tomorrow night, This time with Ellis my son. He’s only 8 but I think it’s not too scary for him to watch.

I won’t spoil the surprise if I you have yet to see it. But something really unexpected happens towards the end. It reminded me of one of the common mistakes I see speakers make when they are new to speaking.

They give the game away sooner than they need to. The thing that the makers of Star Wars understand is to give the viewers something that they didn’t see coming is how you create real impact.

I was on the edge of my seat with my jaw dropped when the ‘thing’ happened. If they had told me just before it happened what was about to occur I would have seen it coming and although the film would still have been good, they wouldn’t have grabbed me in the what that they did.I was speaking in the North a few weeks before Christmas and the MD of the company got up to say a few words about his own story and then he brought up a slide which did not have the Star Wars methodology applied.

On his slide he had five bullet points. I won’t give you the actual facts here but this is the kind of thing we saw.Left Scotland 1994

Set up company in 1998

Married Wife 2000

Daughter Born 2003

Bankruptcy 2008

So before he even opened his mouth we knew some key moments of his story. He lost a crucial opportunity to let his story unfold through his storytelling and it certainly wasn’t the presentation that it could have been.  It’s the reason that I ask my clients to tell my audience members as little about me as possible. It means, for example, that the news that I end up in prison, comes as a surprise. What? You didn’t know that I had been to prison?

Even I’m doing it now. Giving the game away before we have even met. You get the point.

May the force be with you. Oh and if you are looking to make  presentations with impact we have The ‘iCan Speak’ Tour starting next week. Take a look at where we are visiting. Still time to book a place.


And of course if you are interested in working together one-to-one then please do not hesitate in dropping me a line.

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